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Eight members of the Uganda global outreach team are visiting our partners at the Bududa Learning Center in Bududa, Uganda. These posts are their updates

Wanyala Nabi… that means “thank you very much” in Lugisu, the primary language in Bududa.

I saw the gratitude of the students here first-hand as we bounced around classes of the Bududa Learning Center. We showed up to the school not knowing what we would see. I saw a center of learning, a center of promise, a center of hope. We walked in to see students hard at work in the classroom, ready to learn and ready to grow.

Bryan, Mike, and I walked down behind the school to an open-air shed where bricklaying class is held. The students, under the supervision of the bricklaying teacher Moses, meticulously stacked brick in a sequence designated by the vocational certification board. Moses told us that come November, the Senior 4 level students will have six hours to complete the practical exam, building a wall with a door opening following an instruction booklet given to them. The students taking the certification exam have 15 minutes to study the design and instruction and a 1-hour lunch break, totaling six hours. The first year of the program, the BLC students all failed the exam. Now, after several years, plus the hiring of Moses, they have an impressive rate of passing. Incredible!

We then ventured into a classroom with eight students waiting to learn about entrepreneurship. Alan, Bryan, and Mike lead the classroom in a business plan exercise. The students came up with a company name — Liben’s Couch Company of Bududa — with the catchy slogan, “Quality Furniture at a Fair Price” and then they hit the ground running. They discussed ethics, competition, marketing, and community involvement. The students were engaged and had an excellent foundation of business concepts. We even commiserated overpaying taxes!

I was pulled by headmaster Stephen as the entrepreneur class began. “Ben, there are students waiting for Bible study… are you ready?” I responded, “Well, I guess so Stephen.” I sat down at a table with 15 students in the Microfinance classroom and we studied Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We shared experiences of feeling lost and being found, and where we encounter truth in our lives. One little girl was incredibly vulnerable and brave as she shared with the class how her mom was lost and could no longer take care of her. She didn’t know where her mother went, and with her mother being lost she felt lost. “Then we found out where she was” but she followed up with, “Being found doesn’t solve all the problems. But it was good to know she was alive.”

We transitioned outside to play a maze game that was full of laughter as they navigated an unknown path as a team. (Picture) Afterward, one girl remarked, “Jesus is the right path to follow.” Amen!

There is so much to still share – assembly where we were welcomed with dance and song, teaching, listening, and a soccer match.

The first day was so full: full of spirit, full of sharing, full of smiles.

I have felt God in the gratitude of this place, through the hospitality of Bududa, and in the little moments shared with students and staff.

To you for your prayers – Wanyala nabi. To these brave students of Bududa – Wanyala nabi.

Ben Brannan, MDiv
Resident Pastor