First, because of who Eric is. A teacher who is now a student. A chemical scientist who now deals in unseen matters of the heart. An African married to an American. A believer from a Pentecostal persuasion attending a very conservative reformed seminary. An Eastern Ugandan from a relatively educated and well-to-do clan choosing to live in a very poor area of Western Uganda. A person with a keen mind and a sensitive spirit. Someone who crosses a lot of barriers, just as the Gospel predicts, breaking down categories and walls. Because God is not contained fully in any of those groups, the juxtaposition and paradox remind us that He is Beyond. And because Eric has grown up in the culture of Ugandan boarding schools, but moved outside of it now, he can use just the right stories and illustrations and proverbs and yet apply them in new ways.
And second, because it is June. Second term. The time of year when schools become restless, when students rebel, when troubles abound. Last year a brewing sense of riot stopped when everyone gathered to pray for Kevin's survival. Last week we understand that a neighboring school suspended classes after students there beat a teacher over a canceled trip and disputed funds. This morning we heard that at our school disgruntled students from the same trouble-stirring class that usually gets blamed bought a padlock and shut the on-duty teacher in his room, because he had confiscated the phones they were not allowed to have on campus let alone charge on school power. This is a very passive-aggressive approach, but potentially a death threat in a place where rebels have locked dorms and homes to burn and kill.
Deus handled it beautifully, seriously, spiritually. Calling the suspect class forward, asking them to kneel, asking others to pray for them. Speaking with a loving firmness that the students seemed to listen to well. One broke down in tears and two others made speeches of apology. None of these, of course, are likely the boys responsible for the actual lock-in. Please pray that what is done in darkness would come to light, as Annelise often requested. That those who wish to destroy the school would be stopped, either by converted hearts or by removal from the premises. That the innocent majority would not suffer as staff become frightened or angry. That Deus would move forward with wisdom. That other teachers, like Eric and Eunice, would be used by God to bring His word and real and lasting change.
Thanks for prayers for CSB . . . and for us, that we would not be so focused on our own departure that we fail to keep on our knees for CSB too.