So what is life like for the Kinsellas, a missionary couple at African Bible University? Let’s look at a typical week.
Sundays are a great blessing. We begin our week with worship of God. We worship at New City Bible Church, in the centre of Kampala. Services start at 10.40am and finish at 12.40pm (African church services average out at four hours, so ours is on the short side!).
The music has a definite African flavour, but is biblical and includes the singing of hymns and psalms. Last Sunday it rained so hard that it was almost impossible to hear the preacher (due to the tin roof) and we had to quickly move away from the windows before we got soaked, as the rain was falling horizontally!
Later, we enjoyed the company of Max and Gloria Ssali, for lunch. Max runs the radio station (Radio ABC, 99.3fm) and also leads the teaching of Mass Media and Communications. Max told us all about his work and the many encouragements he has received from people whose lives have been touched by Radio ABC.
Later, Sean travelled by motor bike to a local Sudanese congregation, where he preached, with translation. Mulla, a second year student, is the pastor of this church.
Then we attended our evening service held on campus, where Palmer Robertson, our vice-chancellor, has been preaching from Genesis. We give great thanks for these services and pray that many will come from the surrounding community to hear God’s Word faithfully proclaimed.
Mondays begin at 8.00am. Sean teaches English to the first years and Natasha teaches physics to Elliot and Daniel Robertson. The first years are a small group of 19, who are thankful to be at ABU and a delight to teach.
10.00am is chapel time, where we sing, pray and hear the preaching of God’s Word. Each morning we are blessed by different speakers; it is the highlight of our weekday. At midday, Sean teaches world history to the first years — his favourite subject.
Natasha spends her afternoons preparing lessons, helping out with admin and doing jobs at the library, whilst Sean organises the sports. We have introduced a new ‘Sports coaching and ministry development’ programme, which will hopefully impact the local schools in our area of Kampala.
Our evenings are usually free, but we use some of our spare time getting to know students and other members of staff. Sean occasionally will sneak off and watch the football across the road with Bentry, his football buddy and colleague.
Tuesdays start at 9.00am for Natasha, with a library orientation class. Again, 10.00am is chapel time, followed by an 11.00am class for Sean in ‘Foundations of curriculum development’.
This is a class for second- and third-year students who have taken an elective in education, and plan to teach. At 12.00pm, Natasha takes a class of eleven third- and fourth-years, looking at the book of Proverbs. This class is based around a small group Bible study and involves study and discussion.
On Wednesdays, Natasha gets to teach chemistry twice; once to Elliot and Daniel (a year 8 lesson), and once to Murray (IGCSE), which she very much enjoys.
Wednesdays follow a similar pattern to Mondays, with the added benefit of a faculty Bible study in the evening.
Palmer has been going through his thoughts on the flow of the Psalms, and you can sense his joy and excitement in the Word of God. It’s an encouragement to hear the prayers of the saints and enjoy fellowship after, though we greatly miss our midweek meetings at Cambridge Presbyterian Church.
Thursdays follow the pattern of Tuesdays. There is no library orientation for Natasha, but the second Proverbs class. Sean might have to take his turn at preaching in the chapel morning service. Recently, he preached a three-part series based on Jesus’ words, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’.
In the afternoon, Sean joins the students for their outreach programme. The group he joins go to Kajjansi, in Kampala, for open air preaching and witnessing. For Sean, it’s a great opportunity to continue his work for the Open-Air Mission, even if it is in Africa! You can read his reports on our blog (see below).
Fridays start at 8.00am again, following the pattern of Mondays and Wednesdays for Sean. Natasha teaches physics twice today and learns some new jobs for the library, such as cataloguing.
The afternoon is free on Fridays, so sometimes we might take a trip into town to complete some errands and experience a bit of Ugandan life. The traffic is heavy and chaotic here and so much prayer is offered up before any trip, I’m not sure Natasha will have the courage to drive, if we ever get a car!
A few of our Friday evenings have been given over to ‘history’ or student film nights. They are really an excuse to show hospitality and treat the students to pop and popcorn.
One of the most popular films we have watched was Ben Hur, all 3+ hours of it! The students love coming round and said they hoped to one day host others themselves, when they have their own homes.
More recently, Sean has organised a six-a-side football league in the gym. It is popular with all the students and the atmosphere is typically African: loud and lively.
On Saturday evenings, we might invite students or faculty round for a meal. We recently hosted Patrick and Kenny.
Patrick is an ABU graduate, now working as our personal relations officer. It is his job to visit schools and other establishments talking about ABU, in order to maintain the flow of students coming to train to serve Christ.
Kenny is 17 and an orphan. He lives with Patrick, so that he can study IT in a local college. Patrick has a great heart for sharing the gospel with young people, the very thing we love to do too.
Please keep us in your prayers and, if you want to keep track of what we are doing, check out our blog at:
http://thekampkins.blogspot.com and sign up for regular updates.
Sean and Natasha Kinsella