Over half the congregation left before I could ever get up to preach.
We began the worship in song. Then prayer aloud. Then more singing and more prayer. More song, more prayer. There was a special song. Then there was prayer. I liked what we were doing. We took our tithes and offerings up to the front and then there was a special song from the children. They sang, "The Bible is the ticket. Jesus is the driver. The Holy Spirit is the fuel." As they sang they formed a train and choo-chooed their way out of the sanctuary. They were going to Sunday School. Over half the congregation, all children, left before the sermon.
I wasn't shocked by the mass exodus, though. Most of these communities in Uganda are comprised of high percentages of children. All of our churches have huge children's groups. One of the leaders here said to me, "We have many children and not as many adults. The war and trouble have caused this. It is a great environment for ministry!" Take a moment to admire his perspective.
I've preached at three churches: a small rural church, a college ministry and our first and oldest church. Each has shown me something different about this country. In these visits I have seen that Uganda is young, vibrant and exciting. The youth of the country bring such an energy and passion to the work. Our church here is only a few years old and yet they are growing up fast! It is true that we are in great need of leadership development and there is plenty of work to be done. God has loved my family by allowing us to be a part of His work this beautiful country. For that I am thankful.