Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Hello! I hope all is well in the USA. I am loving Uganda. Here's a tidbit of highlights of what's going on.

Classes are going so very well. In Religious Education we have covered a basic view of God and how humans were created. We discusses the concept of human beings as image bearers and examined some of the implications of that fact. English also has been going very well as I have seen some great progress in two weeks. Math (my least favorite subject at home) has actually been my favorite subject to teach. I have found that in this context helping kids think and analyze instead of simply memorize comes most in Math and RE. Jesse, who has been teaching math for another class, went up to the North with a team so I have been covering his class. I have been teaching every period of the day! It's been crazy!!! but sooo great.

On to more interesting stuff, Friday night I taught the P7 class how to play manhunt. About 25 of us played throughout the orphanage. I got many "wounds" as they call it, but we had a great time. At the end, we had a little party with cookies and soda and they loved it. The next day, Saturday morning, I went for my morning run. However, this time, I took ten sixth graders who led me to Lake Victoria. It was a long run but it was a ton of fun. On the way back we went through the jungle. It was a bit freaky because as we approached swamps they would tell me to be careful of the crocodiles. Also, we all carried sticks to guard against snakes. At one point, we got out of the jungle, we had to walk through a sugar cane company. Sugar cane, by the way is the best. I will start a business selling sugar canes when I return. It actually tastes like healthy candy. Healthy, pure sugar... oh boy.

As we were going through the jungle and throughout my time at SMK, I have realized the independence and self-motivation the children must develop in order to live at an orphanage. They take their studies so seriously as they constantly long to learn. Also, they clean their clothes and go to sleep all on their own. They never have a parent to manage anything about their lives as they develop some of the skills American children take years to acquire. It has really been amazing.

Recently, I began a small group with ten boys. We are pretty much expanding on the topics we discuss in Religious Education. We've met a few times and each time they are so engaged and longing to learn more about this "something out of nothing" God.

One of the other highlights of my time here was Thursday night. There were about thirty kids hanging out in one of the classrooms and I walked over to say hello and goodnight and they all begged me to teach them something. So I asked what it was they wanted me to teach them and they all said about the Bible. And there for an hour or so with chalk and a Bible, we discussed the gospel as many kids realized for the first time that God saves those who believe not those who do good things. The concept of God punishing himself hit them hard, I think, as they are often punished for their misbehaviors and bad grades. Everytime I teach the gospel I again see the beauty of the our God and his grace in a fresh way.

It is so difficult to sum everything up for you, but I am having such an amazing time. I am learning so much and seeing so many new things which continue to amaze you. Thank you all for your emails and prayers! I hope you are well.


A.R.Calo said...

So glad to read your updates and amazed with God's goodness and grace. I pray for you continually.
A. R. Calo

Matthias said...

Just do me and mommy a big favor….do not get nearly as close to the crocodiles, hippos, snakes etc as you did to the alligators in Kiawah Island a few years back….I am not kidding…..

PJ Davis said...

Dear Ben,

I miss your visits and updates at school, but am praising God for the opportunity He has given you in Uganda. I am praying that these precious children will know that God is their father and that He will never leave them nor forsake them. "Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus"

P.J. Davis