Sunday, December 16, 2012

Life in Africa Launch Party

Lots of young people preparing to learn their new skill.
A bright orange tarp spanned the distance between Charlie’s house and the structure next door. The tarp provided much needed shade for those who gather each day to learn their new trade skill. Below the orange cover another white tarp spread over the steep sloping hill. Today, that tarp would be covered with children and chickens sliding down the slippery surface.

The leaders of the Life in Africa group gathered to prepare and serve a launch meal. We’d intended the meal as a Christmas celebration, but the group felt that such plans would interfere with their family travel plans for the holiday. Matoke, rice, irish potatoes, and beef covered every inch of every plate…piled high as is the Ugandan tradition. Preparing such a meal is an all day affair, and like an American Thanksgiving, gone in minutes.

Tailoring teacher, Carol, and her baby.
I delivered a message about the surprise of the Living Hope in 1 Peter 1:3-4. We talked about how Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth but that even before he was born his purpose was to conquer death. Using that example of single-minded purpose, I encouraged the men and women here to be dedicated to their learning throughout the program because of the potential their efforts have to change their communities. Various religions were represented here and all were attentive to the message of hope.

The program was officially launched and, though they’d been together for two weeks already, the number continues to grow. I’ll plan to return bi-weekly to deliver a biblical message along with a biblically-based business teaching to go along with their skills training. I look forward to getting to know them all more personally so that we can pray together and develop a rapport that reaches a bit more deeply than my service as a figure head.