“ For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Growing up in a small town in Uganda, I never fully understood God’s handiwork in the way He orchestrated every aspect of my life for His service. It is only later that I realized God intended for good all the brokenness I experienced in both my family and personal life.
I received Christ at the age of thirteen, but soon after my life spiraled into rebellion. Around that time, I discovered rap music. Tupac was my go to artist. Instead of gravitating toward the many other themes perpetuated by the music, I was especially gripped by the suffering that was going on in the American inner cities as chronicled in the music. I vividly remember thinking many times; if I had an opportunity, I would come to America and work among the black people in the inner cities. I thought to myself, “they are my brothers and sisters, someone should let them know that they are dearly loved.”
Fast forward to life after college. While serving with my church family and Bible Study Fellowship International as a children’s leader, I was moved to start an after schools’ program centered around Scripture.So I began to visit my small town in Lugazi, Uganda every week to run a VBS type of schedule with kids, some of whose parents were my friends growing up.
Through this experience, God showed me the enormous need for a Christian education. Despite the many times we got rained on or endured the scorching tropical sun since it was open air, our numbers never once dwindled. The parents and children alike appreciated the value of learning scripture, a craft or skill, and occasionally scholastic materials if we got some.
The time I spent with these kids helped me see a tremendous need, a need I consequently presented to God. I asked God to open up doors for me to come study discipleship and evangelism at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and thereafter do a Masters in Education at Wheaton College in Chicago. God indeed opened up the door and provided for me. In 2009, I came and started school at Moody Bible Institute. Wheaton College did not happen because God had a better deal. God moved me to “The South” where the weather suits my skin. :)
Memphis Teacher Residency accepted me and my wife into their Urban Education Masters program. This program required that in return for my masters, I commit to teaching in high need Memphis schools for three years after the one year of teaching residency. There was not a better opportunity than this! I received a Christian education through Union University which involved four days a week in an actual classroom with kids and a mentor teacher and two days in school for graduate coursework. This way I was able to immediately apply everything I was learning.
After graduation, God gave me a ‘Special Commission’, Hamilton Middle School in South Memphis. It was truly a memorable and rich experience serving among people that I grew up desirous to serve. And let’s just say, be careful what you ask for, because God sure answers prayers - even our wildest hearts desires. If anything, working at Hamilton Middle reminded me of the enormous need there is, but also how truly education is the best equalizer. No matter how difficult things got at Hamilton, I remembered that my purpose was to stay faithful and diligent in doing what I was called and hired to do.
It's been 9 years now since I left Uganda, four years in Chicago and five in Memphis. I have received both training and experience. As matter of fact, I have done my time!
God is calling me back to Uganda to finish what He started. To build a Christian school, “The Levites Academy!” I was reminded of Habakkuk 2:3 as I wrote this,
“For the vision awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, wait for it, it will certainly come and will not delay.”
About fifteen years ago I wrote down in my diary that I would start a school called Levites Academy. People that know me all these years know that this is a conversation that somehow comes up every time they talk to me. I have dreamt up several good ideas over my lifetime, yet the only steady vision that has always stuck with me is Levites Academy.
God prepared in advance good works for us to do alongside Him. He wants you and me to hold onto the partnership we have with Him according to Ephesians 2:10. I am inviting you to partner with God in His work empowering people to love and serve Him with all their minds and strength.