Rebellious Students, God’s Grace, and Transformed Lives – Kampala, Uganda
Jun 14, 2018 1119
Recently, a mixed boarding Christian high school located at the heart of Kampala City, Uganda, organised a “Week of Spiritual Emphasis”. It is a prestigious school that attracts bright and highly gifted students from the affluent parts of society. To speak at this event, the school invited both myself and my colleague in ministry, Pr Norman Chisunka, a Zambian pastor in training in Uganda.
This event was organised by the school administration in conjunction with the school’s chaplaincy department as one of the suggested efforts to try and curb recent manifestations of crime and immorality among students. It is reported that a month ago, 15 students were caught in one of the most notorious clubs in the city.
Among the culprits was John Mark, a 17 year old form 6 student. He is said to have been among the gang leaders and had a record of disorderliness since joining the school. When I was asked to speak, I requested the school provide us with the names of the boys and girls that had been caught in the club. Every morning fellow pastor Norman Chisunka and I would rise up at 3am and pray for these individuals. Our desire for this event had been for the Holy Spirit to touch the hearts of those who were involved in that kind of life and possibly turn them to be responsible students.
John Mark stood from where he had been seated and began making his way towards the pulpit
On Friday evening, I preached a sermon based on the story of the thief on the cross. Then I began making a call for those who wanted to give their hearts to Christ. It was the best moment when John Mark stood from where he had been seated and began making his way towards the pulpit. The whole congregation, including his teachers, rose up to encourage him as prayers went up.
His decision influenced most of the students: several other students who had been contending with the call to give their lives to Christ followed suit and it was a great harvest. John Mark was baptised on the following day, along with 10 other students. Among those who came to witness the event was his mother who expressed her joy upon seeing the new course that her son has taken.
John Mark is a brilliant student despite his challenges. This appears to be the reason why the school has continued to accommodate him. However, the administration had resolved to purge him and others if they were caught in similar crimes again. But now that he has decided to change his ways, his teachers are positive that his academic performance is poised to get even better. Apart from his academic records, this boy is also a gifted poet and has competed in national levels and won prices for his school. The school leadership, John Mark’s mother, and other concerned friends have expressed their gratitude to GNU for the work done at the school.
– Pr Bonifresh Muhollo