Wow. What a busy and wonderful and stressful and celebratory two months we have had at Lulwanda. The Lord has done great things and we continue to see His goodness day by day.
April ushered in the end of Term 1. Children and teachers were busy at school finalizing lessons and taking end of term exams. There was a brief break for our athletes to practice and compete in the annual track and field competition. Lulwanda Primary School usually shines in the short speed races. This year did not disappoint. LPS had five students qualify for the next level of competition, Zacharia, Sandra, Mary Namubi, Timothy, and Possiano (from the community). Unfortunately, the district did not have the proper funds to send a team to then next level, so our athletes ended at the second level. But we are proud of them.
The term ended on 24th April, starting our holidays and receiving our secondary school children back home from boarding school.
Many of the secondary children at St. Paul’s College have joined a club called EDUCATE CLUB that teaches them about entrepreneurship. Mercy was voted as president, with other Lulwanda children, Ivan Kuloba and Josephat, holding leadership positions. There is also an aspect to EDUCATE dealing with experiments and inventions. Our own Josephat was the only lower classman in the whole school that was recruited to join an upper classman team to participate in a science fair convention in Kampala. His team got 8th place in the country. Here is a brief excerpt from a letter Josephat wrote:
“My school has a club called EDUCATE, this deals with innovative stuff! Then you must be asking, ‘what did he innovate?’ Clever, I innovated how to make cement, a generator, and thermopile. Not only that but also a telescope with the help of a book at Lulwanda…I am lucky I went to Kampala (Uganda’s capital) for competition and lucky enough my inventions were among the best, that’s to say cement, generator, and thermopile but the school only chose one which was cement!!”
Pray for the Lord to continue defining passions and talents within our children. Pray that each staff member would be intentional to see giftings and skillsets in these children and to help bring them out. Pray for more budding inventors and entrepreneurs to grow with the fear of the Lord, that they might change this nation for the better.
After four years since our last child intake at Lulwanda, April started with the much anticipated kick-start of a week and a half long “social inquiry” task, where a team of 5 moved in around Mbale district “investigating” cases of orphans who had been brought to our attention. In then end, the team visited 22 homes and met 28 children. It is hard to put into words all that we saw and did. Some stories were heartbreaking, making you want to take the child in the van and back to Lulwanda that day. Other stories seemed to have some shady pieces or loopholes and required us to be serious detectives to get the real story clearly. After these village visits the team met a few times to review, discuss, and deliberate. We saw the Lord working in our midst in big and small ways. April ended with the Lulwanda family in expectant waiting for the details to be worked out. (See May’s PC report for the continuation of this story).
The first group of children moved in to the Tendo facility at the end of April. A great deal of preparations, maintenance, and shopping were done in April to make Tendo into the wonderful home that it is. As the secondary children came home for the holiday, they were eager to get off of the LCH campus and help do some deep cleaning of their new home.
Ten of our oldest children moved into Tendo at the end of April and enjoyed three weeks at our new transition home.
With Easter being one of the most important holidays, this year we wanted to bring the secondary children home from boarding school and do a special event.
During Easter week, every child at Lulwanda Primary School was able to hear the Easter story and add scripture and little trinkets to their “Easter story bag” (similar to resurrection eggs). The teacher would review the previous day’s story and then tell about the next story of Jesus’ path to the cross. At the end of the week, the children (Lulwanda as well as community) were able to take home their Easter story bags to share the Good News with their family. They loved it and eagerly waited for the next day’s lesson.
On Thursday, we held a big fellowship before the Easter weekend. A few of the classes acted out some of the stories they were taught that week. As I mentioned, almost all of the secondary children were brought home for the big event on Saturday. A few missionary friends came to lead worship and be the guest speaker, presenting the Easter story and the necessity of the Resurrection for our faith. Afterwards, Pastor David shared about the purpose and meaning of the Lord’s Supper and invited those children (and adults) who are believers to receive the sacrament. The evening ended with children in the Main hall watching the Jesus Film. You could hear their whispers of excitement as scenes of the Easter story (that they had studied in school) came up on the screen. On Easter Sunday, the children attended church and Pastor David shared a message on the Good News of Salvation and that we serve a Living God. During his alter call, many of our younger children went forward with the acknowledgement that they want Jesus to be their Savior.
As with any family, we know that not all of our children have trusted Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. But we rejoiced as a family as we saw the Spirit of God moving in the hearts of many of these children during the Easter events. Around 12 children trusted Christ and four had questions about the assurance of their salvation that we were able to talk with them about. The sweetest moment for me was when I came into my office Monday morning to a large group of children. One of the girls said, “Teacha, I am now a believer! I have trusted Christ!” Then other little voices proceeded to say, “Me too, Teacha. Jesus is now my Savior.” Hallelujah! God is good.
Please pray for all 120 children to know Christ as their Savior and Lord of their life. Pray that these new believers would grow in their faith and understanding what it means to walk with the Lord. Our desire is not to have “moral pagans” (a term I took from an article I read a few months back) but true Christ followers.