Monday, August 27, 2012

Africa, the Stage is Yours!

Just over a week ago, I arrived back in Uganda from Johannesburg, South Africa, where I was attending the second Africa Roundtable on Christian Education hosted by the Association of Christian Schools International.  It was an amazing week of meeting with 150 other educators who are involved in Christian education in over 30 different countries all over the continent.

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Some of the East African delegation (from Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania)

The theme for this conference was “Africa, the Stage is Yours!”  There is definitely a strong move of God in raising up educators who have a passion for transforming African societies through Christian education.  For many years, different individuals, churches and organisations have worked often in isolation because of poor communication and lack of networking (many of us ‘out in the bush’ wondering if anyone else was doing anything similar to what we were trying to do in our small corner of the world).  The roundtable in 2007 brought many of us together for the first time and encouraged us that God was indeed at work in many different places, helping schools raise a generation with a heart for God and serving others.  This roundtable five years later was so much more encouraging, as we see how much progress has been made in just 5 years of cooperative effort, unified prayer, and sharing of ideas.

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The chairman of our Christian Schools Assoc. (Uganda), Vincent Zaake, and our director of Kibaale Community Centre, Peter Ochulu, sharing with the delegates about the work of Christian schools in Uganda

There were many very inspiring speakers, one of them being the Vice-chancellor of the Uganda Christian University.  The Dean of Education, Medard Rugyendo, who has visited our work in Kibaale and at Timothy Centre and is working to help us move ahead with accreditation of our teacher training program was also in attendance.

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At the conclusion of the conference, we all signed the strategic plan that we drafted together as a group, committing to work together towards forwarding Christian education in Africa, by God’s help, in the next 5 years. 

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It was especially encouraging to me to meet 4 others (from Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Tanzania and Rwanda) who are all doing teacher training and who were keen to share resource materials so that we can all improve our programs!  

It was a week well spent.  Thank you, Lord!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Leopard Number 5


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With all the busy activities of the last month, we failed to post a photo of one of the highlights on our trip to Lake Mburo to celebrate our anniversary.  We joke about the ‘rent-a-leopard’ service they provide, as we seem to see leopards there quite often and this time just before dusk on one of our drives we were fortunate enough to spot one actually sitting in the middle of the road right in front of us.  This is the fifth leopard we have spotted (no pun intended!) in Lake Mburo National Park.  They are really amazing creatures—fearless, stealthy, beautifully marked and very agile.  Moments after this one stared us down, it sprang like lightning into the bush and disappeared.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Enjoying the Fruit of Hard Work

One of our faithful farm and landscaping workers who has been working much of the time over the last two years with our strawberry production at the Timothy Centre is a young man named Medard.  He is in charge of caring for the very large strawberry patch (transplanting, weeding, watering, harvesting, preparing berries for sale, etc.), amongst other jobs.   He is not that fond of eating the fresh berries himself (an unusual fruit here in Uganda) but when he saw a jar of the great strawberry jam that we produce he seemed interested to try it.   Was he impressed!  He was so happy to enjoy the fruit of his labour!!eating jam 007


Arleen’s mom first started making the jam when she was visiting earlier this year, and now that she is back in Canada, Karl has taken up the task of trying to keep up with the demand for this delicious luxury here in Masaka.  Its helps bring in funds to continue with the Farming God’s Way program here that is helping to educate local farmers in more productive farming methods.


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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Home for the Holidays

No, it is not Christmas time yet…but the students at Timothy Girls’ High School are heading home today for a month of holidays after finishing Term 2.  They have been working hard this term, particularly the Senior 6 girls, who have been doing mock examinations in preparation for their government exams next term.

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So, on this misty morning we said good-bye to them as they left for their well-deserved break.  Some live very close by, in the Masaka area, and hopped on a boda-boda (motorcycle taxi) while others have to travel quite a distance to their homes in other parts of the country.  Our school van transported them into Masaka to catch taxis and buses.  Three of our students, however, are from Tanzania and will stay here in the dorm for the their holiday break, as travel home is quite expensive.

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Holidays for girls here does not mean sleeping in late every morning and hanging out at the mall with friends.  They will be helping their families with chores, gardening, caring for younger siblings….and studying to prepare for next term.   We wish them God’s blessing and some time of refreshment.