I have had the pleasure to join the volunteers at the school program this week. For only a limited time, volunteers go into the local schools and teach science and Bible. This week we ministered in two villages, Okwapon in the morning and Tokora in the afternoon. The first day I was simply the picture holder. We were studying space and the children had never seen pictures of Venus or Jupiter or even the moon. We would hold up paper sized pictures and carry them around the room to satisfy the various curiosities of the children. The teachers use translators because even though the older children should know English, it is a different kind of English and their comprehension would not stretch to foreign subjects such as the orbit of the moon. I was glad to watch and observe the various teaching techniques of using a translator and a completely unknown subject.
The second day, I was asked to teach the Bible lesson. The teacher had fallen ill with the flu and was presently unable to stand in front of a classroom of beady eyed children. With fear and trembling, I accepted. It was the story of Abraham, connecting with the space topic because God promised Abraham as many children as there are stars in the sky, of course. But what were we actually saying – that God fulfills his promises one of which was to send a savior (a what? a savior). After I observed one of the missionary young adults teaching the story in another class, I tried my hand. I was also asked to teach the Bible story on Thursday and Friday – the scheduled Bible teacher decided they would take advantage of the presence of another volunteer and go on a trip to town. These were the life and death of Christ and his resurrection. When I was told I was going to teach the gospel in its most obvious form, I was suddenly struck with fear. What if I were to teach something wrong and lead the little ones away or to an incorrect gospel? I know the truths, but what are those that these children need to hear most clearly now? I was forced – and helped along my way by the fellow teachers – to simmer down the stories to the very meat. Faith is trusting in someone else to save you from your sins. Jesus is the son of God ( the what? the son of God!) and he lived a sinless life (a what? a sinless life!). The punishment for sin is death. The sinless Christ died for our sins. You must believe in Jesus to save you. It was a fearful pleasure to wade through those stories again picking through all the beautiful details and picking out the essential meat of the gospel. I do not know if anyone came to Christ, but I know that I preached His gospel.
As a side note, you’ve noticed that I’ve included many questions within the above story (many what? stories!). This is a part of the Ugandan English here and teaching style. They use call and response often. The cue for the children is, “what?”. I actually had a lot of fun with this one. Jesus is a what? Son of God! And the whole class would say it together. Jesus lived a what? A sinless life! They also use it like etc. for example, “the women were talking about the weather, their gardens, the what, the what, the what.” You will continue to hear from us about our travels, work, the what and the what.