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A map of Uganda for your reference as I mention different places
We are now at the end of outreach! Time has just flown by! I will say that my time here has been incredibly challenging, and I have learned so much.
When I last updated my blog, I had just arrived in Arua at the YWAM base there. Whilst there, our team taught in many different churches, but the first week I was there, one trainee and one staff taught in one church, and another trainee and our other staff taught in another church. I was the ‘in-between man’, and taught at both churches! They couldn’t have been more different from each other; one consisted of a group of pastors and church leaders, the other was your ‘village church’, with a wide mix of attendees. One thing this entire trip has taught me has been how to adapt material to be accessible for different audience’s understanding.
My second week in Arua was split between two locations. I taught the Inductive Method Overview (see earlier posts on details of this) to the DTS (Discipleship Training School) on the base. It was a great morning of learning how to read the Bible inductively, and applying it to Scripture! The second half of our week was spent in Omugo Refugee Camp, an extension of Rhino Refugee Camp. That was a very difficult time for us, as we slept in open air classrooms, and had an audience that was mainly coming for the food. We didn’t want to provide food because we wanted people to attend for the right reasons, but unfortunately, other groups and missions organizations have gone in with food, and that is now the expectation of all groups - you teach, you provide a meal. We had refugees mainly from Sudan/South Sudan, who spoke many different languages. What struck me most was the amount of brokenness each person held onto in their lives. If you took the time to speak to them personally, you could hear their stories, and they are heartbreaking. There are many women with young children who don’t have any family left, they’re fending for themselves and their children. Many people have seen spouses, parents, siblings or children killed in front of them. Many don’t even know if their families are alive. That was hard! There was also an atmosphere of resistance to us sharing the gospel and our teachings, but those who got it really got it. I think language barriers and expectations prevented people from fully participating in everything they could. On our last Sunday in Arua, I preached at the local deaf fellowship, which was a unique experience!
We gave one of the people who attended our teachings a Bible - he didn’t have one of his own, and was so thrilled to be given one!
Open air teaching in one of our churches
One of my classmates teaching on the Bible Overview
Another classmate teaching Bible Overview
On one of our days off, my one classmate and I went on a safari to Murchison Falls National Park! It was a great experience to see ‘wild Africa’, and I was very happy to have had this experience.
Searching for the animals!
Getting those photos in
The wildlife was beautiful!
Our open air classroom sleeping accommodations! 2 men fit into that tiny tent haha
Teaching in the refugee camp
This is a chicken. Tied to a chair. In my room. I jumped out of my skin when I saw something moving when I came into my room! Definitely wasn’t expecting to see a chicken!
The group of people we were involved with in the refugee camp
We then left the Arua base after being there for 2 weeks (including the refugee camp), and spent the day on a bus down to Kampala - I never want to be on a bus for 11 hours again! We then spent the following 2 weeks in the capital city. Many of our teaching locations were in house groups, which brought new and fresh challenges! How do we teach the things we have been teaching in a house group? We rose to the occasion and really learned how to modify our teachings. It meant teaching in ways that were uncomfortable and unfamiliar to us, and we were thoroughly stretched and challenged. But it was good for us to think of novel ways to teach creatively! I also had the opportunity to teach the Bible Overview (the overall story of the Bible) to the DTS at the Kampala base, and was really grateful for the opportunity to do so! As a team, we were far more involved with the day-to-day lives of everyone on the Kampala base, which was a huge difference from our time in Arua, where we hardly had any interaction with others! I was thankful for this time, as we shared and led in their devotion and worship/intercessory times in the mornings, and taught workshops in the afternoons. My best connections with other people in Uganda were made during my time here. I also got to help with worship at the Immanuel Church of the Deaf in Kampala - the biggest deaf fellowship in the country! Our group also participated in a deaf-hearing “conference” on relationships, each of us sharing different aspects of who we were, and how we viewed marriage and relationships. I was able to share a bit of my testimony, how that, and being deaf, affects my outlook on future marriage - so that was interesting! It wasn’t necessarily a “Titus Project” teaching, but it was good to have done. I found these last 2 weeks to be very different than our first 5 weeks of ministry, with all the different teachings and adaptations that we have done, but I do find that it was all beneficial and helpful as we finished!
Teaching the DTS how to study the Bible inductively during morning devotions
Teaching in the deaf-hearing relationships ‘conference’
Some of the bugs are huge here! Including praying mantis’
Teaching Bible Overview on the DTS
I got to try camel milk, meat and hump - the meat and hump were good, the milk was not!
The Kampala base staff and trainees
We then said our goodbyes to the base on Monday, and travelled down to Entebbe, where we will be staying for the week. Our flight leaves at 11 pm on Thursday (tomorrow night!), and we are just here to relax and debrief a little bit. It’s interesting how vastly different Entebbe is to the rest of Uganda - much more cosmopolitan and full of tourists. I feel like we’re in a completely different world! But it is nice to have this time to breathe and not be thinking about ministry!
I got to hold some chameleons at a small reptile zoo in Entebbe!
How I currently feel haha
- For our transitions back into ‘normal’ life - I feel that we have ‘finally’ adjusted to Ugandan life, and I think the transition from Uganda to UK to Canada will be difficult
- Conversations and decisions - I have many to make when I get home!
- Health - Uganda has been hot, and we’ll be transitioning into a very damp country in England, then things will be even colder when I go back to Canada