Here you will find frequent updates from the crew leading the short term mission trip in Northern Uganda and Musanze, Rwanda. Take a look around, and see what the Lord is up to in Africa!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Today was more like it. With 750 in preschool, about 3,000 in regular VBS and about 700 in the teenage group. We have been overjoyed with the turnout today!! The Rwandan Song leaders, Vestine and Rev. Samuel begin about 7:45am with whatever crowd they have in the cathedral and the songs ring out. Loud all around the area. Maybe miles...and kids streaming in to join the praise songs they all know so well. It's an incredible sight but even more astonishing sound to hear them singing their hearts out, clapping and screaming HALLELUJAH!!!!'
The Rwandan preschool teachers decided to do the Joseph story under the tents set up on the lawn, but moving 750 kids in one direction a hundred yards is challenging at best. The children are certainly sweet and want to participate so they are obedient throughout the logistics process. After they were all seated there was more singing and clapping and we (The Americans) all recognized that is the method employed to grab and keep their attention during the Bible story. The teachers here give a bit of the story to the little ones and then quiz the children on what they just heard. They are repetitive without being boring, but preschoolers are the same no matter what country, and after lots of sitting to sing and sitting to listen they were ready to DO something. After listening to the story of Joseph, the craft (which our entire team worked on last night) was making paper bag Joseph coats. Major prayer request tomorrow is NO rain - since there are so many outside events and travelers.
Ed and Gary have been working training Anglican pastors using the book of James verse by verse as well as training them in Pauline theology. There are 27 pastors from all over this Diocese who have anywhere from a 2nd to 7th grade education, but know their Bibles cover to cover. They struggle to put everything together in a theological framework. Our goal is simple: to equip them in that Biblical theological framework so they can be more effective in their preaching and pastorate. They are extremely motivated to learn and have encouraged us a great deal over the week.
The teenage group led by Faye, Melanie, Chuck and Lani and Kathy and Ann Snowden has had a three fold approach: purity class, basketball clinic and dance classes. The Rwandan teachers have been very effective taking leadership of the teaching and the Biblical morality class. The down of the teenage class today was the craft. What had been planned had to be scrapped because it was too immature for 16-18 year olds. The up part was that Chuck took that opportunity to connect the idea of Christianity to their ordinary lives, got thoughtful questions and responses. Prayer requests for this group tomorrow is discernment on how to invite this group of 680 teenagers into a more personal relationship with Jesus. And please don't forget we need no rain but cloud cover...There are some sunburns.
In 6-12 year old VBS today we had about 3000!! The Joseph skit performed by the Cathedral drama team entertained and made the story come life! They are such a talented group of young adults- as Ann Seiler said, 'they've got this!' After the drama and lots of singing, praising and Hallelujahs, the children were dismissed to their classrooms - a huge improvement since last year when they wouldn't really line up. One thing we have all noticed is how well these children know scripture! Many know entire Psalms. The craft with this age group has been a mural they are all working on individually to put together tomorrow - as one panoramic view of Joseph's life. Tomorrow this group needs prayer for stamina, for the Rwandan teachers to be on time, and hearts to be changed.
Please also remember to pray for our safe travel. This has been such a great trip but we still have a long journey ahead to make it home. Our bus leaves Musanze at 2pm, we have some time in Kigali, check into airport for a flight out at 1am and arrive in Houston on Saturday night. We need safety, health and to make our connections. Or gratitude if God has other plans!