Power of the (local language) Word

We are continuing our discussion on the Articles of Religion (or “the Thirty-Nine Articles) in our discipleship group, and last week, we discussed Article 17, Predestination, which was predictably (no pun intended!) exciting.

After the discussion, as we are wont to do, we went down some bunny trails, and somehow ended up discussing a prayer that apparently some priests pray when someone is accepting Christ, that the person’s name is removed from the book of death and written in the book of life. I’ve never heard of this, and it launched a bit of a firestorm discussion.

I asked where this “book of death” is recorded in Scripture, and of course my student didn’t know where (because it’s not there). I pointed out that there’s only the book of life, and then we went to Revelation 20:11-15, and discussed the difference between ‘the books’ that hold the record of our lives and ‘the book of life,’ which records the names of those who are saved. More discussion ensued.

Then another student jumped in, and said, “Listen to that passage in Luganda; it brings it out clearly for me.” And she pulled out her phone (yes, there’s an app for that!), and read the passage in Luganda. Several of the other students nodded in agreement as she read and even emphasized words. As far as I can tell, the only ones in the group who couldn’t follow along were me and one of the Rwandan students.

As she read, and the Baganda not only followed along but participated in the reading, I marveled yet again at the power of the written Word. Of course, we all read Bibles that have been translated, and the Word is as powerful in English as it is in Hebrew and Greek. Even translated into a tongue I don’t know, there is power in the Word. And for that, I am immensely grateful.

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Humility looks like avocados

Students preach in chapel twice a week, and to help them refine their sermon preparation skills, we read their sermons and give feedback prior to delivery. Last week, a student brought me her sermon, and it was in rough shape. I confess I was a little less than gracious with her; she had waffled on whether…

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Goin' to the chapel

Goin’ to the chapel

Each Thursday and Sunday evening we have a Holy Communion service. Students know that I’m very serious about keeping time, and they have much improved upon not entering during prayers or Scripture readings. I’m very proud of them.  I don’t know whether this is an African thing, or a low church thing, but our students…

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Group decision making

Group decision making

Yesterday, a woman came in my office asking me to keep a kitenge (printed cloth) for another lecturer, and of course I agreed. Then she asked me if I wanted to look at the other bitenge (plural of kitenge). I knew I needed to say no, but I said yes. So this happened. I wish…

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Roundabout

And now for some fun

I follow several groups on Facebook about life in Africa; some are informational, some are fun. In the fun category is “Africa, This is why I live here,” which features the beauty and idiosyncrasies of my beloved continent. Photos like this are gold. This was taken in South Africa, though I’m sure it could apply…

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Someone paid attention!

One of my greatest joys as a lecturer is supervising my students in the field. For three months of this long holiday, our finalists (seniors) have been serving in parishes, and we visit them to see how things are going. It’s so much fun to see them out of the classroom, see them minister to…

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Appreciating UCU

Being on home assignment, and talking about Uganda, makes me reflect further about what I both love and appreciate about Uganda and UCU. Articles like this one exemplify it.  The flagship university in Uganda, Makerere, has been besieged by strikes, from students and staff alike. To say that things are not easy is an understatement. …

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Things I miss about Uganda

Now, don’t get me wrong. It is absolutely fabulous to be in the US with my people. That is balm to my soul. The smooth, lit roads and snazzy internet speeds are only perks of being here. However, over the last few weeks that I’ve been here, I’ve realized that there are several things I…

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Art in the Library

The other day I went to the Ham Mukasa Library, the gorgeous and (relatively) new building on campus. The architecture is stunning, and I’m more than a little jealous that theology is not included in this building: we now have the old library building all to ourselves.  I knew that the library was going to…

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