I had hoped that I'd be able to write more while I was in Uganda keeping people updated on our trip. Unfortunately, the internet was less than forgiving and I found myself with barely enough time to journal, let alone write updates.
That said, this was probably one of the best trips I've been on to Uganda! I'm excited for the way God is moving in the country and for what I was able to see when I went to Kenya.
As I said previously, we changed the tech project due to funding. We spent two days in the computer lab at Destiny Bridge Academy. The computers were in need of some repair, so we completely reinstalled Windows on them and brought them back to like-new. We also brought with us a new computer for the computer lab which we were able to setup for the incoming students to use this week. Along with the new computer for the lab, we brought four laptops which the center is putting to use replacing old systems in the finance office and school office.
As fun as the computer work was on it's own, it was even more fun to have two very special young ladies there the whole time to help us out. Patience and Serena were fantastic assistants and were so hungry to learn more about technology, taking some few-minute classes on computer storage and the different parts that make up the computer's software.
The second week, Pete and I spent three days focusing on mentoring and training men at KCC: the teens who live at the center, the staff and men at Destiny Bridge City Church in Wakiso town. We centered our teaching around emotions and what the bible has to say about them; integrity and accountability; and looking at the events of our past and how they effect us every day.
Overall I saw, in Uganda, a strength ready to break out. On Sunday we had church out in a plot of land with no building, just dirt. We had found out previously that one of the walls of the church had fallen in and the building was condemned. The message that I heard in my heart in church and shared was that the church had to be torn down so that we can stop trying to patch cracks and instead lay a new foundation. In the foundation, I felt that men needed to step up and take hold of leadership. What I heard was that women were waiting for men to step up, not just to help, but to lead.
The teens were such a fun group to work with. We invited them to share their emotions using SASHET feelings, a tool that narrows down emotions to just 6: Sad, Angry, Scared, Happy Excited, and Tender. I was surprised and excited that on the first day, we heard teens talk about things they feel sad about and angry about. We're often taught to hide and repress negative emotions, but when we "shove" emotions, they generally have a habit of coming out sideways in unintended ways. I'm 26 years old and I still struggle with that, and I've met men much older struggling with sharing emotions.
The KCC staff had me scared. For one, they are the people that have the power to put an end to my ministry at the center if they don't like what they see. We jumped in and I was excited to see them step into it with us. The first day with the staff we discussed integrity and accountability. An example that we often use when teaching this is to look to people who were late for the meetings and ask them to look at how that may have effected the others in the group: the trustworthiness of the people who were late and the messages sent to those on time. We offered ideas to the men around not making agreements that we know we won't make and renegotiating agreements when the situations change. It was exciting to see men talk about, in a culture that generally accepts that people will be late to meetings or not show up at all, how they feel when people are late and the messages that it sends to them.
Destiny Bridge City Church
At DBCC we ran, what we call in The Crucible Project open circle meetings. We had around 10 men from all walks of life, from the pastors to congregants, join us for two nights as we shared more about the men's work that Pete and I have been a part of. We shared the SASHET check-in process that we used with the teens and staff as well as taught and looked at accountability and integrity. We also offered the men opportunities to look and work on areas of their life where they are struggling with things. I'm excited to see men step into their strength and look within at the broken areas of their life.
Kenya Crucible Project
We finished our trip in Nairobi, Kenya, where Pete and I staffed a Crucible Project retreat weekend, with staff from Colorado, Illinois and Kenya. Twenty-two participants joined us on Friday night to spend the weekend being tested and challenged, wrestling with God, and stepping into their masculinity; not the fake masculinity that the world subscribes to but the masculinity that God describes through His word. Watching these 22 men, I saw the outbreak that was waiting for Uganda, the power waiting for Uganda, for men to step out of their shadows and into their gold.
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