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In the “Pearl of Africa,” As Uganda is called, God put a lot of greenery in his creation—Banana plants, plantain plants, matooke plants, and so on. The beauty is obscured only slightly by the steady curls of smoke from burning trash and by dust lifted by the steam of bodas (motorbikes) dodging larger potholes in favor of mid-sized potholes. Some days, the air becomes especially pleasant with the cooling and cleansing effects of an afternoon rain.

Tim Endean finished a solo training trip to Uganda during December 2021 through January 2022. It was truly a joy to serve with our Ugandan brothers and sisters. Our initial contact, a Ugandan friend studying in the US, had said, “We have run camp for many years, but the strong Bible training you offer would be a huge help to our camp leaders.”

About 15 attended the training camp for 3 days, with a few more joining on Zoom. The response was especially good. It was a joy to see the regular “aha” moments during the teaching. Those attending offered many insightful questions and comments about discipling youth in Uganda.

Those in attendance showed a thirst for Bible training. One of the organizing pastors said, “What has been lacking in Uganda is a strong Bible foundation. This training is starting us on a journey that will really enhance our camp.”

Once training ended, camp started and ended before we could blink! It was a fast 4.5 days. Bootcamp passed like a whirlwind of Ugandan dry-season dirt. But not as something come and gone without meaning, like the “chaff” of Psalm 1, or “vanity” in Ecclesiastes. No. In the blink of an eye a lot of planning and hard work came to fruition, and by God’s grace lives were changed.

Since this group has been running their bootcamp for years, my role was to help with the training and consulting, not a start-to-finish overhaul—which is not necessary.

Bootcamp looks different from our typical camp schedule. For starters, rise at 5am for morning exercises. At 5am the sun has not yet considered rousing, but once it does, beware! At 1° North of the equator, once the sun gets going it has no mercy. Just ask the campers about some of the hikes they did in the morning and afternoon on Monday!

One of their favorite activities was the “Treasure Hunt,” which led the campers through the surrounding village with a series of clues and activities, including a lot of mud! Of course, by the end, we had attracted an attachment of about 100 children from the surrounding homes.

As usual, the campers came from so many different backgrounds, yet each person’s story is of supreme value to our Savior. One of the lead pastors estimated about 60% were unsaved. Another pastor had come in from Jinja, on the Nile. He brought a group of Muslim teens that he gets to teach Bible at a private school.

About a dozen young people made professions of faith. A pastor introduced me to a girl that gave her life to Christ after a session on Bible Study. She said that every time a preacher mentioned the need to be born again, it was as if they had looked right at her. She knew even before she arrived at camp that she needed to be saved. As she shared what Christ had done in her life, she said, “Two words come to mind: love and forgiveness.” She said she has struggled to forgive in the past, but that the gospel helped put forgiveness into perspective.

It was also encouraging to see campers seeking out counsel when they had opportunity. Even when the last group arrived back at church after a flat tire and other delays, some still sought out last-minute counsel.

Tim’s return from Uganda was delayed by a positive Covid test. He did not feel sick, but the government would not let him leave the country for 7 days after the positive test was entered in their system—even after 2 consecutive, negative tests.

We always know this is a possibility with travel these days. This time, God’s plan looked different than our schedule. Our friends in Uganda were beyond helpful during this delay. Tim was able to spend more time with them, and, at their request, shore up training from the week before. How grateful we are for the opportunity to continue to participate with what God has been doing in Uganda.

Tim’s return to the US on January 10, was 7 days later than anticipated, but perfect in God’s timing.

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