Thursday, January 24, 2013

Uganda Photo Journal – Days 4 to 6

Hello everyone! We are back in Kampala and while the internet is spotty, I am typing this into Word and hoping to catch the connection strong enough / long enough to be able to post it along with some pictures. I know I said that I was going to try to post again on Monday but quite honestly, I just haven’t had the energy. I’ve said several times since we got here that this is the busiest trip with the least amount of down time I have ever been on. So much to squeeze in in such a short time! Also travelling with other people, as much as I’m enjoying the company, does not leave much time for blogging. Anyway, without further delay, let’s get to the part so many of you have been waiting for – CAMP!

From Monday to Wednesday of last week, the four of us had the privilege of running a Vacation Bible School type day camp for over 80 children ages 6 - 12 at Bugolobi Primary School. Personally speaking, this was the most anticipated portion of our trip. I mentioned in an earlier post that I have always secretly dreamed of coming to Uganda with my mom, aunt and uncle. Part of that dream included the four of us being able to run a camp at Bugolobi school. I did camp at Bugolobi on my first trip here in 2006 and again in 2007. Although the students have all changed, I still have such a heart for that school and a love for the teachers there and as the four of us stood in front of the students to kick camp off that first day, I almost had to pinch myself to believe that it was real.

The theme (or Power Point / Direction if there are any Metro peeps reading this!) of the week was “God has good plans for you – you can trust in Him”. Each day we had an opening session with an ice breaker, some singing and an object lesson related to the theme of the day. The kids then rotated through four different activities each day: Bible lessons (with Andrea), Crafts (with Corina), Dance (with Wendy) and Games (with Peter). In the midst of all of that we had a break for snack and another for lunch, all provided through money that was donated towards the camp. 
Finally we ended the day with a quick memory verse revision, a reprise of everyone’s favourite dance from the day and a time of worship led by the students themselves.

A little ice-breaker to start off day one...

Serving lunch

Everybody sing - Na na na na na na na, na na na na na na na, na na na na, bok, bok, bok bok! 

Day One’s theme was, “Even when life is hard, God’s plans are always good”. The Bible lesson that day focused on Joseph with a memory verse from Jeremiah 29:11 “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” What a powerful moment it was to hear the whole building echoing with the words of God’s promise as the kids competed boys vs. girls, one grade vs. another, etc. to see who could read it out the loudest. The kids decorated Joseph’s ‘coat of many colors’ with balls of tissue paper and enjoyed dancing to some old classics such as the Chicken Dance (a.k.a. “the bird dance”) and the Hand Jive. Finally, games were definitely a hit, especially Uncle Peter’s many unique versions of tag such as “mosquito tag” and “chop-the-tree tag”!


Day Two’s Theme was, “God’s plans cannot be destroyed”. The Bible lesson that day focused on Esther and the Israelites with a memory verse from Psalms 33:11 “But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; His intentions can never be shaken.” This was the one day Auntie Andrea was able to compete with the others as the kids’ favourite station as the memory verse activity included writing the words to the verse out on individual balloons and popping them one at a time! In actuality, day two was a fun day all around with high energy dances such as Cotton Eye Joe (a.k.a. “the cowboy dance”) and The Twist and a variety of relay races in games. Crafts were also a real draw as the kids got to decorate beautiful crowns to remind them of their identity as children of the King.


Day Three’s Theme was, “God’s plans are to use you”. The Bible lesson that day focused on Gideon with a memory verse from Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” The kids had fun playing a hangman-type activity to uncover the hidden memory verse and playing timeless games outside like Dodge Ball and Simon Says. In crafts the kids enjoyed making necklaces out of colored straws and favourite dances from the day included The Macarena and The Limbo. Our last day was also made special as we were able to distribute gifts to each individual student: a few essential school supplies packed lovingly by a group from PEI with a unique stuffed animal and handmade necklace/bracelet generously donated by a donor in Montreal thrown in. The kids loved their gifts and we were thrilled to be able to leave them with something to remind them of how much we and everyone back in Canada loves them.

It was an utterly exhausting, absolutely wonderful three days and as is always the case, the goodbyes did not come easily. I am so thankful to God for the opportunity to lead camp and share His Word in that place one last time and so grateful for my family (Bonny and Allan included!) who served so tirelessly. What a blessing to be able to minister alongside one another in that way and how special that these memories that will last a lifetime are ones that we will all share.   


Jenny said...

Andrea..... I have so much to say but no words will come. THANK YOU for loving on these children of God! LOVE the last picture.... gives a glimpse into the future with these kids in Heaven with the crown of life because God saved them!

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrea!

How are you doing?! I had this moment today where I was thinking of everyone from work, and while I get to creep everyone else`s whereabouts through facebook, you are a little trickier to find. haha. But then I remembered that you had posted on my old blog and I thought I would take a little venture onto yours to see what you are up to! Wow- my jaw dropped onto my lap (ok not really. haha) when I saw your Ugandan pics just now! I remember you mentioning this trip. I am so happy for you that things worked out and you were able to make it:) Anyways, keep the pictures and stories coming. I cannot wait to learn all about what 2013 has in store for you, as I am quite certain that it will have many new adventures in store!:) Stay safe!