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Bible Training Chronicles: How to Understand and Use the Bible in Your Life – Course 1

Date: 11th – 15th April 2022. Venue: Lubumba Community Church, Lukaya, KalunguDistrict. Facilitators: Davis Tugume, Simon Nyaika, and David Balage. Participants: 26 participants (including 15 pastors and 6 elders) from 12 churches in 3 districts of Kalungu, Masaka, and Nakaseke. The training was done in partnership with the Pastors’ Training Institute, Nakaseke.

Pr. Allan and his wife, Mrs. Harriet Kisakye of Lubumba Community Church mobilised churches and participants for the training and also handled logistics throughout the five days. Most of the participants were hosted by partner families from Lubumba Community Church, which is part of Eagles Wings Children’s Village.

Six lessons were covered. The first five lessons (covering the five steps of understanding) lay the foundation for the skills of How to understand and use the Bible in our lives. The sixth lesson was a practice lesson where the participants were randomly grouped into groups of five to apply the steps of understanding the Bible to the passage of Philippians 4:10-13 and arrive at its message. Each group then took turns presenting its findings to the rest of the class on Day 5.  While we had scheduled to cover 15 lessons, only 6 were covered.

This setback was due to:

  • This cohort was the first in-person (physical meeting) Bible training for participants in Uganda since the completion of Course 1 of the new material and the lifting of the national COVID-19 lockdown. The previous cohorts were all conducted via Zoom video conferencing, which made it easier to track the time for group discussions and learning activities.
  • The discussion-based adult learning approach was challenging mainly to participants who had previously only been exposed to the lecture-based approach. By day 4, however, they had gotten more comfortable with the adult learning approach.
  • This was the first time the Luganda translation for the Facilitator Manual and Participant Workbook for Course 1 was being used since their completion in February and March 2022 respectively.
  • This cohort was a mixed group with 16 and 10 participants using the Luganda and English workbooks respectively. The training was majorly run in Luganda. The facilitators are not native Luganda speakers.
  • The participants were a mixed group of literate and low literate (oral) learners. This prompted the training to move at a slow pace so that the main objective of learning the principles and skills of How to Understand the Bible is met.
Small discussion groups at work

Participants were fully engaged in discussing general group questions and attending to individual group discussions and presentations. Adult education principles facilitated dialogue amongst participants and with the facilitators as well, hence providing the opportunity to learn from one another.

Godfrey (Left) and Morris (Right) doing individual tasks

When the participants were asked in the post-training feedback questionnaire, the majority of them stated that while the process of the Steps of Understanding the Bible was somewhat structured, it was a spiritual process given that some things or information can only be seen or arrived at with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. They all appreciated the adult learning approach as a better way of learning – even for people who had only received a lower primary school education.

On Day 5,the different groups agreed that, when they returned to their respective localities, they would complete the rest of the lessons in Course 1. This shall be realised with the help of our Coordinator Facilitators, who were also part of this particular training. The participants will then be mobilised to undertake the other courses after completion of Course 1.

L-R: Juliet, John, Moses, Godfrey, and Allan studying Philippians 4:10-13
L-R: Micheal, Carol, Excel, and Charles studying Philippians 4:10-13
Frank presents his group’s work on Philippians 4:10-13

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