I should back up and explain that Karl and I have taken a sabbatical from our work at Timothy Centre in order to pursue some opportunities for ministry that we feel the Lord has directed us into. Our sabbatical officially began June 1, but we remained at Timothy Centre for four months as I was committed to finish teaching our ‘pioneer class’ in our Certificate in Christian Education program and the last module was held August 26 – Sept.11. Karl also had several Farming God’s Way workshops lined up in the Masaka and Rakai areas in August and September (workshops are done in the dry season to help farmers prepare their fields for the coming of the rainy season and planting time). During this time (in June) I was interviewed by Uganda Christian University in Mukono (just east of Kampala city) for the position of director of their Institute for Faith, Learning and Service. UCU had asked me to apply for this position back in December last year and around the same time Karl was asked to help give national leadership to the FGW programs while the coordinator was due for furlough in Canada for a year. As we prayed about these things, we felt that these were opportunities that we should pursue in order to expand the ministries that we were involved in at TC (training Christian educators, and training farmers and pastors in FGW principles).
In July I was appointed by the university as the director of IFLS which is basically a program to train the faculty in the integration of faith and academics (More about this in later blogs as I start the work in earnest.) So…the university asked me to join a team of delegates who were planning to attend an IAPCHE (International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education) seminar for East African universities. This was held in the middle of August near Nairobi (we flew just days after the fire at the Nairobi airport). What an amazing opportunity to network with other East African universities who were also committed to moving ahead in teaching from a Christian worldview. Our group from UCU came away with an outline for an action plan that we want to implement in the next six months, and then we will meet again in April/May next year to report back and learn again from each other and a follow-up seminar. This was so helpful for me as I begin working this month for UCU.
After our teacher training module at TC was complete and we took a few days of R&R, I spent a week working with a team of international and Ugandan educators as we did an evaluation of the Watoto schools in the Kampala are. Then Karl and I packed up our belongings (with the help of our friends and coworkers at TC) and traveled to UCU. Thankfully the rain held off and things arrived relatively dry! We looked a bit like the Beverly Hillbillies, but we managed to get everything into the school truck …everything fit in one load exactly!
Ready to leave Timothy Centre
Our new home at Uganda Christian University
Taking part in a fund-raising run on our first weekend at UCU
We have already started to feel a part of the wonderful community here and are looking forward to what the Lord has in store. The first few days have been just settling in and setting up home and office, a few meetings, etc. but now we are about to get into the swing of things. There is a real excitement on campus this week as this is ‘Mission Week’ where special gatherings and prayer times are being held as the staff and students are being challenged to commit themselves wholeheartedly to the Lord and to “Set your mind on things above” (Colossians 3:2-4). The motto of UCU is “A Centre of Excellence in the Heart of Africa” and we are very encouraged from what we see in the hearts of the leadership so far.