Today was Sunday. On Sundays it has become a tradition for the Ugandaid team to be invited to attend the weekly worship service at NVI with the students.
This was not your ordinary service. Although it was lead by NVI’s pastor, Rev. Luke, the students played a large part which involved a dazzling array of music, dancing, singing and skits (drama sketches). We were blown away by the colour, vibrance, noise and total freedom of expression in the students’ worship.
A visiting bishop delivered a powerful message on the importance of holding on to what we know to be right and not to compromise our Christian beliefs because of pressure from others. He told us to ‘do what God has put in our hearts to do. God is looking for men and women who can stand up for the truth’.
It has become another tradition for the team to organize a games afternoon at a local beauty spot over looking the source of the Nile. Angie did a brilliant job of planning and organizing games for 150 students. They were split into 8 teams (of roughly 16 in each) and led by 2 of the team. We played duck, duck, goose, ladders and relay races of various types. One game involved dressing one from each team in a hat, scarf, gloves and flip flops, undressing and then redressing them – in the form of a relay race. Another took a little more explaining and involved collecting balloons (water-filled) and then stealing from other teams with the aim of ending up with one of each colour. The competition was rife and some teams even resorted to cheating. The games ended with balloon bursting and football. The 150 ice-creams arrived still frozen and were handed out with a cake each as well.
We all had an absolutely brilliant afternoon full of fun and laughter. It was wonderful to have an opportunity after the games were finished to spend time chatting and getting to know (or reconnecting with) the students. It is very moving to hear their stories and expressions of gratitude for the opportunity they have been given by Ugandaid and NVI. Many of the students have a strong Christian faith and tell us how thankful they are to God, assuring us that they will work very hard and achieve good results. It has proved to be the case that Ugandaid students consistently perform very well in their studies.