The final full day in Jinja

The whole team attended the Sunday worship service at NVI. It was a significant time.

The worship at NVI is always exuberant, but today it was especially so. We arrived as the choir were belting out invigorating worship songs, dancing in unison as they sang. The congregation of staff and students moved in time as they offered up their worship.

As Edison came on stage to speak he was again given a huge welcome by the students. Their respect and affection for him is very clear. His leadership stature came through as he encouraged the students and spelt out his expectations of them. We were impressed by the way he picked out members of his staff for affirmation. The UgandAid team also received a very warm thanks for all that has been achieved over 4 weeks by the two teams.

Both Steve and Christine were given chance to respond on behalf of the team.

Edison then invited Benon, the past Director of NVI and great friend of UgandAid to speak. He too was inspirational. He was well received by the students even though he left NVI at least 3 years before any of them came to the institution. His reputation lives on.

This was followed by the NVI Basuga community group in full tribal costume. They were highly polished and danced with enormous energy, presenting us with what seemed like courtship dances to a Gospel backing track. We were enthralled and the rest of the students didn’t hold back from showing their enthusiastic support. All through the performance staff and students traipsed to the front of the hall to deposit money in the collection basket on the stage.

A member of staff then delivered a sermon on the story of Esther, dramatically and vividly re-enacting the events in the text.

By the end we had been in the service for 3 hours – students for 4 hours – but they remained fully engaged.

We all had a strong sense of this being a time of regeneration for NVI, with strong leadership and new vision. We are all excited by what lies ahead.

Gazebos had been erected on the grass outside and during the service the Catering Department had been busy preparing food. We snatched a few moments with our sponsored students before joining the staff for lunch. This was a good time to catch up with people we’d come across over the last two weeks. This included the Nsenge village leaders, smart and over-heated in their suits. We were thrilled to meet Joseph’s wife. She was over from Kampala. Joseph plays such a key role looking after the UgandAid students and works tirelessly for them. He is a very special man and is appreciated enormously by the students and the team alike.

After the party we had the grand opening of the Hairdressing salon (see the postscript which has been added to the last Hairdressing Project blog). Josephine, the Head of Department, cut the red ribbon holding the doors together and we wandered round the room marvelling at the changes Tony and the decorating team had made. We then we moved on to the Motor Vehicle Mechanics section for the unveiling of Phil’s engine (again see the postscript on the Phil’s Engine blog).

Finally it was back to our hotel for the UgandAid party. This has become a bit of a tradition, a time to meet informally with all the key people with whom the team had worked with over the last 4 weeks. There was lots of good chat. We were able to discover more about people’s background – the tribal groups they come from and their family situations etc. It was a valuable time to get to know some people better.

Gospel Cross staff came with a large cake provided by Betty which was dedicated to the UgandAid team. There was a formal speech by Sam and then Jan ‘cut the cake’. It was another sign of the deep relationships between the team and the local Ugandans with whom we work.

This is David signing out from the 2018 UgandAid team 2 blog. I hope we’ve captured the flavour of what has been a very special trip for us all. We continue to be challenged, surprised and blessed by all that we have experienced here.

 The choir

The choir

 The choir

The choir

 The NVI congregation

The NVI congregation

 Benon speaking

Benon speaking

 Edison, the NVI Acting Director

Edison, the NVI Acting Director

 Steve responding

Steve responding

 Christine responding

Christine responding

 The party cake from Gospel Cross

The party cake from Gospel Cross

 The party

The party

 Cutting the cake

Cutting the cake