Sadly, what had been a really wonderful term for our students has ended in the worst way. 4000 students at Gulu University have ended up being sent home without being able to sit their exams following strikes by the lecturers, who reportedly haven’t been paid for months. The students then demonstrated both in support of the lecturers and at not being able to sit. Having struggled, scrimped and saved to pay fees (no student loan system) it was a massive blow to them not be able to actually sit their exams. Unsurprisingly, the reaction was heavy handed, with road blocks, tear gas and shots fired by police. Thankfully to my knowledge no one was killed. The University were unable to come up with the money or a solution, so the students were sent home the university closed indefinitely.
For University Community Church it has been great term with the students. We has 13 baptisms in October, new student small groups and a great turn out to student lunches for Soul Sistaz and Men of Honour, that we host at our home. The theme this term has been relationships and the questions and topics that arise are in some times the universal questions you get from young adults thinking about relationships, and others are definitely different from any student ministry in the UK. We’ve never talked to students in the UK about polygamy, debated if the emancipation of women is a good thing and if you should pay a bride price! Thankfully it’s not us having to answer all these questions, Jimmy and Phiona Okello, our church leaders run the sessions and they have a incredible and counter cultural marriage and family life that is truly inspiring.
The Okello Family
Soul Sistaz/Men of Honour lunch at our home
So, please join me in praying for our students and all the students at Gulu University. Pray that the situation would be resolved and that they would be able to carry on with their studies.