Traveling To Busia, Uganda...

My trip to Busia, Uganda to teach at USOE was very successful and spiritually uplifting, for me personally. Of course, it seems that I am always the one that benefits the most when teaching these short courses and visiting with fellow Christians in east Africa.  We have students this year from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and the Congo, sixteen total. Seven are in the English class and nine are in the Swahili class. I taught the Book of Acts and I was blessed to have Dean Meadows from North Carolina with me who taught Christian Evidences. Dean always does an excellent job and was able to adapt the material to fit the cultural differences, not to mention the language barriers that make teaching a little more challenging for us and especially for them! These first year students, overall, seemed to be well balanced and eager to learn and ready to equip themselves to become effective and capable Gospel preachers. May we pray daily for these brethren and all of our extension schools at Bear Valley!

John and Molly the owners of the hotel (Jireh Guest House) where we stay in Busia picked me up at the airport in Entebbe when I arrived at 10:30 pm (October 5th.) and we then proceeded to drive to Kampala where Dean was already waiting for us having arrived the day before. We then made the 5 hour drive to Busia reaching there about 5:30 am Monday morning. Not resting much on the plane and being totally exhausted we spent the day resting and trying to acclimate ourselves to the time difference and the warmer climate. Of course for me it usually takes a few days, however, with Dean being younger and more energetic, he seemed to adapt much quicker. We began teaching the following day (October 7th.).

We had brought with us teaching materials, commentaries and a few books to give to the students as well as Bibles for each one. Eight of the Congolese students received French Bibles and one of them an English Bible; in addition they also have Swahili Bibles.  Of course, the English students all received English Bibles. The Swahili class is made up of 8 Congolese and 1 Tanzanian student. In the English class we have 1 Ugandan, 5 Kenyans and 1 Congolese student. All of the students did very well in their course work which included tests, writing assignments and memory work. In addition, they eagerly participated in class discussions including reading, answering and asking questions. One of the highlights for the students on the last day included a debate that was held between them and their teacher, Dean Meadows. They were divided up into 3 groups and were assigned various topics to defend such as "the existence of God," "the resurrection of Jesus" and "the Bible is inspired by God." The students began by stating the affirmative and Dean always countered with the negative. They really enjoyed the debate and it helped them in a very practical way. 

A few weeks before I was to leave on this trip I had some medical issues that I at first thought might prevent me from traveling, but thankfully I was "patched up" the week prior to leaving and as a result I was able to make the trip; although, I did take it a little easier this time around. I promised my family I would rest as much as possible and even though they did not think it wise for me to travel (nor did my doctor) they, reluctantly, gave in to my wishes (stubbornness). Dean was aware of my health issues and so he really helped out as much as possible, even trying to look out for me when he could. 

On Sunday I really enjoyed worshipping with the brethren near the school where Francis and Margaret Wechesa attend. I had the privilege of teaching the Bible class that morning as well as preaching the sermon. The singing and fellowship was great as always. Dean did the same thing, teaching and preaching near Busia as he worshipped with the church about 5 kilometers outside of town with Emmanuel and Edith Mawa. Emma is a former student and now teacher at the Uganda School of Evangelism. Emmanuel is also working on his graduate degree at the ACSP in Arusha, Tanzania.  

We left for home early Friday morning (October 17th) Dean had a 6:30 pm flight on Ethiopian Airlines and I was flying out 11:40 pm. on Delta. Leaving at 7 am that morning allowed us to make a short stop in Jinja (2nd largest city in Uganda) where the Nile river begins as it flows from its source, Lake Victoria. Since Dean had never had the opportunity to see the Nile up close we took a short 30 minute boat ride up the Nile onto Lake Victoria. The water that flows out of the Lake forming the Nile takes 3 months to make its way north as it finally empties into the Mediterranean Sea. After that it was back on the road and back on our way to the airport in Entebbe arriving there around 4 pm. Dean was able to go through the boarding process immediately while I waited another 5 hours until I could do the same. I made it into Charleston, WV around 9:30 pm Saturday night and drove home reaching there about 11:30 pm.

It was a blessing to have made that journey again and to work with the school in Uganda and to see my brothers and sisters in Christ. I am always amazed at what God can do through us as we allow Him to fulfill His purpose as we teach His word and do His will. Thanks to all of you who prayed for me and my family and who support us financially.  What a privilege it is for me to be working with Bear Valley as we partner with Woodland Oaks and Uganda School of Evangelism in saving souls in east Africa. I love working with fellow Christians who have a desire to train these preachers locally as we help fulfill the Great Commission in reaching the world for Christ. Saving souls is the greatest work there is and thanks to all of you once again for your support, encouragement and prayers!

Donnie Estep

Posted on November 2, 2014 .