Thanks again for following along on this incredible journey with me as I travel throughout east Africa and visit with our staff here at Barry Wood Ministries. One of our main goals here at BWM is to spread the message of Christ using Discipleship through a process in which we train our men to look for and raise up “Timothy’s”, following in the example of the Apostle Paul. A Timothy is a person whom a disciple leader spends a considerable amount of time with in training, teaching, listening, and eventually raising up to reproduce themselves in others. The goal obviously being to spread the gospel from leader to leader so that they can multiply throughout an area.
I have gotten to know one particular “Timothy” here in Mbale who is a college student at the Uganda Christian University and have been helping him to establish a weekly meeting with other Christian College students. The intent is to help him establish a group that can fellowship with each other, pray for each other, and be there for each other as they all face the similar challenges of being Christian University Students while at the same time, searching for other “Timothy’s” to disciple.
Because of our busy travel schedule, my host, Pastor Willert, and I are only able to lead this meeting once or twice per month but every time I have been very impressed with the insight and hunger for the Word of God from these students. It has been 10 years since I was a student but I can definitely remember being away from home for the first time and all of the challenges and temptations, most of which I jumped into with both feet. So, at one of our first meetings, I asked the group about the challenges they face, what temptations they face?
I heard many that I expected, drinking, partying, drugs, sleeping around, needing money, basically the same challenges you’d expect to hear from just about any student, believer or not, at any university. One thing that did surprise me was how many of college girls and sometimes guys deal with the challenge of lack of money. Of course everyone wants to fit in, wear the right clothes, have the right phone, have nice shoes, etc. but as one girl explained with her hands covering her mouth and giggling and refusing to make eye contact, “they get sugar daddies.” More giggling and then her friend went on to explain, “a guy for food, a guy for shoes, a guy for tuition, a guy for cell phone minutes, etc.” I guess my face must have really looked surprised because the room erupted with laughter as I stammered out something like “Well that must be difficult”
We all had a good laugh and went on to talk about how time in fellowship with other Christians, time studying the Bible and most importantly prayer, will help us as we face challenges every day. But as we left the meeting, I couldn’t help but think of all I had to deal with while away from home for the first time and feel very proud of these kids who face much more than I ever did and are standing strong in Christ. It was also another reminder that the enemy is always looking for a weakness to exploit and I ask that you continue to pray for these students as they navigate this journey, and pray for the young “Timothy’s” like Paul who are stepping up and leading their fellow students.
*Additionally, Paul, when he is not in school, takes a motor bike out into the villages around his home town, sometimes travelling several hours carrying a solar powered projector and sound system and shows films about the Gospel and HIV/Aids education. During the day, he spends time in teaching and training while also leading many people to Christ.