Update: My First Term at UBS Completed

One month ago today I arrived in Uganda, fresh off of a 30+ hour trip of four flights over three continents. It’s incredible and a bit unbelievable that a month has already passed. The format of education here at UBS means that days and weeks pass quickly. I have been teaching a 6:30-8:30 a.m. class and a 9:00-10:30 a.m. class. It’s great because I’m done at 10:30, but it’s terrible because I have to get up early…before the sun is up.

Teaching through the New Testament General Epistles has been a great experience. Prior to teaching I was certainly more familiar with Paul’s epistles because those are more often preached and studied. So, it has been very educational and edifying to study the General Epistles and teach them. For each book I taught the historical background (author, date, purpose, etc.), themes and theology, hermeneutical issues (difficult passages or frequently misunderstood), and gave them a homiletical (preaching) outline. Then, we would walk through each book verse-by-verse, chapter-by-chapter. It was amazing to see common themes and elements throughout each book and then to see the books relate to one another. We traced the theme of “Christian suffering” through James, Hebrews, and 1 Peter, and the theme of “False Teaching/Teachers” through 2 Peter, Jude, and 1, 2, 3 John.

I also taught Christology, which is the study of the Doctrine of Christ. Using the Scripture we studied Christ’s human and divine natures, how they combine in the God-Man, the atonement (saving work of Christ), the crucifixion and resurrection, and the ascension and session. I stressed to the students that Christology is foundational to Christianity. If we get everything else right but get Jesus wrong, we lose everything. Much of the false teaching that is plaguing Africa today concerns Christ (Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Oneness Pentecostalism, Islam), so the chance to teach biblical Christology was a weighty matter.

After a month I am beginning to be more comfortable here in Jinja. I actually enjoy the motorcycle taxis and can make my way to restaurants or markets when I need to go. It’s still strange being the outsider and having everyone watch you wherever you go, but I consider it a challenge to set a good example. The people here are very nice and I’ve already made friends with the American missionaries and many of the Ugandan professors and students. I’ve even been recruited to play piano on the musical worship team at church. Here I was thinking I would come to Africa and get a break, but God had other plans for me.

This weekend I am enjoying a few days of much-needed rest. My new classes start up on Tuesday of next week, so right now I am preparing lecture notes and student packets. Over the next 3-week term I’ll be teaching Church History twice a day (6:30-8:30 and 2:30-4:30) and then for two of those weeks I’ll also be teaching English (11:30-1:30). Needless to say, these next three weeks will be challenging and exhausting, but fun at the same time. When I was in seminary we covered 2,000 years of history in two semesters. Here, we’re going to do it in three weeks!

Thank you for continuing to pray for me as I serve the faculty and students of Uganda Baptist Seminary. I am grateful for the opportunity to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. Please continue to pray that God would strengthen me and use me for His glory and the good of all people.