Today was the celebration for the P7 students at the Good Shepherd's Fold primary school. At the end of this year these students will take an exam that will determine if they will be able to continue their education, and if so which schools they are able to get into. In that way it is similar to the SAT which American students take about 5 years later. These students are celebrating the end of their studies, but they also still have a big exam looming. Please pray for our students as they begin their exams soon.
Today the cultural differences really struck me. The students and teachers all presented many dances. At one point two teachers did some serious hip shaking dances to a song in a local language about being happy because of salvation in Jesus Christ. As the teachers danced members of the audience walked up and handed them money or put it in their pockets. They did the same for students when they danced. I tried picturing this happening at one of our Christian school graduation ceremonies in America and had to keep myself from laughing out loud at how different our cultures are. Here is a photo of the teachers up being introduced before the dancing.
Another interesting cultural note, was when our administrator spoke. She encouraged parents not to just send their daughters for marriage if they don't yet have money for school fees at the next level. My understanding of the words in Luganda were literally, "don't give them away to give birth to children." Since young men are expected to give quite a bit of money and many gifts to the family of his wife to be, girls might finish school after P7, the American equivalent of 7th grade, in order to marry and begin having children. I am thankful that our administrator encouraged the families to pray and work to find a way to pay for their daughters' education rather than trying to just marry them off.
This morning David was given a paper with the schedule for this event that listed him as a speaker on behalf of the missionaries. Another missionary had mentioned that he might be asked to pray, but no one ever asked him. He was scheduled to speak following our administrator. I suggested that he also begin with a dance. If you know David, you know that is not going to happen. He did a great job speaking to the students and parents about an exam more important than the exam at the end of this school year. He talked about the day of judgement, and the only way we can pass that exam is by faith in Jesus and receiving his righteousness. He talked about the results of that exam lasting for all eternity. I am thankful for another opportunity to share the gospel with people in our community surrounding GSF.
As you pray for us here at GSF, please pray that the students who attend the primary school would be ready for their exams, but also that they would be ready for the exam on the last day, trusting in Jesus alone for their salvation. Jesus can bring together people from different cultures as we all look to him.