Today’s student perspective comes from Hayden…
Wow. Today was long! But it was so good. We spent the night at Katyazo last night, which went surprisingly well! But before going to sleep we played soccer in the dark, it was so fun! We had glow sticks everywhere; lining the goal, lining the field, and on the wrists of the kids to differentiate the teams. After that we went back to the dorms and talked about 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 with the kids, which says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”. The guys wrote the verses on little basketballs and the girls wrote it on colored paper and got to use stickers and colored pens…you know, girly things.
After that we went to bed then they got to sleep in the next morning. We all woke up at about 7 instead of the normal 5 o’clock that the students usually get up. We then came back the the hotel, ate breakfast and got ready to go back to Mbarara. Emmy P (Pastor Emmy) got back today and he came to the hotel with Supermom before we left and we all talked for a little while and got stuff ready for the choir kids. We then headed to Mbarara and it was so sweet when we gave the choir kids their stuff! They were so excited to get even the little they got, so were the leaders!
We then went to the pitch (the soccer field) and played games with all the kids and teachers. I got to get in at the end of the soccer game and got to score a GOAALLLL! But it was a penalty kick so it wasn’t that impressive.
After that we came back to the hotel again and ate lunch and got to take about an hour nap. We then went back to Katyazo and we were all gearing up for the first annual Muzungu vs. Ugandan basketball show down! It was a close game but the Muzungu’s pulled though and brought home the trophy! However, the Ugandans had only been playing for about a day and a half. So I am not anticipating a repeat next year.
After that we all gathered in the class and watched the video we put together for them and they loved it! Finally we came back to the hotel and ate dinner and I am now blogging about today. Today was a solid day! Definitely the best so far!
Here is the leaders’ perspective concerning today:
First some of our own highlights.
Waking up with kids who would give up their own bed for us, and go share a bed with another student was just so nice. Even when we thanked them for sharing their beds, one of the girls responded by saying that it was such a blessing to them for us to sleep in their bed. WOW!!! REALLY?! They loved on us so dearly. Though they have little, they give so much! Seeing the early morning and the sun rise over the hills of the countryside in Uganda was majestic and humbling.
And when we met with the choir at both Mbarara and Katyazo, it was so sweet to look into the eyes of these teenagers and talk to them about what will be a perspective altering experience in their own regard when they come to us next month. Some were scared of the plane ride, but the best question we got came from Laban at Katyazo: “If I am on the plane and I hear music, and if I begin to feel the music, can I get up and dance?” You know what Laban, if the Spirit moves, who am I to say no?
While the students played basketball, Beth got to go with Supermom down to the sweet potato fields to watch some of the students harvest. It was a beautiful thing to behold. All the girls wore traditional African wraps around their waists while working the crops diligently with their hoes.
Then they put the potatoes in containers and carried them back up the hill on their heads.
The boys also harvested some bananas and a few girls picked some type of lettuce called “doe doe.” We wish that our students in America had the chance to learn agriculture in high school. It was so wonderful to see these students work together to feed their whole school.
I think that Hayden was right. Today was probably the best day that we have had! To be honest, I was not sure what impact was being made on our students. I knew that they were appreciating what we were doing, and that they liked the trip so far. But was the trip just a cultural experience, something that any world traveller could take in, make some mental notes, and throw out the information they learned at their next social gathering, hoping to impress those around them? That was my prayer last night before we went for the night at Katyazo. It was reaching that point in the trip where you begin to realize how long it has been since you were in the comfort of your own hometown. Were we going to choose to be homesick, or were we going to embrace what we were really doing on this trip: meeting God through the service of his people. Seeing the value of another who lives in a different day to day reality, and knowing that Christ died for them as much as me.
Today was the answer to my worries! God is faithful to work in his people as we are faithful to him in our obedience. We shared beds with teenagers trying to figure out who they are going to choose to be once they get out on their own, just like us. We had fun. We had fellowship. We spent quality time with many students. We shared interests. We played soccer on the “pitch” while others held little children, talked, or sat and took in the beautiful landscape.
We shared our lives. We shared basketball. We shared agricultural lessons. We were one community today. Mazungus and Ugandans, doing life together. It was that experience we are all praying and hoping for, no matter where we are in the world. As we sat in the classroom at Katyazo, the kids ate dinner, we played David Crowder Band songs, and we watched a slide show of pictures from the week that helped us all reflect on our time here, as we knew the end of it loomed ever closer. Hearts were full, but heavy…aching for some middle ground, where we did not have to go back to different day to day realities. And after dinner tonight, I asked the students to fully take in these last days of ministry here. Observe the details, and let our contemplations move towards processing what God wants us to hear and take home from this trip.
All of this, and we still have more for God to do tomorrow in Rwemikoma.