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Rafiki Foundation  |  God's Word at Work
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Graves October 2022

“The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous” (Psalm 146:7-8).

The Lord’s love is on display in Rafiki Village Uganda. Taste and see in this interview of first year students at the Rafiki Teachers’ College, which we call RICE. These students have just finished learning about Plato’s Allegory of the Cave (https://youtu.be/d2afuTvUzBQ) in a course on Teaching Principles and Practices.

Michelle: “Can you explain Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and how it relates to your education?”

Justine: “It talks about how a human being moves from one step to another step in life because we have different weaknesses. And it talks about how a person can come to know the real world, how it operates. In my education and other parts of life, I had quite another education which was not classical. I think that was seeing shadows. But God has ways to get people to do what He wants them to do. At first I thought I could not learn teaching. But now I’m seeing I can manage, because I got some encouragement from other people. I’m seeing what I’m heading to do in future, how God is at work in our future. Yes, in our life we have shadows. But we can turn and see the pictures. We can go outside, see other places and we see how other things are operated. God gives us light in our life.”

Caleb: “I see this story as a story that shows education, the stages of how one can go from ignorance to now being enlightened. That is, being granted an understanding of concepts in a more clear way. In fact, the reality of things is better than the shadow that he or she has been knowing in the cave. The prisoners who are seeing objects thought that is how life was, that this was how everything looked normally. But when one left the place to go out and look at things and really got to know them, he knew about new things in their reality. So that’s when he came to inform the others. So it helped me a lot to understand how I was in some kind of dark cave and prison, where I did not know much of the things that I know now. For example, I used to think about art that God made only some people to do it, because they are so very talented. But when I learned about this [classical] education, I got to understand that God has put a creative thinking in every one of us because He is an artist and made us all like Him. So I think it is all about doing things, trying out different things, or tracking them step by step, running through the concepts. I thought that because I was not talented, so could not do it. But here we always go step by step to redevelop the mind. I love that I get the concept of it and I’m trying to really bring out some goals to improve my drawings.

“Having now studied a bit, it has changed the way I teach Sunday School. Sometimes I was not preparing enough, but then I read about the rules of the teacher, that someone must really know something before he teaches it to the students. So it requires me to read through and even beyond what I have to teach, such that I go into class and really give my best. Students then get the best out of meetings and learn they can trust me to lead them to also search for information from different places. I’m glad that I’m still learning.”

Grace: “Plato’s Allegory of the Cave paints a picture of people who are in prison, where they don’t get any chance to see what is at the back, but their eyes are made to be fixed on a wall on which the shadows that were moving in the back are being projected. They spent a long time in the prison cave, not knowing exactly what is in the back. They always thought what they saw before them was the real thing, until one of them was released and was able to go and turn around and see the real thing.

“I relate this to my education here because at first I got a challenge in using all the resources. I was given a computer which was a new experience to me. It was not until the assistant took us through elementary training of the computer that we grasped that knowledge of starting a computer, opening windows, that little bit of typing, and then going into Rachel Pi, and how to save the battery. How to do this helped us so much. I could not learn well at this required beginning. Now I’m catching up and can learn freely and flexibly.”

Many teachers in Uganda changed their profession to, say, bricklaying and digging during the two-year COVID lockdown when they lost their jobs. Those teachers did not return to the classroom afterwards.


Debbie leads an activity for discovering how different objects float or sink


Richard models teaching a Rafiki Sunday School Lesson on the book of Acts to a gathering of teachers, pastors, and students in eastern Uganda


Becky demonstrates how to make learning a memory verse active and fun


Justine and David lead preschoolers in physical education activities


Grace shows his fellow teachers-in-training a matching game

Uganda’s booming population of children needs dedicated educators. The teachers’ college at Rafiki cultivates godly teachers through classical Christian education for Africa.

We appreciate your generous giving. You are truly our partners in this work. By supporting us, you allow Rafiki to use all of its donations for student sponsorships and scholarships and other programs for the people who need it most. You can donate by visiting RafikiFoundation.org/missionary/michelle-and-david-graves-252. You can make a one-time or a recurring contribution.

Please pray for the Lord

  • To call twenty new students to enroll in the teachers’ college in January, and twenty more in April.
  • To give our college programs favor with the accrediting agencies of the government.
  • To raise up generations of Ugandan teachers and children who love Jesus and see Him alive and at work all around them.


Please also pray that the Lord will provide more Rafiki Missionaries and more day student sponsors so that we can bring Bible study and classical Christian education to more needy children.
Perhaps He is calling you to be the answer to one of those prayers? Visit www.RafikiFoundation.org to learn more.

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