Happy new year!

During the holidays in Uganda, messages fly fast and furious – wishing a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and many other felicitations. Images and memes were thrown across WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger like confetti, thanks to cheap and easy bulk messaging.

However, last night, two of our graduates called to wish me a happy new year. This is somewhat unusual, as 1. a phone call is paid by only the initiator (not the recipient), and 2. they both graduated about a year and a half ago, so they are in my rear view mirror, and my focus is on the approximately 150 students in front of me. Regardless, it was a delightful surprise.

The larger surprise, though was that they both essentially said the same thing: they gave me a short update on the family and on the ministry, then both thanked me for all I did for them in their ministerial formation. One of them was, shall we say, a bit more of a trying student, so his words were especially sweet.

Of course, both phone calls were a tremendous encouragement. The students are arriving for the semester, lectures begin on Monday, and I am already stressed by what I know is coming, never mind what I don’t know is coming. As much as I love ministerial formation, it takes the lion’s share of time, both administratively and interactively, and of course, it never ends. They reminded me to take a deep breath, cling to Jesus, and soldier on. Amen.

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Confirmation, confirmation

One of my favorite things that we do is supervise our students on their internships, or block placement. While we certainly make them work while they’re with us at the University, it is tremendous fun to see them in their home churches and meet their families. This year, I volunteered to visit Joram in the…

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Of drones and faith

Sometimes I wonder whether my prayers are too small, or whether it’s my faith in God that’s too small. The Lord gently pointed this out to me as I landed at Entebbe last week, after a wonderfully relaxing (though not as academically productive as I’d hoped) home assignment. I had picked up a some kind…

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From fear to fiery preaching

I so love how God can turn what appears to be one thing into another… and it’s such a joy to watch that happen, and an immense privilege to be a part of it.  When I made the chapel rota for the student-led services this semester, I had more students than slots available. Hannah (not…

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Missing Meri

On April 4, my sweet Meri died. I started this post a couple weeks ago, but it’s been hard to write; I think that writing it for the interwebs makes it a bit too real. I am struggling with a bit guilt over this; she wanted breakfast at 2:00 am, and since there is no…

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Happy construction noises

Since yesterday afternoon, I have been serenaded by the happy sounds of heavy machinery beeping as it backs up, and motors grinding as the machines work. Yesterday, we begin to tarmac [pave] the campus, and it was a glorious day. Of course, students writing their exams may not have liked the noise, but it was…

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Share your stories 

I am the first to tell my students that testimonies are powerful; by hearing about what God has done, we are encouraged our faith is built up. Yet for some reason, I struggle with whether the same can be said of my own testimony.  This is the semester in which the chaplaincy focuses on mission,…

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Women’s Day gift

Today is International Women’s Day, and as it happens, it is also the time for intramural football (soccer), in which the various faculties play each other.  Someone remembered and announced in chapel that I have “ever supported” the theology football team with water and glucose, so my patronage of the football team continues.  Sadly, we…

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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…

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