2010 Candidate Celebration
As a man, sometimes you don’t do what you want to do. You do what has to be done.
When you tell the Lord, “Whatever. Wherever. Whenever” you had better be ready to do things you never dreamed in places you’ve never heard of and maybe even tomorrow!
The “Whatever” that I never dreamed about as a part of my job is leading Christ School Bundibugyo.
While I still am able to spend time at the health center doing ultrasounds, diagnosing difficult cases, seeing patients in my katubi, and referring/sending patients for more specialized care, much of my time is spent serving as the Chairman of the Board, which means I am the Caretaker of the Budget, the Guider of Strategic Planning, and the Guardian of the School Mission-
“To build God’s kingdom by developing servant leadership through a Christ-centered education stressing Christian fellowship, community service and academic excellence”.
I have to say, that even though I had not expected to take on this job (and that we are praying for someone with better expertise than I to come), I count it a blessing to be able to serve Bundibugyo, our 25 staff members and 336 students in this way.
Why? Because this school truly is a mustard seed planted. And as these children grow, they will help make Bundibugyo a place of refuge and peace for the people of the Semiliki Valley. Christ School Bundibugyo was started ten years ago with the vision of raising leaders with a heart for Jesus, a love for people and skills to help. This vision seemed somewhat farfetched 10 years ago, when the people of Bundibugyo were seen as the outcast of Uganda and the students here consistently performed the lowest nationally on exams and the district ranked utterly last in education. Today, Bundibugyo is no longer last in education and Christ School Bundibugyo has ranked in the top third of private schools across the country for the past several years.
The joy for us is the Staff. There are 25 staff here, most of whom are from other places in Uganda. Because of the difficult roads around the mountains, it takes some of them two to three days to reach home. It takes us two to three days to reach back to the US. These teachers feel as isolated as we do, struggling to understand a different culture and language. They also see their position as a calling, just like us. They are truly missionaries with us to this area forgotten by their own people but loved by God. We meet with them every Tuesday night to pray and study scripture together. Sometimes it is noticeable how simple doctrines are just not known. Other times, we are blown away by the profoundness of their understanding of Jesus.
I was especially thankful for them last Saturday night when two of the teachers challenged the candidates (this years graduates). The Deputies of Academics and Administration (our Vice-Principles) told them that they cannot do anything without God. They read Jehosephat’s prayer in 2nd Chronicles and out of Romans. Without Him, we are going to fail. With Him, there is no battle we cannot face. He is our hope, especially when circumstances around us disappoint us. He will make all things good, even failure, for those who love Him. They should not worry about the exams, but be confident in the One they trust and rejoice in the results, no matter what they are.
In Uganda, the National Exams are everything. There is no interview or essay for university admission. The Government takes the top 10% and gives them scholarships to go to university. The rest of the positions in universities are filled with those with the next highest scores. With a low score, you have no hope of continuing your education. Most people see education as their only way out of the poverty in Bundibugyo.
The students are also a great joy. We worship with them regularly at Wednesday afternoon Chapel and often on Sunday morning fellowship. They sing at the top of their lungs praise songs that lift our spirits after a long week’s work. They share prayer request and praises that challenge my understanding of the depth of God’s love and provision. At times, they share profound truths that excite me about the future of Bundibugyo.
There are several graduates who have returned from university to serve in Bundibugyo, and some have even returned to teach at CSB. These young adults seem to understand integrity, want to challenge corruption in the government and are seeking ways to love people here. There are also several students currently in college, studying to by community developers, medical doctors, nurses, accountants and information technologists. There is great hope in these students for this district.
So, right now, though my stethoscope is around my neck, I am up to my elbows in CSB spread sheets, budgets, policies, and meetings with the head teacher and staff.
Please pray for me in this, that I would have energy and wisdom to tackle this job….a job that we did not expect but believe that God has called us to for this season.
Pray for the staff- for courage to press forward.
Pray for the students- that they would excel in the Board Exams this November and would see Jesus as their joy and strength.
AND Pray for someone with academic administrative skills to serve and love this school…and if you know of anyone, let us know!