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The Good Neighbor Program (TGN) of 9 May, 2014:
The second term program for 2014 was held on 9th of May and as usual, children started arriving at my place between 9-10am. Since other secondary schools had a holiday program, some of the TGN children arrived late, as they had to attend lessons before coming to Lulwanda.
Jerad, the usual MC, welcomed TGN children and wished them good interactions with their LCH friends. They gathered in the assembly hall, sang and prayed together, and then they immediately went for their breakfast. After washing the cups, they came back in the hall for the Word, where all children were encouraged to be thankful in all situations (1 Thes. 5:16-18) because it is God’s will in Jesus Christ our Savior. They were encouraged to use the available time and academic resources/provisions to work hard for their better future. They were told that many children are suffering in the world without any help, and since they received this help (LCH accommodating orphans and TGN children receiving help), they are to be thankful and prayerfully work hard for their bright future.
After the Word, they were sub-divided into three age/gender groups. Natalie and Mike, who stayed in the main hall, led the first group. The second group led by Bobby occupied the clinic veranda and the third group led by John occupied one of the classes at school.
The first group that was led by Natalie (the youngest children) began by singing a song. They joyfully sang, danced, and jumped together. This was followed with the teaching on Jesus calming the storm and later had different games they played.
The second group of older girls was taught about being Christ’s imitators. Bobby told them that they couldn’t imitate someone they have not known, only one they have known. Therefore to imitate Christ, they must know him. She then asked, “How do you know someone?” In response they said, “by being friendly to that person, being close too him/her and interacting or speaking the truth with the person…” She told them that they can’t physically talk to Jesus because He is invisible, and then the question was asked, “How do you talk to Jesus and how does He talk to you?” She responded that the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. She gave the example that surgery is painful but after healing one feels better. So the bible is a tool that God uses to put right the things of the Spirit. Like a carpenter, she said the Bible removes all the bad things in you, leaving only beautiful/useful ones. When God tells you something through His Word, you must obey. She said that prayer is our conversation with God. Another question was asked, “How many of you have friends continually without you talking back?” If there is that person, he gets tired to talk and you also get tired to listen. She said in the most cases, we ask God but we never listen to what He says. Therefore He speaks and we must listen and talk to Him.
The third group of older boys, led by John and Jerad had almost the same message. He asked the boys, “Do you know God?” and told them not to answer but to think about it. He said someone who knows God is known by his fruits. He went further and said, Solomon was a mighty king and very rich, but in the book of Ecclesiastes, and Solomon said everything in the world is vanity without knowing God. He said, Jesus, the faithful judge died for the animals and later He was set free from the power of death. He continued to say, “If the judge died in your place by forgiving you, then you as a Christian must forgive, be loving and thankful. He asked them, “Do you know someone who saved you?” He told the boys that they could go with the gift seen and leave the real gift of Jesus Christ. He urged them to confess after believing in their hearts and get saved. He ended with a word of prayer and all children went in the hall for their lunch.
Lunch was prayed for and children lined up at the kitchen to be served and each one sat down to eat. They washed the plates and cleaned the assembly hall after lunch. They were called outside of a game of tug of war. They competed secondary students against primary students, community vs. LCH, and secondary students vs. staff members. The primary pupils won the secondary students, The TGN won the LCH, and the staff won the secondary students. It was an interesting game and everyone who participated, including our missionaries enjoyed.
After the game, all children went in the hall for their sodas that were taken together with the staff that were present. During this time, speeches from different people were conducted:
- A representative of TGN expressed her joy for the continuous privilege of supporting them on termly basis. She said that it’s not easy to support anyone without getting anything in return.
- A representative of LCH thanked God for their friends for having come at such a time to meet after a long time and hoped to meet them next term.
- Mama Joy thanked everyone who had attended the function and wished them success in everything
- Natalie thanked TGN for having come and said that to have a friend you must be a friend. She wished everyone well.
- John, our new missionary, welcomed TGN children and told them that though they were going to get gifts, but the best gift is Jesus Christ as their personal savior.
- Simon thanked the organizers for the program. He told the children that if they are late at school, they will be last in class and will be lost in life. E encouraged them to use the gifts properly for their better future. He said that he was privileged to have more than 200 children together. He lastly introduced a student, Sam, who was on internship at LCH, but not a spy and wished everyone merciful journey back to their respective places.
Gifts were given as usual, LCH giving the friend of TGN, and the latter left at leisure to their respective homes.
Blessings to you in this mercy ministry to our TGN Ugandan children.
Yours loving Christ servant,