Our holidays came to a pretty sharp end when we jumped off our bus ride from Nairobi a couple of hours earlier (thankfully) and Ron Matheson from Jinja Christian School picked us up at a petrol station on a dark morning in Jinja. I was connected to Ron and Anne Matheson from a dear friend of mine (and some of yours) Paul Gallagher (who I worked with at the Guardian News in Nambucca Heads, Australia, a lifetime ago).
There was something refreshingly different about this training: Although Ron and Anne have started a Christian school in Jinja (for a multitude of amazing reasons), they also invited other teachers from neighbouring schools whom they thought would benefit from the training. Sadly, it is quite uncommon here for teachers in private charity schools to share professional development opportunities with other schools. It was lovely to be amongst a group of teachers from different schools, excited to learn new skills, apparently the skills they had been seeking for some time. This training session was clearly orchestrated by the ‘big man’.
I was also really blessed to coincidentally plan my training when Anne and Ron had a small team from their church in Australia – Yarra Valley Vineyard Christian Fellowship. This team comprised of five ‘mature’ church members in their 60s and 70s. Confession time: I have a few alarm bells ready to ring when I hear about ‘short term missions’, and many big question marks which remain unanswered (even though I have been on a few of these trips). However, these guys are awesome! Refreshingly, they were not ‘white saviours’, they didn’t think they could save the world alone, and they didn’t think they knew better than their local, younger counterparts. They took guidance from Ron and Anne and were out here purely to encourage and get alongside local teachers. HOW AWESOME IS THAT! My hat’s go off to you guys!
They were also an incredible encouragement to me and over these training sessions I certainly received way more than I gave! Thank you Jerry, Jenny, John, Malcolm and Suzanne – you have confirmed that this is exactly where I am meant to be and how I am meant to serve. This IS my calling. Apwoyo Matek!