WMM Uganda Trip: Recruiting the Next Generation
I’m finding that sleep is a relative idea here in Uganda. It seems like the entire town, goats and dogs included, comes together to form a constant stream of noise. Perhaps the most perplexing is the local mosque that chooses to broadcast it’s morning prayer over a LOUDSPEAKER every morning at 5am. It’s woken me up every morning so far.
Instead of worrying about it, I decided to make the best use of the early morning hours today. I grabbed my camera and my Bible, and walked towards the hotel gardens. Several fabulous photo ops awaited me.
I managed to find a few of the culprits of the early morning wakeup calls…
I sneaked in a mini-workout, which has been hard to come by so far. My hunger then took over and led me to the hotel cafe.
I have so enjoyed the conversations I’ve had with the enchanting staff here. This morning, one of the managers Joan was around, so I invited her to join me for breakfast. She shared her story, about being a single mother and working a full time job so she can pay for her two children’s boarding school tuition.
Since I admittedly didn’t spend much time learning about Uganda before this trip, I had several questions for Joan about the culture here. I prefer to learn from the locals anyway.
After breakfast, I wandered out into the lobby area, and discovered a friendly competition happening.
Apparently I wasn’t the only one needing to burn calories this morning. Kurt and Brian were racing each other up the hill and grinding out pushups. Elijah showed up for more guitar lessons as they were finishing, so he joined in the sprints too. You can see from the podium below who emerged victorious.
Elijah has such a hunger for knowledge. I sat and marveled for an hour while Kurt instructed him and he played and sang his heart out.
Later on, it was time to head out on our primary mission of the day. We were invited to visit Makerere University, a local college, to share about the worship conference. A few of the EA Gospel Academy students joined us as well, including Badru (in the yellow patterned shirt). He’s a spirited young man with plenty of ambition. His goal is to be the university student president next year.
The university was actually close enough for us to walk, so we were spared from the crazy taxi vans this time.
As we approached the hall where we would be presenting, we heard a familiar sound. Yet again, there was a room full of Ugandan believers singing aloud in worship music. And again, we walked right in and joined them.
Bardu introduced Kurt and the guy, and they each shared briefly about the conference. We passed tickets for the conference (admission is free, but it helps to have a leave-behind), and the students were very excited.
Finally, a young man from the student body gave a bold and challenging sermon to his peers. I think everyone in the room was encouraged.
The university campus offered an interesting architectural style, which I was pleased to photograph.
Now for a special message. There are vultures as large as people in Uganda! Kurt’s been telling us about them, and we’ve seen them flying way up in the sky. But until today, we hadn’t really got a good look at them. Well, they were all over the school campus. They kind of freak me out. They basically sit atop high places looking for small children to eat…at least that’s my hypothesis.
We made a pit stop to meet Alfred, the current student president. In the short time he spoke to us, he made it a point to say, “Forget being president, forget everything else…me, I am a Born-Again!” This is the term they use to describe being a follower of Christ.
The rest of the day was set aside mostly for rest and final planning. I interviewed Elijah and another student, Micah. They sat and jammed on the guitars for several more hours in the afternoon. Unbelievable comittment.
See the sights and hear the sounds in today’s recap video:
It’s go-time now. The conference begins in the morning and we will be ready!