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Rafiki Foundation  |  God's Word at Work
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Lam July 2018

Lam July 2018

Dear friends, prayer partners, and beloved supporters,

How are you? We are in the second half of the year and so much has been going on. We have been kept busy and are thankful for the variety of things that all the Rafiki families were engaged in. Let me share some of them.

Bivuga Sinfonia (Inaugural concert of the Kampala Youth Orchestra). Bivuga is Luganda for “sounds” and Sinfonia is “small orchestra”. There is music all around us, you just have to listen (from the movie “August Rush”). Bivuga Sinfonia brings together young music lovers, inspired by a passion and desire to send out their voice and express themselves through sounds. Twelve Rafiki youths make up half of Bivuga Sinfonia. Their dedicated music director is Nicholas Kiberu, who for two consecutive years has been awarded the Best National Music Teacher by Kampala Music School in conjunction with the Associated Board of the Royal Society of Music, UK. On March 30, the Youth Orchestra played to a full house at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Namirembe. Their repertoire included Schubert’s Five Waltzes, and Ave Maria, Suite One of Handel’s Water Music, and Largo from Xerxes.

Biyuga Sinfonia
Bivuga Sinfonia at practice, Chloe on flute and Diana on oboe

The following day, the Youth Orchestra presented the same beautiful music at Rafiki Uganda where we had invited all our neighbors from Ssala Village, Wakiso Township to observe Good Friday and Easter with us. After the concert, our neighbors stayed on to watch “The Passion of the Christ”. Our youths were delighted to interact with our neighbors and seized the opportunity to demonstrate acts of kindness in serving up the Gospel and lots of refreshments. On the same occasion, ten Rafiki students’ original artwork in water color, oils, and crayons, on the theme “The Life, Death & Resurrection of Jesus Christ” was displayed. This visual gift drew many neighbors to appreciate the talents of our students. A number of parents asked how their children can also benefit from the music and art that Rafiki Christian Classical Schools offer. It was a delightful thing!

A sub-set of the Youth Orchestra was invited to perform at the Musical Garden, Kololo at the residence of the German ambassador on April 22. This was a fundraiser to encourage support for music scholarships for needy students. We are always grateful for every opportunity for the Rafiki youths to contribute to the community in different ways.

Community Outreach

During the school break at the end of March, our caregivers and the residents visited the sick at Mulago Hospital in Kampala to pray with, comfort, and clean the facilities of the needy. The eyes and hearts of our youths were “opened” and when they returned, they spoke endlessly of how blessed they are with God’s provision at Rafiki. They also used proceeds from their Garden Blessings to buy cooking oil, salt and sugar, paraffin, toilet tissue, laundry soap, and footwear to visit the locked-in, the disabled, and elderly persons in Wakiso Township. When they were in these places, they cleaned, washed, and help tidy the homes; they dug in their backyards and helped in every way they knew how. They became the hands and legs of Jesus to the least ones.

One Saturday morning, all the Rafiki families were decked in work clothes and gum boots, armed with machetes and grounds keeping equipment, to slash overgrown bushes and level the dirt road right outside the Village compound. The overgrown bushes had created convenient hiding places for thieves and robbers. The rain-washed out roads made driving and walking a severe hardship. When the Chinese construction company personnel drove past the Rafiki contingent, they clapped and cheered our youths. Two hours later, they were a bunch of weary and hungry souls who enjoyed a well-deserved picnic lunch of hamburgers, fries, salad, and ice cream.

More Music

Dr. Michael Wilder and his dear wife, Joyce Ann, came to enrich our music program. The Wilders conducted the first Rafiki Church Music Workshop for 97 participants from our partner churches on May 28. The participants were majorly responsible for worship, choirs, music programming, and training in their respective churches. Our Youth Orchestra again had the opportunity to play R.C. Sproul’s and Jeff Lippencott’s “The Secret Place” and our all-time favorite hymn “To God Be the Glory” at the workshop. Joyce Ann Wilder trained many Rafiki students how to play the flute and the piano. She also instructed many of our teachers on how to teach the music curriculum for which she has been the main writer. We have had lots of great conversations and discussions with the Wilders to see how we can continue tapping their music gifts for the greater benefit of Rafiki students and the community. We know God has started a very good thing here and we are eager to see how He will continue to unfold more music for Rafiki in the days to come.

Dr Michael Wilder
Dr. Michael Wilder instructing at the Workshop

Timelines and Dreams

I have always desired to see the Gospel applied to those difficult years when a person passes from childhood into adulthood. I am actually living this desire right now at Rafiki Village Uganda because we have nearly forty young adults working through timelines and dreams.

Naomi
Naomi

Naomi Namala, GL 7

“I was called to be a saint. I was eleven years old. It was 9th October 2015. We were working with Madam Yeen on my report card and then I realized that I needed Jesus.”

“My name is Naomi. I was born in 2004. I came to live in Rafiki in 2008. I started school in that same year. In 2014, I went for my first homestay. In 2016, I repeated Grade Level 5. I had never repeated a class before so I cried. In 2017, I was very happy. I got promoted to Grade Level 6. In 2018, I got promoted to Grade Level 7. I am now in Grade Level 7.”

“In 15 years to come, I will be a doctor in Mulago Referral Hospital. I will adopt kids and have a home of my own. I will have a school for the poor and street children so that they will also have a chance in life.”

Gloria
Gloria

Gloria

“In 15 years to come, I would want to graduate from any university God has planned for me and become a neurosurgeon and work in different hospitals.”

Fifteen year old Gloria has a twin sister, Olivia. They are the sweetest young ladies who are eager to help, who have contagious smiles and who know the Lord Jesus. They often ask deep questions. Gloria once asked me, “Madam, how do you see us?” Hmmm… I want to see them as more than a collection of raging, rebel hormones encased in developing skin.

Visiting with Naomi, Gloria, and others like them is invigorating. It requires intentional listening, processing the words that Naomi speaks, many times keeping quiet in order to listen. These are special times with the youths. So many of them seek relationships and desire to have someone listen to them share their dreams.

On July 1, six youths aged between fourteen and fifteen years moved into the Boys Residence Hall, also known as Nehemiah Hall. They had been waiting patiently for the move. It signified maturity, responsible conduct, new friends, new thoughts, new plans, new freedoms, new temptations, new feelings, new experiences, and new discoveries. We pray with and for them to really understand and personally internalize fundamental truths about God—is sovereignty and providence, the ever-present help of the Lord, the nature of biblical relationships, spiritual warfare, discipline, self-control, contentment, faithfulness, trustworthiness, the nature of the body of Christ, the world, the flesh, and the Devil, the principles of responsibility and accountability, biblical priorities, discovery and stewardship of gifts, and many other biblical truths, and principles. That’s quite a list! This is all to prepare our Rafiki youths for an effective and productive life in God’s world. It’s a lot of work and we are crying for more workers to come and pour themselves into these youths. If you can give Rafiki two weeks to two years in Africa, COME! The fields are white unto harvest, says the Lord Jesus Christ. COME!