Yesterday marked the first day of classes for ABIDE Kabale that actually took place at the Kabale house (as you may have read, we were delayed, though I am certain God had a plan). Everything seems to be pointing to the fact that this is going to be a great year.
We started a new schedule of getting up before 7am so we can meet for prayer and some sharing from a student as well (some show up at 6:30am – I am not one of those). Then there was time to take breakfast, wash up, clean up, and prepare for the day. I took my time (forgetting there was a leadership meeting) to wash up since I hadn’t showered since Friday afternoon (almost 4 days).
I was not able to attend any of the classes because I had things to do like reading through students’ entrance exams. However, I was able to hear some of the classes as I was in the sitting room and the walls do not reach the ceiling.
I had time to work on coursework for school as well as do a bit of reading and then noticed all of the students seemed busy, so I went to go get my guitar to practice the final Upward Call (Devin Pogue and my worship project) song I need to record here and found there were a couple of students in the classroom (where I had left the guitar). I apologized for intruding and they welcomed me to sit with them and talk for a bit. I realized that it was the accountability partner time and asked if they had already gotten through everything and they said they had.
The conversation I had with these two guys was great. We talked about the American Church, the African Church, the Ugandan Church, the Global Church, the United States and Obama, Uganda and Museveni, how the Church can progress in any of these places, what the world may look like in 10 years (kinda scary), and homosexuality (I’ll come back to this).
Many of our talks had to do with the necessity of the Church coming together (unity) and not being divided by place or ethnicity, as our allegiance to Christ supersedes all. However I also talked about how the African Churches need to divorce themselves from the government (based off of looking at their history as well as the current state of Christianity in the United States).
They asked about what they could do personally. I asked them about which district is most hated by their home districts, and after they told me, I said…go love those people. Love is the only way that anyone will ever change and unity is the only way the Church will ever progress.
All of those topics besides the last were ones that I was not at all hesitant to talk about; however, if you know anything of the history of Africa and homosexuality (specifically their blame of homosexuals for the spread AIDS), you know that they view being a homosexual as the worst thing a person can do. This is almost understandable with their view of homosexuality having brought AIDS upon them and looking at how AIDS has ravaged much of the African population, but this also isn’t thinking of those (at least) in Zambia who believe that the only way to cure AIDS is to sleep with a virgin…pretty sure that contributes to the spreading as well.
I explained the differences between their views regarding this topic and the majority view held in America as well as the difference in how far homosexuality has developed and been accepted in the country. But what it came down to was not trying to convince them for or against homosexuality, as I still don’t even completely know what I believe in regards to that, but instead convincing them that homosexuals are in fact people who are sinners like the rest of us and need love.
When we finished the conversation, one of the guys told me that God had opened his mind through our conversation and he understood that they need love just as much as the rest of us and I couldn’t believe it. I have had a couple of conversations with Ugandans about homosexuality and they never really budged in their opinion, which I understand, I don’t expect everyone to think I’m right…as I am definitely not always right. But I just explained that it’s not important to take everyone’s opinion as your own, but to actually hear people out and then test their opinions/beliefs against Scripture instead of assuming you don’t need to hear what they have to say.
This conversation meant a lot to me and it was really encouraging to have.
However, right after that, I found out that one of my brothers serving on the leadership had been given some bad news. His wife had a miscarriage. My mom had several of these before I was born…in fact, I was their “last chance.” So I have an idea of how much pain comes of something like that. We talked for a bit and then I prayed for him. Please keep him and his wife in your prayers…she’s not only struggling emotionally but she is having some other health complications as well from what I last heard this morning before he left.
God is good and we had a great time of fellowship last night and our leadership team and students are growing into a family…it’s pretty great. Please pray God will continue to grow us together for his cause.
On another note is much colder here than I ever would have expected, it has rained a lot for what I thought was the dry season, and the power is even more erratic than I remember from my previous times here…but that’s hardly something to complain about…I’ve yet to really be stuck in a bad place from any of those.
Please pray for health and motivation for all of our staff and students!
PS – some of this may have been a bit disjointed as I was working on answering questions a reporter from the Chicago Tribune sent me, talking to a friend online, updating a friend’s iPad, and also trying to finish this up…so the end might have been a bit abrupt or poorly pieced together. Sorry!