Uganda Experience – Lots of Exciting Travel But Not Much Leisure

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In Kattwe, recognized even locally as a slum suburb of Kampala, 800 attended the Pastors and Leaders Seminar. For me all this was so very very new.

There were three or four one hour teaching sessions each day and the temperature was in the high 90's.

One feature which just emerged was that people would write questions on scraps of paper, and these questions were so relevant and practical, and the people wanted real answers to their real questions. The Seminars were repeated in three different geographical areas, and traveling daily to these country and jungle outposts certainly ensured you a superb view of the beautiful rolling verdant landscape.

Uganda is a beautiful country and because of the moral lead being given it is slowly overcoming the massive and serious AIDS tragedy.

One highlight of my two week safari was visiting the Church Orphanage located on a hilltop 17 miles west of Kampala, away from the fumes and the open sewers. Four hundred children were accommodated in this one orphanage. Their parents had died from AIDS. The norms which slept between 45 and 75 children in three-tiered bunks were beautifully clean. Some children had never slept in a bed prior to going to the orphanage.

When asking the Headmaster about bad behavior he was quite positive when he explained, 'We do not have any bad behavior. The children are taught to be. We are teaching the boys to become men. Males drop litter – men do not! '

Saints Gate Church in Kateau runs the Andrew Discipleship School and we were present for Graduation Service. The course is pretty tough and the young people have a magnificent desire to be admitted to the year's demanding syllabus.

Pastor John Michael of the 1,000-member church told us, "When someone comes to faith in Jesus Christ and they are not employed, we explain that no-one is obliged to give them a job. start polishing shoes, or repairing bicycles, or washing cars, and you will find yourself doing useful work and that will give you dignity and independence.

Similarly with the children in the orphanage, we work at giving them three things – Jesus – Education – and Skills, such as bricklaying or hairdressing, but something that will be helpful and practical. We teach the children from the very start to be responsible. You are responsible for your case, your toothbrush, your clothes, and the key for your case. "

He went on to say, "Every man has a dream and God can help you fulfill that dream."

When preaching at this semi-open-air service on the Sunday I asked if people wanted to come forward for prayer – to be filled with the Holy Spirit – to re-commit their lives to God – or to receive a fresh touch from Jesus. Around 350 arose and came forward.

The service rented for over three hours and not a minute was wasted. The Praise Group and the choir were so genuine and powerful – it just brought tears to my eyes. These people have no roast to rush home to, nor a sports program they must see on television. All they have is God.

I can explain everything to you in detail, but explanation is not the same as experience.

It is the same with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You can preach, teach, tell, testify – but there comes that moment when a man has to experience it personally. "

Sandy Shaw