In a Groove: Trip #6

Today I will cover days two and three of teaching. We only teach five days, but what we do that’s most important is meeting with and equipping our Ugandan leaders on the front side. This part of the trip was severely impacted by our visa problems. After the chaos of our first couple of days, this feels really, really good. What we are moving toward is that our Acholi and Made friends will be carrying the load starting next fall toward the goal of a network of churches led by Africans. 

We are teaching skills related to understanding and communicating letters (also called epistles) from the New Testament. We are using the book of Ephesians but are only covering about half of the letter, because the emphasis is teaching skill that can then be employed to any epistle. Sunday, from the Acholi tribe, and Julius, and I have been working together since the first trip  here (this is trip #6)  and our relationship is developing nicely. They will each cover three lessons. We designed it so they would not teach more than one lesson a day.  Right after the lessons, I give feedback on what stood out both positive and negative, providing instant input and chances for growth. We have three groups that have two leaders each. It would be great if four of them are able to move forward in leading in the fall. So far this seems likely, and that is really encouraging. 

Sunday is a more natural teacher and Julius really excels at managing a classroom. I asked him if he was a teacher, and he said he was in the past. He gives a clear sense of where we are heading and how each step ties into the lesson as a whole. I can see the trainees respect them and there is a level of ease they have as leaders that I can’t share. That is why we are trying to create not only healthier pastors, but the type of leaders who can help other pastors. 

The trainees are highly engaged as they have had little to no formal training. The six of my fourteen guys in my group who have had some training clearly stick out. 

Wednesday, I had my fourth COVID test in eleven days. I’ve enclosed a picture of Peter who studied hard for his test. We hope for negative results (which are positive!) so we can get on a plane on Friday and back to Hudson.

Larry Szyman

Pastor for Missional Life