by Paul, DTS Leader
Our very full week of ministry in Uganda wrapped up yesterday. Here’s what we’ve done since we arrived in Uganda:
Monday, Jan. 11
We settled in at the YWAM campus in Jinja, Uganda where we would live for the week. The campus is like a campground with buildings for classrooms and larger meetings, with dorms and small family homes. There are palm trees and the thick green grass carpets the ground. It was our first day in a new country, so we received some orientation to Ugandan culture and the ministries we would work with here. We also set the tone for the week with a couple hours of worship, prayer, and encouragement for each member of our team.
Tuesday, Jan. 12
One of the ministries we’ll work with this week is called “Orphans kNOw More.” OKM has taken in 190 orphans from all over Uganda and placed them in families. (These children have been orphaned by AIDS, poverty, and war.) Each family of OKM has anywhere between ten and twenty orphans living with them, for whom they become the children’s new family. The orphans have a mother and father and the chance to be educated and learn a trade that will support them as they grow up.
Our team went to a village twenty miles from Jinja to spend time with some of the families and orphans from OKM. About sixty kids from OKM and at least another hundred from the village gathered to greet us–a team of just twelve! We split the 160+ kids into two groups (older and younger) and spent the day performing puppets, skits, and storybooks, as well as teaching, playing games and feeding the children.
Wednesday, Jan. 13
We gathered with the rest of the children from OKM at the YWAM campus in Jinja (about 100 kids). Again, we split them into groups and did similar activities as the day before in the village. At the end of the day, we were exhausted, but also excited. We developed good friendships with the older kids and loved playing with the younger ones.
Thursday, Jan. 14
Thursday morning, we walked to a village near the YWAM campus and invited all the children to an “open air” performance. About 100 kids showed up. We performed dramas, skits, and puppets and Jaedn preached. About forty kids indicated their desire to know Jesus.
After a short break for lunch, we split our team into two groups to go to the men’s and women’s prisons. We had very powerful ministry times in both prisons. (There are some great stories from this time that we’ll share with you soon!) We performed dramas, shared testimonies and songs, and prayed with prisoners for healing. Katie and Sebastian also preached.
In the evening, we went to the home of YWAM Uganda’s national director. Sam and his family provide a home for twenty-five orphans from OKM. We enjoyed dinner with them and a celebration with African dancing!
Friday, Jan. 15
After three packed days, we slowed things down to catch our breath. We worshiped together and prayed for each other. It was refreshing and just what we needed before another afternoon of evangelism.
We went to another nearby village, this time inviting adults to an “open air” meeting. (An “open air” meeting is an informal gathering with dramas, songs and preaching.) Talasi preached a message and about five people committed their lives to serve God.
Saturday, Jan. 16
We went to a children’s centre and performed puppets, skits and songs for about 150 children. The kids were a blast to play with! We feel privileged to show them what God’s love looks like.
Sunday, Jan. 17
Today was our day off! We slept in and then enjoyed a brunch of pancakes and omelets. Afterward, some of us went into town to buy souvenirs while others lounged under the tall African trees to enjoy the warm weather!(jealous????)
Still to Come…
Monday, January 18, we’ll do prison ministry for inmates on death row. In the afternoon, we’ll go to another village and do another open air for adults.
On Tuesday, we head to Pader (see map below) where we will work with refugees.
Please pray for this time as living conditions will be harsh and the spiritual atmosphere will be quite intense. As we’ve prayed, we sense that God deeply longs to meet with the refugees and show them how much He cares for them. We also believe that we are to be praying for people there to receive healing.