Sunday, July 03, 2011

Student Outreach at Kanyaya

Outreaches are an important part of the training that sponsored students receive at Namwianga. By visiting and ministering in other congregations, the students develop their leadership and preaching skills. Most outreaches from Namwianga are on Sundays. Students get up early to load onto vehicles, jump on bicycles, or just head out on foot to village congregations. But now and then there is a weekend outreach like the recent area-wide meeting at Kanyaya.
Loading for this weekend outreach began on Friday afternoon. And what a load it was! Students brought their mattresses from the dorms and stacked them in the open backs of pickups. Luggage and blankets were tied on top or wedged in on the sides. Vegetables and other food items found a place. And then the riders squeezed in wherever they could. Somehow there was room.

The students were driven to the village of Kanyaya where an area-wide meeting was held. Almost 150 people from seven congregations gathered in and around the tiny mud brick and thatch church building. Grass-fenced shelter areas had been built underneath shade trees to provide a larger gathering area, and another grass-fenced area was designated as the kitchen where meals were cooked over open fires. For this weekend outreach, the students brought mealie-meal, vegetables, and cooking oil from the college’s kitchen. The village congregation provided water, firewood, and grass shelters.
Rodgers Namuswa is the coordinator for student outreaches. He says the students did most of the teaching, preaching, and song leading for the weekend. On Friday night there were some lessons, but the singing went on until well after midnight. Finally the men settled into their sleeping spots inside the grass fence and the women slept inside the building.
On Saturday the sessions resumed with more preaching and teaching. The college women taught Bible classes to the children and the college men did most of the lessons for the adults. By Saturday night the weather had turned very cold, so three big fires were built to ensure that everyone could be close to a source of heat. At 11:00 the GBCC Heavenly Echoes choir began singing to those gathered around the fires, and the singing continued until 6:00 the next morning.
Rodgers Namuswa describes the warm welcome that college students receive on outreaches like this one: “People like the college students so much! Many village churches are really encouraged a lot by visits from the students. The students are able to do the work of the outreaches because they like to go out and share God’s word.”

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