In September 2017 I wrote a story about Uganda’s amazing “77 Days of Glory” revival service celebrating its first anniversary.
I first learned about this mighty move of God — also known as “77 Dogs” — in August 2017 when I was introduced to a Kampala pastor, Ddiba Assadi, who told me in a telephonic interview, about the all-night service which began at the Miracle Centre Cathedral in Kampala on September 18 2016 and had been held every day since from 8pm to 6am. Average attendances at 77 Dogs services, which were held outdoors, ranged from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of people, and there were daily testimonies of salvations and miracles.
In April this year, my wife Val and I had the opportunity to meet Pastor Ddiba and his wife, Lydia, and their three children, in Cape Town where they were on holiday. As we were chatting in their apartment, I reminisced about the story I had written in 2017 about the amazing revival service that went on without a break for a whole year.
Ddiba laughed as he told me that the service was still going strong — well into its third year — and that the Lord had told Pastor Robert Kayanja to keep it going for a total of seven years. Kayanja, the leader of the 10 500-seat Miracle Centre Cathedral, originally called the service in obedience to a prompting by the Holy Spirit.
I asked whether they had really held the service for every single day since its launch, and not perhaps missed a day here and a day there. Ddiba and Lydia assured me that the service had been held every day without a break. In fact, as a theme of repentance emerged during the revival, they had introduced what they called A Voice in Millions — a week in each month when they carried on all day and all night, with multitudes crying out to the Lord in repentance.
View clip of A Voice in Millions repentance service
He said that at one point, while praying and feeling exhausted, Kayanja had suggested to the Lord that it was maybe time to stop the services. But the Lord told him that as he had called Joseph to store the harvest for seven years in order to be ready for the next seven hard years, he should get ready to keep the service going for seven years.
Hungry for the Holy Spirit
Ddiba said the Lord told Kajanja to tell the people to be hungry for the Holy Spirit — not to pray for material things but to cry for the Holy Spirit and to be in repentance. Kayanja has written a number of books — including a series of seven on the Holy Spirit — based on what he has learned through 77 Dogs. All of the books are available for free.
Every night Muslims came to the revival services — sheiks, people who led mosques — and they came to Christ. The church had put a number of them in safe houses because their lives were in danger because of their conversion.
Ddiba said people from around the world — including Muslim countries — watched the 77 Dogs on Youtube or on Channel 44 TV. There was also a constant stream of visitors from around Africa and the world who attended in person.
Prostitutes, drug addicts, murderers, celebrities, witches, were among the thousands transformed.
A group of gangsters who had been terrorising the city and who were feared by the police had come to 77 Dogs.
“I don’t know how the move of the Holy Spirit touched them from the street. They just said: ‘Let’s go to the revival with all of our stuff’ — and they came and they gave their lives to Christ.
“And they confessed every wrong thing they have ever done — people they have killed, people they have stolen from, a lot of things. Now they are in Bible training, they put them in a discipling camp. Some have become great ministers,” he said.
“And some are now working in security!” said Lydia.
President and cabinet attended
Ddiba said that the nation’s leader, President Yoweri Museveni has attended 77 Dogs with his entire cabinet on three occasions. Some of the cabinet leaders had repented of their sins and even returned money they had stolen from the government.
“Their names can’t be publicly announced but we, on the inside, know who they are.”
He said the government was so blessed by the revival services that it was providing free security to protect people who attended each night.
Another fruit of the revival was deep reconciliation between many churches. Kayanja, who was called into ministry at the age of 37 and had been serving the Lord for 37 years, had stood firm through many trials and accusations. During the revival one of his main accusers had publicly confessed that he had been put up to it by jealous leaders, said Ddiba.
Marriage was another area that was impacted by the move of God. Many couples who had been living together without being legally married had repented. They included pastors who had not got married because of financial lack. So 77 Dogs offered anybody who wanted to sanctify their marriages to come forward and participate in mass weddings which were held every three months.
Thousands of people — even some people from other religions — had come forward. The church took them through a marriage course, and married them, paying for everything including wedding clothes, rings, and honeymoons, he said.