We have been experiencing a lot of problems with our website but now thank God that we are through with it. In the time we have been away, several things have taken place at the Joy Centre both in the continued construction and youth programmes. Here are the highlights. Camp 2012 was the first youth-lead youth camp in which the young people were entrusted with greater responsibility in leading the camp. It worked out very well. Apart from the regular camp activities, a unique feature was added to the 2012 youth camp day parenting seminar bringing together the parents of the campers. The concluding session after lunch was characterized by worshipping together and reports from the youth to the parents present. Young people spoke to their parents about the camp and what they learnt and had some recommendations both to the parents and the Joy Centre.
The young people were excited to be part of workshops on music as it relates to leading worship, evangelism, photography and cooking especially the baking of the Zucchini bread which was served to the rest of camp.
At the end of the day, parents took their children back home with them. We have since heard from some parents about the transformation in their children who were at camp.
Year 2013 has started with great plans especially for Joy Centre to host two international youth and leadership conferences. June 3 to 17, Ugandan young adults who have been part of the Joy Centre youth programmes and are now either at college of recently graduated will be joined by the youth from United States for a leadership training programme that is to last three weeks. In August, a team from Woodvale Pentecostal church will come together with a number of young Ugandans to go through a week of leadership training and may later be involved in development projects in some parts of this nation.
Will you please pray for the success of these projects.
My wife and I were invited by friends to spend Saturday afternoon together visiting sights and just hanging together and then something much unexpected happened.
It happened in a flash of a second, so quickly. The person who was following us on the road was down and I heard the bicycle crash to on the road. A yell came from the man who we had seen coming our way and was on the ground and shouted “shoot or whatever the sound is spelled like.” Our sister Judy was on the road too. She had been hit by the man on the bicycle and for a moment we thought of the worst. Joana and Joyie assisted her to sit and after a while taken to the car we had come in to sit. The man was on the phone describing the place where we were to someone at the other end and was continuing to walk back and forth, trying to stay away from our group.
Coming from Uganda, thoughts of such a scene on Uganda Streets started flashing in my mind. One time a Boda boda (motorcycle taxi) carrying Joyie in an attempt to zigzag through traffic trying to pass in a place he was not supposed to pass made a sharp turn and Joyie fell off the bike and the rider continued without stopping. At another time the bicyclist hit a pedestrian and left him on the road and sped away.
As the man who had hit our sister continued to pace back and forth talking on the cell phone, I wondered whether he was not going to jump on his bike and disappear. But this was not so and soon the drama issued. First a fire fighter’s truck with flashing lights and sirens arrived from one direction followed by a police car. Paramedics jumped out of the fire truck asking and were shown our sister who was now in the car. And as they worked to establish the condition Judy was in, a second police car came in from another direction and lastly the ambulance and a team of paramedics arrived. I thought that this was all but it was not. Two men in shorts and green tee shirts came in fast riding bicycles and almost jumped off the bikes coming to the car Judy was in but seeing their colleagues already working on her, they went to the man who had caused the accident and found he was bleeding in the elbow and started bandaging his arm. Finally, another ambulance arrived from totally a different direction. One, two, three, four, five, six groups responding to the accident involving a bicycle and one lady. The police, the paramedics, yes; but the fire truck? “Yes,” said my friend Doug. “Often the firemen are at the site of accident faster that both the police and the ambulance. They are equipped to help but if there is a person violent they will wait for the police before they intervene.” Oh, okay.
Our sister Judy was taken to the hospital and Praise the Lord, nothing serious happened except the muscles and the bump on the head. Our plans for the day were ruined but our sister was fine and in actual fact, she joined us for dinner at a very good restaurant. Glory be to Jesus.
Who would have ever thought that a teenager would save his nation from the attack of the enemy? Neither the sons of a man from Bethlehem not the King would believe that a teenager would save the whole nation from the ruthless nation with its champion, Goliath. The story is told in the book of Samuel in the Bible (1 Samuel1 17: 1-56).
The Joy Centre for leadership training in Wakiso has this season focused on the training of leaders knowing well that if the teenagers ever caught the vision of a nation well led, they would bring changes to Uganda. Dr. John Sentamu the Archbishop of York speaking about a teenager at the Scripture Union Secondary School at Busoga College, Mwiri said,” President Museveni … said to a spiritual leader who discouraged him from discussing a protest against Ian Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence, during a Scripture Union meeting we both attended, in Mwiri, in the mid-60s.” Who ever knew that the teenager at the conference in Mwiri would be president of Uganda in 1980s – barely 20 years?
