Updated: May 21
Remembrances & Highlights of our Solid Rock Christian School Trip June, 2019 Pastor Randy and Patty Ouimette
We were so blessed to be a part of the 16 person team (8 adults & 8 youth) that experienced the ‘miracle’ of Solid Rock Christian School. As Principal David said, their goal is ‘the transformation of our nation” through educating these children’s heart, soul, body, and mind. The present enrollment is 419 students in Pre-School through P-7, all this in 6 years!
We witnessed children happy to be at school (7AM – 5PM or later; the Pre-School dismisses at 1:00 pm) five days a week, with many coming Saturdays and Sundays, as well.
Many children walk an hour or more just to get to school, and their first meal of the day is the 10 AM bowl of porridge. Their second meal of cassava, beans and silverfish is in the afternoon, filled with protein. The school even provides a medical clinic for the students and their families. Everyday the nurse, Rosemary, provides diagnoses, medicine and help for malaria and other ailments.
We also witnessed teachers and staff who are dedicated, enthusiastic, and faith filled. They put in long hours daily and many are there seven days a week! On Saturday we viewed the P-7 class taking one of many practice exams for the big national testing in November. Sunday morning they were part of Arua Community Church, leading worship music and children’s Sunday School classes. Later in the day we watched the P-7 teacher giving his students extra help in preparation for this coming November’s national examination.
We then witnessed the excellent working relationship of Solid Rock in Uganda and Zozu Project in USA. We were invited to sit in on a meeting with Pastor John Paul (the School Director), Susan (the Bookkeeper), and Mick and Elaine. Sound procedures are in place so that all our donated funds are used in a deliberate, thoughtful, and budgeted way. Director John Paul and Mick were meeting to discuss the strategic plans for future expansion, and we came away very confident that our donations to Zozu Project are being maximized at Solid Rock.
We witnessed with great surprise the ‘tent’ site replaced by a larger red metal building that was constructed just weeks before our arrival. This was built to government education specifications so that the national examination may be given here. This is also the congregation’s worship space and the all-school gathering and worship space. Then we also got to witness the third section of teacher housing being built, complete with a water well. When completed, fifteen teachers can be housed just 5 minutes from the campus.
The four of us from Saint John’s were blessed to bring letters and gifts from many of our 30 sponsor families. We also selected and brought over 300 children’s books to start a beginning readers library and for teacher resource use. Patty and Sandy Lebens met with the Principal and conducted an inservice training for the teachers. All sixteen of us assisted the students in writing thank you letters to their sponsors, and through this exercise we saw the sacred relationship of our American sponsors and these very appreciative and needful students. Pastor JP asked me to give the Sunday and Wednesday sermon messages, which was at first unnerving, but in the end a real blessing and honor.
Finally, we witnessed the reality of rural Uganda and the subsistence farming life. As we made home visits we realized that none of these children could be at Solid Rock without a sponsor or the support of Zozu Project. The families are very thankful, the children are very thankful, the teachers and leaders are very thankful, and we say, ‘To God be the glory’!