Greetings from Uganda!
Friday, July 24, 2015.
This was our last day of training. We had several who were late today so we were unable to start until 10 am. Even with the late start, we were able to accomplish what we needed to get done before they leave for their homes and we return to the US. I think one of the lessons we’ve learned is that it is better for the leaders to get away from their homes, work, church, etc., so they are not able to be distracted so much. Those who had to travel the farthest and stayed at the training site were always on time. But, most of the ones who lived nearby and went home every evening had problems being on time.
This morning, the first thing that we did was to finish reviewing the Phase 3 material with them and to answer all their questions. We then discussed with them the concept of decentralizing Phase 2 of the training, using several different locations versus bringing them into one location, and the pro’s and con’s of each one. They agreed that it would be better to conduct the training at several different sites. Based on that decision, we then walked them through the process to develop a plan to make that happen. They decided to conduct Phase 2 training for the 30 leaders that they had trained last year at six (6) different sites (5 in Uganda, 1 in South Sudan). They then set the dates and specific locations for each of these sites and determined who would be responsible to prepare for and conduct the training sessions. At least two of them will be at each site. As part of their plan, we had them develop a list of resources (food, water, tables, chairs, handouts, chalkboard or flip chart, markers/chalk, etc.) that they would need to obtain and coordinate. We helped them to complete their plans by having them develop a project task list that consisted of the tasks (along with the suspense dates) needed to request and obtain or coordinate the needed resources, when to notify the students and send out reminders, review/prepare the materials, and to set up the training site, and who would be responsible for each of these tasks.
We were able to wrap up and complete everything we needed to get done by 1:30 pm. We then ate lunch, presented each leader with a certificate, prayed for them, said our goodbyes and went back to the hotel to rest and relax a little. It was very hard to see them go. Luke and I have built such a bond with these folks and lots of hugs were shared with them, as well as a few tears. Thankfully, through the internet we can still communicate with them occasionally.
Luke went with Daniel at 4:30 pm to speak with some pastors in a nearby city (he did not get back until 9 pm). Jamin and I stayed at the hotel and went down to the restaurant and ate dinner. Jamin had the chicken in a basket and I ordered grilled chicken and baked potatoes. I had never tried this dish before but I was pleasantly surprised. It was really good! The hotel was empty except for just a handful of guests, but it still took them an hour to prepare and serve our meals?
At 8 pm Eric, a young man from Pennsylvania that Luke knows, came to visit us. Eric is on a year-long mission to Uganda and is an agricultural specialist. He lives in the city of Mbale and works with a Christian college there. Luke and Daniel got back at 9 pm and we sat in the restaurant and talked until a little after 10 pm. We then called it a night.
Our final day of training was outstanding and we sent our leaders off knowing that we’ve done our best to equip and prepare them to teach their 30 leaders in Phase 2 and to prepare those 30 to train the 90 or so leaders they will bring to begin Phase 1. I feel very good about them and know they will do well.
Tomorrow (Saturday) we are meeting for breakfast with Pastor Charles Stahl from Austin, TX to brief him on our four-phase leadership development process. Charles has been working with a group of around 60 pastors/churches here for many years and after I had breakfast with him a few days ago and told him what we’ve been doing, he wants to know more. He says what these churches need the most is to develop leaders. So, we may be seeing a leadership development “movement” begin to form right here in Iganga, Uganda! Praise God!
Thanks for your prayers! Good night from Uganda!