Posted by Katie
(Katie joined South Reno Baptist Church in volunteering with Fount this summer)
I am back from Africa! I loved being there! Before the trip, I was excited and looking forward to teaching teachers, seeing Africa, and anything God would want to open my eyes to about the world through this trip. What I didn't expect was to have as much fun as I had, to laugh as much as I did, to feel so alive as I taught, and to develop such incredible friendships as I had opportunity to develop while I was there.
Pastor Joe, the leader of our team, asked us each to put into 10 words or less what the trip meant for each of us. My 10-word phrase turned into 12 words, but I think it still works:) The perspective I gained through this trip is, "Christ's restoration of the world must be tangibly lived out through our lives." For me this means that if I call myself a follower of Christ, and I believe He offers true restoration, then in order to live out His teachings, I must then live my life out in such a way that I, too, bring about restoration where I can.
I had the time of my life getting to teach teachers quality teaching strategies. Tammy and Lauren, my two teaching team partners, and I worked so very well together. We did a total of five workshops at four different locations with teachers from nursery school (3-6 yr olds), primary school (1-7th grades), and secondary schools. We came with our lessons perfectly prepared and learned quickly to adjust. Some days we taught exactly what was prepared, and other days we taught things we never prepared for. Our original goal was to teach literacy and classroom management. We discovered that teachers most often asked about how we dealt with misbehavior in our classrooms. We also taught on learning styles, P.E., and theme-based instruction. None of which we came prepared for. Needless to say, some of the happiest moments of my entire trip and really, my entire teaching career thus far, have been teaching in Uganda...sitting with local Uganda teachers on wooden benches under trees teaching about literacy and classroom management.
I was amazed at the way Fount of Mercy works. Fount of Mercy is the organization our team connected with once we arrived in Uganda. Fount of Mercy connects groups like ours with established local NGO's (non-governmental organizations) in order to offer assistance to those NGO's. Seeing how Fount of Mercy works gave me hope in seeing how the Kingdom of God is meant to work on this earth. The ladies who run Fount of Mercy are incredible women who are giving of themselves to make a difference in this world. These ladies are tangibly living out the teachings of Christ. I am so thrilled to stay connected to this organization in the future.
To close, some of the fun highlights of my trip included zip-lining across the Nile, teaching Sunday school with an interpreter (that was really cool!), trying to take a shower with what resembles a kitchen spray hose (that was more funny than fun), riding in a Mtatoo (that's an old Toyota box-style van that is turned into a 16-18 passenger bus), and spending time just eating and talking and laughing with the people on my team.
I truly had the time of my life!