27 October 2008

GBI Choir / Preaching Tour…

Last month I wrote about a few exciting things at Gaba Bible Institute… one of which is my pet project the choir preaching tour… the purpose of the tour is to recruit new students and generate income “in Uganda” for the school… in 6 weeks this thing has gone far beyond what the students imagined… which wasn’t as difficult as it seems since their initial response was… “White man, your crazy! This will never work…”

The first week of the tour the students walked to a local village church in Kawuku… the church is a thatched frame of a building with no roof situated nicely in the middle of the swamp by Lake Victoria… it has no bathrooms because as soon as you dig 2 feet in the ground you hit water… the pastor asked them to be there at 8 AM but he showed up at 11… for the first hour from 8-9 AM the students sang and prayed with 2 church members who I later discovered were two 8–year old boys from the neighborhood who were trying to figure out what was happening so early at the church…

By 11 AM 40 people had assembled and the service began… after 2 hours of worship and preaching the church members committed to sending a student to GBI and gave their entire offering to the school… $2.32… our students were so encouraged and couldn’t believe the pastor forfeited the entire offering to the school…

The next week the pastor of another village church forgot to take an offering altogether but since that time…things have only gotten better…

Week 3 the students were in Kibuli… the church committed itself to sending 4 new students and gave an offering of $30…

Week 4 the students were in Luzira… the church committed itself to sending 4 new students and gave an offering of $14

Week 5 the students were at Kampala Community Church… 2 new students and an $18 offering…

This last weekend the students were at Gaba Community Church… everything they say about a prophets homecoming is true… GCC is a tough audience for GBI… they don’t intend to look down upon the school but for some reason there has never been a strong relationship or appreciation for the school… our students have a hard time finding ministry opportunities and most church members talk of going to “other” schools…

But this weekend all of that changed… our 20 member choir had the people breaking a sweat dancing before the early morning rainclouds passed away… 2 of our “senior” students (I’m talking age not grade) gave powerful testimonies about the benefits of their studies at GBI… then the kicker was when Maureen and Kents… two of our youngest students who both grew up in the Gaba Child Sponsorship program… gave sermons that sounded as if they had been speaking to crowds of thousands for years…

For the first time in 2 years the Gaba Community Church campus is a buzz about GBI and members young and old are talking about joining GBI…

Along with recruiting new students and generating income the tour has also produced a number of jobs for students who have been invited to come back to these churches after graduation as youth pastors, worship pastors and associate pastors…

For me the most exciting part is the lesson my students are learning… they can generate income in Uganda to support their ministries and Ugandans SHOULD support the work of training their own pastors… so whether its Obama or Palin… whether the US economy survives or crashes… these students know now that they do not have to be dependant on US funds…

1 comment:

Lena said...

Love it!