One of the first things that we noticed in Uganda is that everyone (it seems) has a biblical name. There are Isaac's and Noah's and Martha's and Rachel's. The funniest thing is that there are so many men named Moses. Our driver, who works for the school, is named Moses. We have gotten to know him pretty well. There are at least two or three Moses's that work at our hotel. I have had a whole life of never meeting a Moses, and know I know several.
Grace may be the most popular female name. There is one girl at the Humble School who is named Blessed Grace. She loves Jesus and can sing like an angel. This Grace truly is blessed. There are two different Grace's who wait on us at the hotel. Both have the prettiest smiles and personalities. Last night as we were eating supper, one of the Grace's came to our table and asked us to pray for her and her family. She said that they had taken in 20 AIDS orphans and they were having a hard time financially. We think that Grace- she is about 20 years old- might earn about $100 a month. She lives with her family, and do not know their income. In any case, 20 children in any family would be a struggle. Pray for Grace and her ministry. (By the way, Grace always greets us with 'Praise God.')
Humble United Methodist School
The Humble United Methodist School in Mukono, Uganda is where our Bible Academy is being held. It is the only official UM institution in Uganda other than the churches. It is a residential primary school (K-7) which is focused mainly on orphans. There are currently 204 students at the school. Of those, about 30% are AIDS orphans. Many of the children are also HIV positive.
The school has been funded and built primarily with support from United Methodists in Virginia, Kentucky and Georgia. Currently they are working on a clinic (for the children and the surrounding area) and bathrooms (with running water).
The main problem for the school is in the area of funding. The staff are committed to the students, to education and to ministry. There just isn't enough money. One of the East Africa Annual Conference leaders told us earlier this week that it costs $1095 per student to run the school for a year. That is just a little over $90 a month to feed, clothe, house and educate children who have nowhere else to go. It doesn't seem like a lot.
We are almost to the weekend. On Saturday we are traveling to Jinja to see a wild animal park, the place where the Nile begins and place where we might coordinate a work project in the future. It sounds like a fun and full day.
On Sunday each of our team members will be preaching in different churches. For most of us it will be the first time preaching with an interpreter. It ought to be exciting. In the afternoon the Bishop (Daniel Wandabula) is coming to our hotel to meet with us.
Keep us in your prayers. The Academy is going very well, and you share in the success we are experiencing.