Monday, December 9, 2013

Victory Nursery School Graduation

My travel to Barrio Lira was relatively uneventful. Though at one point we paused for about an hour to unload the “tipper” of its cement baggage. Yes, about 30 people rode atop this tipper along with a few chickens, my box of Bibles, some lumber, and several kilo of salt. Never have I been so grateful to use my white skin as an excuse to ride in the cab. Thirty minutes in this sun and I would have been FRIED, let alone the 3 hour ride we had.

Agnes, this woman I love and admire so very much, came running when I arrived at my little mud hut. Such a joy to witness true sacrificial service to the Lord. The 12 hour journey along with a residual cough rendered me exhausted and so Agnes fed me well and sent me to bed. My normal sleeping habits are rather poor – four to five hours – but this night I slept in my cozy hut for 12 hours without waking.

Beginning at 11 am, the graduation ceremony was fully packed by 1:00. As is the custom in Uganda, various speeches and performances rendered small cash tokens donated for school development. I took the opportunity to remind people that God’s economy is like a river (never ending abundance) rather than a cake (finished when the last piece is gone). I reminded them that faith means believing that we can give it all away and that God will still take care of our needs…sometimes even more plentifully than we had before we gave it all away. And the people gave…

As the guest of honor, a position that felt very awkward in this community where I’ve many friends, my speech making was scheduled for last. I took the opportunity to tell the story of the shoes – this time the story was entitled Little Black Shoes. The school shoes illustrated the difference between the life of a child with a Christian education and the life of a child without a Christian education. The simple illustration helped people see the value and need for specifically Christian education particularly given that so many parents are ill equipped to teach their children from home.

We discussed the various people who have an influence on children and their Christian education (parents, community leaders, church leaders, those gifted by the Spirit, and mature Christians).
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7).

We discussed the content of a Christian education (Law of God, general wisdom, fear of the Lord, and knowledge of Jesus).
“My purpose for writing is that…they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).

We discussed the purpose of a Christian education (impart information, inspire trust and obedience, inspire wisdom, holy living, and preparation for adulthood).
“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless…” (Proverbs 2:6).

I believe that people resonated with these admonitions in that they can see these results in the children who attend Victory Nursery and Primary School. I thank God for Pastor Patrick’s faithfulness to teach the children the traditional academics alongside biblical principles for holy living. His small school is making a difference in this community and I covet your prayers that he would continue to be encouraged to follow the vision God gave him about helping these children.