Wednesday – Friday June 6 - 8
In the morning we had a meeting planned with the Education Department, but they had to cancel due to an Education Ministry meeting that they were summoned to. In the afternoon we started a new Smart Choices program at St Lawrence Secondary school. We did two more sessions on Thursday and then finished the program today. This school was a real challenge the Students were undisciplined and unruly and aggravated by a class size of about 250 with the kids packed in with five on a bench designed for two. It is wonderful to here about how God always redeems those kinds of situations. As we were bemoaning the situation as we were packing the equipment into the car. The coordinating teacher came up to us to hand us the school questionnaire form that she had just completed. The comments on the form were very complementary about the program and she said that several of the girls from the class had come to speak to her, realizing that they had made bad choices and asking her for advice on how to get out their bad situation.
On Thursday morning we started a new program at a primary school, Idudi Parents Primary. I think that some of these kids were really to young to hear some of the content in the course. One of the requests we have had from Uganda as we revise and update the content of the Smart Choices, is that come up with a presentation that is suitable for the younger kids. The conditions at this school where really dire. Dirt floors, no window or door frames and in some instances the classroom floor level is about 2ft of the round and no steps. You will see from the pictures. The crazy think about poverty that always gives me something to smile about, is the kids in the worst possible situations are the most cheerful and full of life. It is as if they don’t have a care in the world. We will go back and finish up lessons 3-6 at this school next Monday and Tuesday.Read more
Monday June 4
On Monday we had a 9:00am start for a three-hour Smart Choices session at the Buckley High School, which is not a High School at all. The kids were aged 10-13. There was a contingent of about 8 hearing impaired kids that were ably assisted by one of the teachers who signed for them. I haven’t seen an official count of how many students were there, but I guess it was about 250. During our presentation we had a torrential downpour accompanied by fierce lightning and thunder which took out the electricity. I love African thunder storms. This school had mostly girls but there were also a handful of boys.
In the afternoon we went to an all-girls school St Francis. This was a school founded by the Catholic church. There are about 240 students in the school and all of them attended the class. We had three hours to teach at each of these schools, so we finished about half of the program.
Tuesday June 5
We went back to St Francis in the morning and Buckley in the afternoon and completed both programs. Also had another torrential downpour late morning, this time without the thunder and lightning.Read more
Sunday Church Busoga Anglican Church
On Sunday morning I woke the familiar mournful cry of the hadada birds as they set out on their trip to their feeding grounds for the day. On Sunday we attend part of the Luganda language church service at the Anglican Church Busoga village, then stayed for the lighter attended English service which was more of a youth service. Busoga is the newest Archdiocese that just appointed a Bishop about eighteen months ago. After the services, I treated Moses and Doreen to lunch at the Mum Resort where I am staying. I then spent the afternoon getting caught up on some much-needed sleep. I have never seen such a concentration of Schools and Churches as are in the area of the Archdiocese of Busoga. A lot of the schools where started by the churches, Mostly Catholic and Anglican (also called the Church of Uganda.)Read more
The flight on Emirates Air took us northeast over Quebec, Greenland, over Norway, down the west side of the Caspian Sea, over Iran, across the Persian Gulf into Dubai. The temperature in Dubai at 6:00pm was a hot dry 98deg. I slept over one night in Dubai (UAE). I arrived in Entebbe on the shores of Lake Victoria on Saturday June 2 at about 2:00pm. Again, the temperature was about 98deg but this time with high humidity. Uganda has been having heavy rains and flooding for the last month or so and it hasn’t let up let. I arranged with a drive to meet me at the Entebbe airport and drive me to Iganga in the Eastern region on Uganda were our team had already been engaged for three days teaching the Smart Choices program. This was about a two and a half hour 155km journey.Read more
2017 has been a great year so far but there is still a lot to look forward to in the final weeks.
Be sure to not miss our year end Fundraising Events
- #GivingTuesday Event Double Your Donation on Tuesday November 28, 2017
- Christmas Benefit Concert on December 8, 2017
Smart Choices program statistics for 2017.
As of November 2017 we still have fourteen Smart Choices teams operating in four countries and the total students reached since 2004 has exceeded 151,000. The teams have averaged 24,000 students a year for the last five years and the results so far for 2017 are as follows:
We are half way through the year so it is time to check in and see how our teams are doing. Fortunately we have already taken our 2017 mission trip in January so we can take the summer of here in America. Our African teams are hard at work. As of the end of June our teams have trained 18,927. Two thirds or 12,348 are already Christians, one third 6,261 have made new commitments to follow Jesus, and 12,824 made commitments to abstain from sex until marriage.Read more
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