- Written by Tom Miles Tom Miles
- Created: 22 August 2017 22 August 2017
After a productive week of serving in the Pokot villages, we packed up the bus Saturday morning and began the drive back to Jinja. We were once again able to enjoy the scenic drive and beauty of the Ugandan countryside.
As we approached the city of Jinja, we were able to stop and tour the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Uganda in Magamaga. The site is under construction as fundraising continues, but many of the buildings are in use with great vision for how the property will continue to develop and be utilized. Seminary students recently returned to class for the fall semester. There are four years of education for the seminary students. The first two years are spent in didactic classroom instruction. The third year the students complete a vicarage, and then in the fourth year they are back in the classroom. There are three separate classrooms set up for the three years of teaching. Other buildings on the campus include an administrative building, a space for an e-library in the future that will connect to one of the LCMS seminaries in the United States, a space for a book library, a multipurpose hall to be used for worship and conferences, and dormitories where the students can stay. The seminary can hold 50 students at capacity. Students come from every region or district of the Lutheran Church of Uganda, so all parts of the country are represented. Construction is coming along, and there are some great murals in place for decoration. The potential and vision for the site is inspiring.
Sunday morning we were able to worship at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Jinja where Reverend Enoch Macben is the pastor. The church currently meets in a local school. It was neat to read all of the educational material on the walls in the school as the children appear to be learning English. The church service was in English, and we used a red Lutheran hymnal from 1941 for the service. There was a bit of a Ugandan flare added to the service with the offering song, which added to the cultural worship experience.
In the evening, our group was able to take a boat cruise on Lake Victoria and to see where the Nile River begins. The time out on the water was relaxing and enjoyable. The evening allowed us to spend time as a group at the home of Mark and Megan Mantey, career LCMS missionaries to Uganda. We enjoyed a meal of Mexican food and were able to try jack fruit, which was quite tasty.
Monday brought shopping and then a time consuming bus travel journey to the airport in Entebbe. We are all beginning our journeys home excited to see family and friends again and full of memories of time spent together in rural Uganda with the Pokot people.
“Hesed” is a Hebrew word that means “kindness,” “mercy,” “loyalty,” “loving-kindness” or “steadfastness.” It’s the way God intends us to live together—a “love your neighbor as yourself,” active, selfless, sacrificial, caring-for-one-another brand of living contradictory to our fallen natures. The “Heseders” are continually looking to work together to share some small measure of God’s extraordinary love. Won’t you join us?