Friday, February 14, 2014
The rains usually begin towards the end of February through to the middle of March in most places in Uganda. That gives us about 2-3 months of training from December onwards.
A lot of the prep time involves not only making sure one’s tools are in top shape, and seeds and fertilizer have been purchased, but community leaders, churches, and NGO’s (non government organizations) have been contacted to set up schedules and venues for the training. In order to see lasting change, we commit to train in a community for 5-10 seasons (Uganda has 2 seasons a year). During this time, faithful men and women can be identified who will continue to pass the word around and train others in their community.
In Lwengo district, close to the Timothy Centre near Masaka town, two such individuals are now sharing FGW principles with their neighbours and friends. It’s taken about three seasons, but their neighbours are noticing the difference in crop yields and are now beginning to adopt more productive farming methods.
In the past few weeks I’ve done several training workshops, with several more to come before the rains start. In future blogs I’ll give updates on these trainings and how people are being impacted.
I appreciate your prayers as Stephen Bwogi (my associate trainer) and I travel the country sharing how the kingdom of God impacts the agricultural domain in Uganda. Our desire is to see not only land become productive again but lives transformed by the power of the gospel.
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Today was a day of thanksgiving for all the good things God has done in using a very small place in a very large way. The small place is the village of Kibaale in the Rakai District of Uganda. Twenty years ago it was considered ‘the armpit of Uganda’, and was a place people avoided because it was undeveloped, arid, remote, and decimated by disease. Whenever you mentioned to the ‘city folks’ in the Kampala education offices that you lived in Rakai, many eyebrows were raised, and sometimes people would wonder what you had done wrong that you were sent to Rakai! It was most well known for ‘exporting’ HIV/AIDS and witchcraft. Now, however, it is becoming known as the place where Christian education is flourishing. Rakai is ‘exporting’ Christian education training and students full of hope and character. The director of Kibaale Community Centre, Ochulu Peter, has a passionate heart and well developed skills for training other educators in the principles, values and practices of Christian education. He learned and developed these skills in Kibaale Community Schools many years ago and has shared them with many teacher training colleges throughout Uganda (with the tutors’ training programmes organised by the Directorate for Ethics and Integrity).
When the Dean of Education form Uganda Christian University visited Kibaale Community Schools a couple of years ago to observe the way in which faith and learning integration was taking place, he felt these things needed to be shared at the university as well. So…we invited Peter to join me in facilitating a workshop for the faculty deans and heads of departments and today Peter had a chance to share his experiences. He explained the dramatic change in his approach to teaching as he the Lord transformed him from a compartmentalised person (a ‘teacher’ and a ‘Christian’) into an integrated person (a Christian teacher).
Teachers of character and integrity are the change agents for society. Peter is a great example of a faithful Christian teacher who has made a big difference… and his example encourages the instructors here at UCU to implement authentic Christian education at the higher levels of learning as well.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Medard (Dean of Education and Arts), Fred (Child Development and Ministries Dept. Head), Michael (Dean of Science and Technology), Rosette (administrative assistant), Michael (Dean of Science and Technology), myself, and Amos (Foundation Studies Dept. Head)
Each member shared a presentation on the status of faith and learning integration in their respective faculties/departments and this gave us a good overall picture of what to focus on in the year ahead. I also had the chance to share some insights as we are all learning together as a committee. It was helpful to spend some time on our action plan for 2014-2015 as well....time well spent!