Uganda – Day 16 final post

Have just returned from the Frontline Discipleship house. What a great time and what a great ministry. The discipleship house takes some of the older boys who have made a commitment to Christ into a house where they go to school and also learn Scripture and grow in their relationship with God.

We had a great time chatting about football, girlfriends and what it was like being a Christian in a country where most people don’t believe!

I asked one of the boys how he’d become a Christian. Having lived on the streets most of his childhood and been used to stealing to live and eat, one night he was attacked by a gang and left for dead in the street. He was in a coma for over a week and when he eventually came to he heard God’s voice telling him he had a second chance at life and to use it to serve him, so when he came back in to the slums he discovered Frontline and gave his life to Christ and has served him since. He is 14.

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This may well be my last blog post in Uganda as we go away tomorrow for the night and then I am flying home on Wednesday.

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Uganda – Days 13-16

What an extraordinary few days! 3 days at Jinja in Uganda at a Retreat for the leaders/volunteers (about 120 of us) of Calvary Chapel Kampala.

The YWAM site was beautiful, with stunning views and great facilities, if, at times a little basic!

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We did 6 Studies over the three days, and the teaching was encapsulated in awesome worship and powerful times of Prayer ministry. Such wonderful times together – people were really blessed by all of it and there was a great sense of the work of God in our midst.

And at the end, the last part of the worship together was so powerful. On the last session we had worshipped, preached, prayed together and worshipped some more, and the final songs of worship had been so wonderful ending with a beautiful and praise-filled singing of ‘Blessed be your name’… Then Josh asked me to close the whole few days in prayer. I took the verses that had become the theme of the conference, which God had given Josh when we’d sat down and prayed together right at the start of it all:

Deuteronomy 32:1-2
1 “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak,
and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
2 May my teaching drop as the rain,
my speech distill as the dew,
like gentle rain upon the tender grass,
and like showers upon the herb.

Then I prayed thanking God for his word that had ‘fallen on us’ over the few days together and had ‘watered our hearts’, and praising him for his living Word the Lord Jesus – and asking that we would join with the angels in heaven to sing ‘Holy, holy, holy’ around His throne. Then I said ‘and all God’s people said’ and there was a resounding ‘AMEN’ from everyone, and at that very moment there was the most enormous clap of THUNDER! It was spine tingling – as though we’d prayed ‘give ear O heavens’ we’d given glory to Jesus, and God joined our praise and echoed our resounding AMEN to Him! And then the rain fell from the skies with a refreshing air. WOW – what a way to bring to a climax a beautiful few days. And then we ate lunch and had broken bread and ‘wine’ as we said thank you to Jesus for his death for us.

There was a real sense of the work of God in our midst and we thank God so much for his grace and love.

The journey home was long and tiring, but today, Sunday we had another great time together at Kololo for the service this morning.

Tonight I go to Frontline to their discipleship centre, which I am really looking forward to.

Below is photo of me with Nehemiah (the Missions rep for Calvary Chapel), and Peace (who has one of the most amazing testimonies I’ve ever heard). The church is full of wonderful people and it’s been a privilege to be with them.

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Uganda – Day 12

Today was a rest day. We made our way down to the accommodation for our retreat. The retreat starts tomorrow, and everyone is very excited about it and looking forward to it.

We are staying at The Kingfisher Lodge, which is situated on the edge of Lake Victoria, and is very beautiful. I’ve already seen some Weaver Birds and what I think was a Woodland Kingfisher.

The conference will take place at a YWAM centre a few miles away and c150 people will be coming by bus tomorrow and Friday for the event.

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All the chalets have animals and birds on the door so you know which one you’re staying in. My animal is a vulture! lol – not sure what that says about me 🙂

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Uganda – Day 11

This morning we spent the morning at the Church in the city for their staff meeting. There were about 12 or so at the meeting. I led the devotions – giving a short talk on a passage and then having a discussion about it. Then whilst the business meeting was continued I did some study for the upcoming Church Retreat which we leave for tomorrow morning.

We then met up with the leader of a youth work program (Youthworx) here in Uganda – Ian Wardle (below). Ian has strong links with Christians in Schools Trust (CIST), in fact Andrew and a team from CIST came out and worked with Ian 5 years ago. It was great to hear about the work that Ian heads up and to chat through possible future work that we might support him with through the trust.

All in all a very good day!

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Uganda – Day 10

Today, I went to Murchison Bay Primary School for the morning. This school is linked to Wilmslow Grange Primary school, where I am a governor. So, it was a great privilege to visit the school and they made me so welcome – I was treated like Royalty!

The school is a government aided school and is actually in the grounds of the prison (it was started for the children of the wardens back in 1938), and now has children from all over the region and some older children as borders.

The picture below is a typical classroom. There are 1800 children in the school and it is mainly a primary school, with some older children. The class size ranges from 95-110 children per class with 1-2 teachers in each room!

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The bording school children are mainly the children of the prison Wardens who have been transferred to prisons in other parts of the country. So there children often stay in school until they finish their education.

Accommodation is fairly basic!

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The school was so friendly and welcoming. We talked about the different ways our schools could do more to be linked together, and share ideas. The Heateacher, Mrs Miriam, would very much like to visit our school in Handforth, so we will see what we can do. The children did some wonderful choir pieces for me and some dancing and some poetry and some more singing. I was made to feel so welcome.

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Tonight we’ve been meeting with a group of church folk for a BBQ – Josh style (ribs)!

Uganda – Day 9

Today was Sunday.

I was at City Church today, speaking at their 3 Sunday morning services. It was a joy to see what a ‘normal’ Sunday was like – although there were a few unexpected events. Some were familiar – like power problems and other technical hitches. Some were slightly less familiar – like the woman outside the church who was hurling abuse and foul accusations at people coming into church and who was eventually arrested by the police after being ‘sat on’ by the security guards!

Never a dull moment in Kampala!

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Uganda – Day 8

Today was spent at Calvary Church in the City. I spent the day teaching a Church Course, going through most of 1Samuel and a bit of 2Samuel. It was great fun. But what was even more fun was bumping into an old friend of ours – Ellie Venables – who we knew from Bebington and was here only because her bags had been delayed in the Lebanon!

It is a small world!

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There’s been some good chats with people and it’s been so great to spend time talking to Josh and Nats about what’s going on here in Kampala. A good day.