Saturday, September 28, 2013

Another Day, Another Training

Today was quite an experience for us in Uganda. We were picked up at our hotel for a day of teaching in Joseph Kanyike's village. Joseph is my dear friend and an exceptional young man. He now lives in the city but grew up in the village of Ngugulo. So we left our hotel at 8am, only to stop less than a mile later. The van pulled off the street and we were told to get out for a few minutes because the clutch needed an adjustment. Of course, we Americans rolled our eyes and prepared to return to the hotel. We know that such an extensive repair would take several days and a lot of money. However, within 15 minutes we were back in the van and on the road. This place is a little bit amazing.

Once we got on the road it was quite a trip. First we drove on a road that was a little bit like a road in America. It was paved and relatively smooth, but there was a lot of traffic on it. There were more pedestrians everywhere than you can even imagine. We drove through several roundabouts until we were on a two lane road about 30 minutes later and clearly in the country. Another hour of riding and my seat was getting a little sore. This road was interesting in that periodically it was equipped with speed bumps. That is one way to save money. Fewer traffic enforcement officers are required. That is when we turned off for the last hour of our trip on an almost two lane dirt road. There were lots of ruts, holes and ditches.

Finally, we arrived at the church in the village. It was a tiny building, but was packed with about 50 people. There were mostly pastors and church leaders, but many of the local church members, including children, as well. It's hard for me think that there are very many churches in America that would be full on a Saturday afternoon.

Brad sang Lord, I Lift your name on High accompanied by two boys on the drums. He also sang Give Me Jesus and Amazing Grace. He did a great job. Chad taught on discipleship and Brad taught on worship. I spoke for quite some time on ministry issues including spiritual gifts and the work of equipping the saints.

We have found that fielding questions has been very popular. Between the three of us we can handle most of them. The only difficulty comes when we have issues with translation. Although the official language of Uganda is English, we are working with country, mission pastors who are much less fluent. So, we are all using translators. So a pastor asks a question in Luganda and it gets translated into English. Then we offer an answer and it gets translated into Luganda. If we misunderstood or if our answer needs followed-up on the process starts all over again. This becomes very tedious, but everyone seems to be staying engaged through it all.

After about three and a half hours today the final question was, "When are you coming back to teach us more?" It was definitely a positive ending to the day.

As we were leaving the church and heading back to the city, the pastor, Grace Ndembe (a man, by the way), asked how he could join the United Methodist Church. I didn't know what to tell him exactly, but we are working on a plan. God is moving here and I am glad to be a part of it.

Be praying for us. We have worship in the morning where Chad will be preaching. We are planning on a great day of rejoicing and worship. Then, we have a lunch with Pastor John Kiviiri, Joseph Kanyike and other members of Namboole UMC. After that we get to rest!

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