By Jordan Grantham, Catholic Outlook, November 2016
Homeless and desperate, Francis Muyeeka thought his life had no meaning. Expelled from school and disconnected from separated parents, the mean streets of Uganda were a harsh reality. “I thought I wouldn’t make it through,” Francis said.
Now Francis is a 26-year-old man, confident in himself and the faith. He performs vibrant Christian music, in the style of soulful pop.
For most of this year he toured Australia, giving musical support to the Australia-wide team of the National Evangelisation Team ministries.
NET ministries is a group of young Catholics who speak at schools, youth groups and facilitate prayer across many cities in Australia. Six NET teams are stationed around Australian cities.
The Australia-wide team toured Brisbane, Coffs Harbour, Adelaide, Alice Springs, Katherine, Darwin, Halls Creek, Broome, Perth, Cairns, Yeppoon, Harvey Bay, Albury, Ballina, Grafton and Port Pirie. It will still be on the move until mid-November 2016.
Francis was on the Uganda-wide NET team for two years, which transformed his life. It taught him elementary worship music, public speaking and leadership skills.
Since then, Francis’ life mission is to share God’s message using music. “It has the unique capability to link the natural to the super-natural, and the spiritual to the physical. Music can heal your emotions without you even noticing it.”
Music is a tool of God, which Francis has witnessed “stabilising the shaken, restoring the fallen and keeping all as one in faith and love”.
Francis is committed to using the universal appeal of music’s beauty to evangelise. His positive message is more than a ‘feel-good’ mantra. He brings a serious message that grapples with suffering and sin.
“If we don’t exercise this tool, the enemy will and already is using it to promote sin,” he said. “As we evangelise, the principalities that Ephesians 6:10 talks about are also evangelising, and we cannot let them take the most effective means from us, music!”
Francis said music has helped him grow in holiness. “Worship music specifically has helped me overcome depression, anger, and habitual sin,” he said. “What seemed an addiction turned into a testimony! I found myself thinking about God instead of sin, I like to call that ‘victory’!”
Francis’ prayerfulness has grown in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, thanks to worship music. “It’s always good to be quiet before Jesus in prayer but personally, music has always been that thing that sets a foundation for me to build on during adoration when the silence comes in.”
St Augustine of Hippo’s dictum that “he who sings well prays twice” inspires him.
Music has assisted Francis with maintaining prayerfulness. “Listening to worship has given me an opportunity to keep my dial at the ‘heavenly frequency’ all the time and that is what we as Christians should be striving for; constant communion with our Messiah and the Holy Spirit.”
Under Francis’ leadership, a group of friends in Uganda started a music unit, New Era Inspirations (NEI). It compiled a music album and produces videos. NEI has continued to grow with programs that encourage young people to gather and strengthen each other’s faith weekly, conducting charitable works and running worship ministries. The fruits of the ministry have continued while Francis has been in Australia.
“The three years I have done with NET have been instrumental towards the vision God planted in me, and my heart overflows with gratitude to every party responsible and, of course, God above all,” Francis said. “I would greatly encourage every young person who wants to grow into the best version of themselves to do NET.”
To watch a music video produced by Francis, click here.