Thursday, March 14, 2013

Why a principal at a theological college?

I've been asking myself how (or why?) God brought me to Gulu in northern Uganda to be a principal of a theological college. Many who come as missionaries to Uganda come specifically to work with the orphans. Even though my first inkling of what I would "do" when I first came to Uganda in 2003 was to head up a babies' home, that has never happened. I have been involved with a program called HELP them (Hear, Educate, Love, Prepare) - which works with vulnerable children in primary schools to develop their English skills while experiencing the love of Jesus from their "aunties" who meet with them each Saturday. It still continues in Fort Portal under the able leadership of Mrs. Briton Kyalimpa. As part of the ESFA team (Evangelization Strategy for Africa), I helped establish a school in a small village called Kabasindagizi. The first children are preparing to sit for the national primary leaving examination this year. Something I have observed in my nearly 10 years is that while helping the orphans and vulnerable children is necessary, there are ways that help and ways that aren't as helpful. 

Now, I am leading an institution which is charged with training men and women who believe God has called them to be His servants to the people in their local villages. In Uganda the village is the center of most people's socio-economic life. These men and women, who are the local pastors, are seen as leaders of their community, charged not only with spiritual care, but also called to lead the way in developing the families' ability to increase their earnings. In addition to theological subjects like Old and New Testament, how to preach, counseling, and understanding African Traditional Religion, the students are also taught about development. So though my ministry is not directly impacting the lives of the vulnerable children, by providing training that the pastors can teach their flock, children will be  assisted as the economic status of their family improves.

I am praying about the possibility at some point in the future to again find a group of Ugandans who want to start a school in a remote area of northern Uganda. However, at the moment, I'm fully occupied with the task of leading Archbishop Janani Luwum Theological College it its mission to train 'faithful servants'.

Blessings on your day.

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