The Bakiga of South Western Uganda have a saying that goes “Akati keinikwa kakiri kabisi” – you can only bend a young tree. So to speak, the old one will break instead of bending in shape. Change becomes harder for older people than the young. It was Adolf Hitler, the leader of Nazi Germany who saturated schools, government, and in every part of life with propaganda. “Give me the youth, and Germany will rule the World” he was once quoted saying- a saying that is far too true. The mind of a child is can be imprinted like a gosling and acquire the learned behaviors and attitudes of authority. Hitler used this fact to his advantage, taking German boys away from their families and turning them into loyal soldiers. With this strong backbone of support, aided by his skillful public speaking skills, Hitler was able to amass an army to conquer Europe.
Such learned values die hard. It is said that Vladimir Putin, twice president of Russia is a byproduct of this massive training of the young known as KGB. True Communism is dead at least from the Western point of view. But it seems it is still alive in the lives of many people who went through the Communist indoctrination. Working and developing leaders out of the young people may not be waste of time as it may seem.
200 secondary school students from around Wakiso town joined the Joy Centre on February 26, 2012 for the first All-Schools Service of the New Year.
It was a glorious celebration of the goodness of God, filled with song, dance and, of course, the latest gospel hits played by our favorite Christian disc jockey, DJ Twonjex.
Students of St. John SSS at the All-Schools Service
As the years have gone by, the schools participating in the service have taken up greater roles in ministry. Songs of worship were led by the choir from St. Michael International School and many students expressed interest in playing integral roles in the service next year. We praise God that many young hearts yearn to serve Him in great ways.
Perhaps the best example of this service came from Becky, a regular participant in the Joy Centre teen camps, who has attended the All-Schools Service in the past. More →
By Benoni Mugarura-Mutana
Have you received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord?
If you have, he has set you free through his victory over sin and death on the cross. Your destiny is eternal and your security is in Christ.
If you are not experiencing freedom, it may be because you have not stood firm in the faith or have not actively taken your place in Christ. Your daily victory as one chosen by God is at stake if you fail to claim and maintain your position in Jesus.
Here are some verses from the Bible to remind you of who you are in Christ.
- You are a child of God (John 1:12)
- You are a friend of Christ (John 15:15)
- You are not at war with God, but at peace (Romans 5:1)
- You are called to be separate and holy (2Corinthians 6:17)
- You are adopted into God’s family through Christ (Ephesians 1:5)
- You are forgiven (Colossians 1:14)
- You have been given fullness in Christ (Colossians 2:10)
As a true believer in Christ, you are not a helpless victim. You are not merely caught between the spiritual forces with no way out. More →
By Benoni Mugarura-Mutana
In his tale of the life of Jesus, Marks relates a very interesting episode. It is a battle of spirit and intellect, with a strong, but simple lesson for the church today.
Mark 9:14-27: Jesus, Peter, James and John went up the mountain, leaving the rest of the disciples to wait for him downhill. What the rest of the group did there is unknown as Mark is silent about it. However we know that as they waited for Jesus to return, a man approached the disciples with his son in tow. The man desperately sought help from them for the healing of son who had been tormented with an evil spirit from childhood.
We can only imagine the disciples quandary. Mark tells us that when Jesus returned from the mountain, he found his disciples engaged in a serious argument with the teachers of the law. On seeing Jesus, they rushed to greet him.
“What are you arguing with them about?” Jesus asked.
No one dared answer except the troubled man. His answer reveals a lot of the confusion that occurred in Jesus’ absence.
Teacher, I brought you my son who is possessed with a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it thrown him on the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.
Essentially, the disciples had failed to perform. It is apparent that they tried to, but couldn’t meet this man’s need.
Sounds much like today’s church, doesn’t it? More →
Being a parent is hard. It is a blessing and a joy, but boy, it is hard.
Oh, and we won’t get started on those teens …
Ben and Joyie Mugarura-Mutana know what that means. After raising five teens of their own, they have a heart for the struggles of parents and would love to share their experience and lessons in the first-ever Joy Center Parenting Teens Conference. They have engaged a rich list of counselors and friends to facilitate the conference and bring out the best parent in you.
Program, dates and speakers to be announced very soon!
For any questions, contact the Joy Centre at email@example.com or call =256-772469932.
The Joy Centre facilities are now open and available for overland travelers or campers at very reasonable rates.
The Centre is a five-minute walk from Wakiso town. Ben and Joyie have created a warm and friendly environment, fully equipped with outdoor cooking space and clean bathroom facilities. You can pitch your own tent or use the available rent-a-tent service.
The next time you are considering a budget-friendly trip west of Kampala, contact the Joy Centre.
Call +256-772-469932 for rates and booking.