Just a short time before I had waved goodbye to the last boatload of students, who were headed home for the holiday - to an island about four hours further into the lake.
Lingira Living Hope's recently-completed classroom block
Friday marked the end of the first term of 2011 for Lingira Living Hope Secondary School. And, I miss the students already. I said and heard "I will miss you" many times during the last few days. And, it is with bittersweet sadness that I think about leaving the island in little more than a week.
The two and half months of this term have been some of the busiest and most challenging during my 15 months in Uganda, but those weeks have also been among the most fulfilling for me. God has grown and deepened my love for the school and the students during this time. I have so enjoyed these young people as I have taught computer classes, led Bible studies with the girls, smiled proudly as I watched them perform in the choir and lead in praise and worship, chatted after classes and had meaningful one-on-one conversations with different ones.
A few of the Lingira Living Hope girls, from left, Christine, Marion, Rose, Anna and Esther
God has given me a passion for young people and I feel so blessed and privileged to be working with the school and the students here.
The school is improving as new buildings are going up and the enrollment increases. But, it is the students who really bring life to Lingira Living Hope. They contribute so much to the school, to Shepherd's Heart, to the church, to the community and to this island. And, that is so obvious when they go on holiday (breaks between terms) and the campus is quiet and empty.
I wholeheartedly believe that these young men and women are the future of this island and the communities throughout Uganda from which they come. I also believe God will use them in a mighty way to fulfill the school's mission of "Hope for Transformation," through Christ, our "Living Hope."
I will miss the students very much, but I look forward to when we meet again.
Morning Star ladies after our last gathering of the term