Improvising

Today was an early start.  Those are never easy days because they mean we’ll be very tired at the end of the day.  Today was the first day we visited schools that Journey church has visited before.  David and Noah who have both been to Uganda before recognized the schools and were both amazed at how different the schools were, and the areas around as well.   It goes to show that’s why they call these countries, “developing nations.”  They are undergoing constant change.

After a bit of a rough start going.  Rough as in delayed again, this time not because we ran out of gas but this time because we all got on the bus and left – except Noah.  Noah had returned up to his room to use the restroom before we left and by the time he got out, we had left him.  I have spent the whole week counting heads, several times a day… the ONE time I don’t count – Someone goes missing.

Kells jumped off the bus and took a Bodaboda (motorcycle taxi) back to the Adonai house to get Noah, and he and Noah both returned to the buss and rendezvoused with us to head out to the school.  We were greeted with an amazing sunrise (we were out on the road before the sun came up) and an even more beautiful double rainbow over the city.  It was really a sight – the pictures won’t do it any justice.

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We arrived to our first school thinking that all the sound and music equipment was going before us and the team was already going to be setting up.   Well, that didn’t work at all.  We arrived to the school and we were first there from our team.  We stood around for a bit waiting and hoping the equipment would arrive but it turns out the truck they hired to haul the equipment from school to school decided he didn’t want to work today.  So, we were on our own with 300 or so students.  No amplification, no music and dancing just the kids, us and a parking lot for the school.  David didn’t even have his guitar because that was a part of the equipment.

Barbara from the City Church jumped in and started to sing songs the kids were familiar with in a capella.  She was so good, she carried those songs with the team of singers.  The students clapped to the beat and we made it work.  Eric shared his story of overcoming anger by the grace of God, and then followed his testimony with an acrobatics show (its Parkour, if you don’t know Parkour – you should its pretty amazing).   The students went wild over it, they pressed in tighter and were shocked at some of the tricks Eric could do.  He is REALLY good.

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Just after Eric finished, the equipment arrived.   We promptly set up a speaker and a microphone and some music and we did a little dance off followed by our skit.  As always the skit was a hit!  Each time the team just gets better.  Its so fun to watch the team grow closer in working together and feeding off each other’s energy. We missed Shari in the skits today.  She wasn’t feeling good so she stayed back to rest.

Luke shared his message with the kids and invited them to pray a pray of salvation to Jesus and the response was so good!

 After our first stop, we loaded up the bus with the equipment that had come late and been dropped off by a taxi driver, and we walked to Kampala Community Church – a sister church to the City Church.  They were so hospitable to us!   We had a few hours between the first and second schools and they served us snacks, welcomed us into a lounge area to sit on a couch and wait.  We were very blessed by them.  Before heading out the second school we had a arm wrestling competition – Maddie vs. Africa… she’s unbeatable!

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We walked from Kampala City Church to our second school for the day.  This was probably the most confined space that we’ve been in yet and there was ZERO air movement in the room.  It was hot!  The students crowded into the classroom and it was a mixed group.  We have visited predominantly Christian educational facilities but this was a mixture of Christian, non Christian and Muslim students.

Pam shared her story about overcoming alcohol with Jesus and also a very moving story about a moment where God let her know she would never be alone.  She encouraged the kids to know they aren’t alone.

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After JForce dancers the team came up with the skit, followed by Luke’s message.  After Luke talked about Jesus helping us to get out of our sin he gave an altar call.  What was special with this service is that where a few Muslim students who raised their hands for pray for salvation!  How cool is that?

We returned to the City Church for lunch and some free time.  There we set up some chairs as makeshift targets to show our African friends yet another Frisbee game – Frisbee Golf.  We have a lifetime supply of Frisbees from Beach Hut Deli to give away so they are a smash hit.  We had so much fun playing Frisbee golf with the team.   There were a lot of flying disks around City Church, if one wasn’t careful they could get clocked by one at any moment.  We cannot be held liable for injury sustained while deep into competition! 

 After lunch we headed to our last stop for the day.  We actually arrived at this school on time!  It was the first time since we’ve been to Africa we were on time to a school!  We were so excited to no be rushed!  Then we found out school was still in session and we couldn’t make any noise for an hour.  So we waited around the bus until school got out.  That whole not being rushed thing?  Gone.

Nonetheless the school was amazing.  The students were so receptive and immediately jumped into dancing and participation with the team during the music.  Eric did some more acrobatics, and then Leah shared her story of overcoming abusive pasts.  Leah’s testimony was amazing!  She really rocked it!  By the end the kids were on the edge of their seats (except they weren’t sitting but standing – you get the gist.)  Noah had shared with me (Luke) that he had never given an altar call before and thought it would be cool to preach and do that.  David and I had sat down with him earlier in the day and offered to let him preach and give the altar call at this school.  Let me say this, Noah rocked it.  He did so good!  Kids responded to Jesus and we prayed the prayer of salvation with them.  Afterwards we hung out with the kids around the courtyard of the school, praying and interacting with them.  It was neat to hear their stories and talk to them about what they want to do when the graduate school.  Doctors, architects, engineers… this generation is going to change Uganda!

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We dropped the City Church team off at the church campus, briefly said Hi to Alex and the team and headed back to the Adonai house to eat and rest for tomorrow.

 Tomorrow is Friday already! It seems like this week has gone by so fast.  Our last day of visiting schools, and then the big party on Saturday!  Conf-Phest it’s a conference, it’s a festival its both and we’re planning on having an amazing time!