Today is our last day at Ebenezer Primary School. It is filled with a lot of mixed emotions. Some of us had a fitful sleep last night, so we were a little slow this morning. We went to the school and were blessed to worship with the school for their weekly chapel. I lead devotion for the entire school. This whole week we have been teaching bible stories on friendship in our individual classes. We have discussed that friends love each other, friends are welcoming, and friends teach each other. We took a look at Romans 12:16 and learned what Paul said to the church at Rome about accepting one another regardless of their differences. Our bottom line was, “Friends accept each other”. It’s easy to see how different we are from people around us. However, God accepts us as we are so we should accept others. When we accept others, we get to help them see how much God loves them too. Accepting others means being a friend to others even if they are different than you. We had the children learn Proverbs 17:17 with motions, and the students enjoyed running up to us throughout the day showing us they knew the verse. We gave an activity for the students to complete in their classrooms while Brandy lead a devotion for just the teachers. She talked about not worrying about tomorrow! We thought we were doing the teacher gifts after lunch, but they wanted us to do it then. We had left some things back at the University and the teachers insisted I had help bringing things back. They found a bota bota for me to ride to collect our things, and he would drive me back. I was probably one of the few people who had ZERO desire to ride a bota bota, but I got the chance! It was so much fun… but a little scary too!
Brandy mostly led the teacher training, with ideas given by Amy and me. They were taking down notes and were so eager to learn. They do a wonderful job with teaching the students in drill format. The students are very bright and know MANY things. The teachers wanted more ideas on how to teach reading (more phonetically reading) and increasing more written expression. They were open to many ideas and were appreciative for the support. After the training, we transitioned into our teacher appreciation. We presented certificates, enjoyed sodas and sweets, and gave all of the staff a little gift. The gifts all centered on “love.” These teachers are showing an abundant amount of love for their students. They teach in an environment that is very different setting lacking many supplies, compared to what we are used to having. They work so hard for very little pay and love each child that comes into their classroom. The students might come without a pencil or paper, and they support them through it all. I find some similarities to the teachers back home- just a different scale.
Saying goodbye was so difficult and many tears were shed. All we could say was, “See you later.” As a “treat” we were able to take bota botas back to the university because the students had given us so many things, it was hard to carry it all. Our lives have been changed by interacting with the children and teachers at Ebenezer Primary School, as well as the staff and students at Africa Renewal University. Their hospitality and servant attitude is made apparent all throughout the day. Their culture is very family and community oriented, which should be an example for us to follow. And lastly, their excitement and energy for the Lord is contagious!
We have a fun day planned for tomorrow! It’s time for us to experience the culture of the “city” life. We will travel back to Kampala to do some shopping and eat lunch out. Tomorrow night we should be able to fellowship with another group form our church who will just be beginning their time in Uganda. After dinner, we will be jumping on a plane to head back to Auburn, Alabama (for almost 24 hours of travel). We thank everyone for their prayers and encourage you to keep sending them our way!