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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Delighting God

Last night the students at CSB were brought out under the stars on the football pitch for an old-fashioned revival meeting, thanks to the visit of the Pierces' friend Pastor Brian.  There was singing and dancing, prayer and preaching, and a call for students to make decisions for Jesus.  I was sitting on a mat at the rear behind some pretty rowdy boys, and the few lanterns and moonless night did not allow a clear picture of how many responded, but I'd say it was substantial, at least a couple of dozen kids walked forward, maybe more.  Exciting for me, one was a student we love dearly and have sponsored, a good friend of our kids.  I was reminded of our own son's standing for Jesus in a similar "spiritual emphasis week" event at his school . . . and thankful that the students at CSB got a little taste of the same.  More and more the two schools represent for me not so much two cultures as two points on a timeline, and what is good for one group of kids is generally good for another.  We've been told we're a bit like soft grandparent-types when it comes to tolerance of student behaviour . . .and that is probably true, because even though last night a lot of the raucous dancing during the singing was closer to the cultural all-night youth-gathering dances of the Babwisi than it was to a worship service, I was glad those kids got to be outside, moving, shouting, letting off steam and enjoying themselves.  Then to add to that, they got to hear the gospel again, to be invited to respond, to have the chaplain following up by taking down names and classes to be sure these kids are discipled, all that was great and an answer to prayers.  

Keep CSB in prayer, always, but particularly right now.  The second consultant arrives tomorrow, and the first contributed a lot of perspective on how we could be more connected politically and support our school through local as well as international funds and personnel.  Meanwhile we have not only Brian here this weekend, but a former teacher Eric who was very pastoral in his time at CSB and prayed with and influenced many students.  He's in seminary now in the US and will be for the next few years, but visiting this week because he's about to marry a young woman he met when she was a missionary teacher at our school, Joy.  We enjoyed welcoming them "home" last night before the revival meeting, along with a handful of their favorite teachers (and ours) so that we could celebrate the community of our work together and God's grace in their lives.  We continue to pray for the miraculous provision of a Ugandan headmaster who would work with the Pierces, enabling them to step back and focus more on the big picture issues of funding, development, spiritual growth, staff professional growth.  And we pray for more missionaries to come in behind them and us as they anticipate finishing their term shortly after we also go on HMA, in just over a year from now.  It feels like a lot to ask God, but a verse I read this week from Psalm 147 says that God does not delight in the strength of the horse or the legs of a man (Old Testament equivalents of power, funds, education, competence, plans, resources . . ) but rather the Lord takes pleasure in those who hope in His mercy.  

So here we stand, hoping in His mercy, glimpsing it last night in the raised hands and voices of the students, and longing to see real change in their lives and our own.

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