Over the last few years in Pader, Northern Uganda, the Emmanuel International team has noticed that there is a hunger in the churches for discipleship. Churches know how to call people to Christ, but many do not know how to help the flock grow in depth of knowledge, faith, and Christ-like character.
At a local secondary school for girls in 2015, our team piloted some materials for adolescents called "Understanding True Love" - a biblically based course that teaches teens about the love of God, and helps teens understand love and relationships in light of that love.
The response was overwhelmingly positive. Soon after, we piloted the materials with a youth group at a local church. The success of these pilots and the invitations received to bring the course into other schools and churches prompted an idea.
Why not train teachers and student leaders in discipleship and create stronger linkages between local churches and schools to provide pastoral support for students in boarding schools?
This is what the school discipleship ministry has been doing since 2017.
Interdenominational ministry team
Now in Pader there is an inter-denominational group of Christians from different churches who move from school to school as one, to proclaim Christ, share their testimonies, encourage the students, and provide guidance and counselling. They currently are operating independently, under their own leadership.
Feedback from school administrators
School administrators have greatly appreciated the ministry, testifying that there have been noticeable improvements in student behaviour and a decrease in cases of stealing and pregnancy among the student population.
During the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, schools were closed for nearly 2 years, opening sporadically for short periods of time before being closed again. This obviously greatly hampered our ability to work in schools. We offered assistance to some schools during those times of school opening by providing masks, soap, and doing some follow-up with leaders who were trained. We are looking forward in this year, 2022, to train a new group of student leaders and teachers to continue to nurture youth in their faith.