My last post was a little piece from our final mission as the ABIDE class of 2013. Let me rephrase, there was one mission remaining that we like to call “graduation.”
We had a final week of classes followed by a graduation week. This last week included a couple of days for review of material and preparation for the actual graduation ceremony. This also included a final exam, which was not easy by any means.
We also went camping one of the nights and simply reflected on all that God has been doing in us and in this program this year. We watched a slideshow of pictures from the journey that brought us to the point of graduation and couldn’t help but enjoy ourselves.
One of the other things that we did before the actual graduation ceremony was record a 10-song CD. It’s not incredibly professional or the best recording I’ve ever heard, but it’s a nice reminder of our many times of worship.
Finally, on the 14th, our six months together climaxed at a 8 hour graduation ceremony (from around 10am to 6pm). This ceremony was attended by local missionaries, students’ families from all over the country, local schools, and students from past years. It was a great time of excitement in which students dressed their smartest (fanciest) and shared what God had done in their lives.
Even though the ceremony was so long, before I knew it, it was over. We took many fun pictures together with students, but even as we were still doing that, some students were starting to leave.
There were cards passed around to write to leaders and let them know how appreciated they were. Sadly, mine was accidentally held onto by one of the students and it never got passed around. I struggled with this. I knew I had made a difference and I knew that I had heard it over and over from the students…but I liked the idea of having something to remember that by.
While talking with Lesley on the phone that night, I was reminded even in my talking about the day, how much I already knew everything the students could possibly write to me. That speaks much more than a card.
Even with becoming okay with this, another card was printed off and handed around among the remaining students. One student who left before the new card was sent around even wrote me his own note. I happened to find the misplaced card which hadn’t been signed yet and a few leaders took advantage of the extra card space and wrote some encouragement that made me cry.
Within all of this, I am just reminded of how faithful God is. He wanted me to know that I didn’t need a card to remember all that had happened and that the students did appreciate me. He made me realize what reality was before he would allow the superficial to supplement it, so that reality would be my focus.
I now am finishing up a week of time off before staff evaluations. In 12 days, Lesley and I will head to Kampala to spend a little time resting there and seeing friends before our flight at 11:59pm on August 1st. It’s crazy to think that in less than two weeks, we will be home.
Praise God for such a wonderful experience in which he worked in our lives so much. Please pray for an enjoyable rest of the time here and a safe trip home! I know that saying goodbye not only to the amazing people I’ve met here but also to Uganda will be hard, but I am very excited about getting home.
See you soon!
God is good.
(Pictures to come soon)