Akuyam Bible Study

Friday, 27 March 2015 | 06:04

Last Thursday (the 19th), I had the opportunity to head out to one of the local villages, Akuyam, for the weekly Bible study there. Akuyam is about a half an hour walk north of Nakaale and is one of the more spread-out villages.

The studies are prepared by the pastors, translated to ŋaKarimojoŋ, and then presented by teachers. There’s a significant advantage to having local teachers present the lessons - language familiarity. For this study, Lokeris was leading. Typically, one of the pastors attends, but on this particular day both were engaged in other church business, so Pastor Al gave me a copy in both English and ŋaKarimojoŋ so that I could follow along a bit more easily.

Akuyam, being rather spread out, actually has two studies in the afternoon, back to back in different locations, both held in the shade of trees. For those who can read, a copy of the lesson is provided and attendees are occasionally asked to read a particular paragraph. At the end of the passage, there is the “lesson” portion, where the discussion really happens, followed by a memory verse.

The first lesson was primarily attended by men, whereas the second was primarily attended by children and mothers. Even though I couldn’t understand the bulk of the lesson, except where I could follow along in my copy, I could still tell where Lokeris was interacting differently with the two groups, just as you’d expect. Overall, I like the format and how well it integrates with the mission work as a whole. This week covered Saul and Barnabas and the lesson included an explanation of how the missionaries on the field in Karamoja are following in their footsteps.

On the way out and back, I had the chance to get a better sense of the area, as well. The route crosses a river, which now at the very end of the dry season is completely dry. But in the rainy season, I learned that it is chest-high and full of moving debris like logs, making it impassible from the bank I stood on taking this photo to the far bank (the trees with the green grass around them end up in the middle of the river). So, instead of a half-hour walk, it’s a much longer walk around via the road, which has a bridge. Such are the challenges of “footing it”.

River+Crossing.jpg

It was nice to get out and see more of the mission work, particularly the teaching aspects. I’d been spending pretty much all my time within the compound, since that’s where my work was.