I’ll never forget our first trip to Bombo. It was August/September of 2007 and none of us knew anything about what was in store for us in the future. On our last day in Bombo (actually we were in our guest house in Kampala) we sat down with Alex and Millie Ojera from Bombo Pentecostal Church (BPC) for a debriefing. We asked Alex and Millie this question: If we continue to be involved with BPC, what do you need that we could provide? They immediately responded with two things: (1) We need some kind of a medical mission or clinic and (2) we have some students who have graduated high school but don’t have the means the means to go on to college or Bible school. Well you know the story of what is now 11 medical clinics, but the story I want to tell is about those students.
After our meeting with the Ojeras, Les Smith and I began talking and when we got home the rudiments of a plan had been formulated. We would ask our Sunday school class to sponsor some of the young people in Bombo to a college education. I presented the need for college scholarships to the Sunday school class and with excitement the class decided to take on five students selected by Alex and Millie and provide scholarships for those five students. The scholarships ranged from a low of $250 to a high of $500 per term for each student. In conjunction with the Ojeras, we established three rules for the recipients:
• Walk close to the Lord throughout your education process.
• Maintain good grades throughout.
• After graduation, stay in Uganda and use your education to help your own people.
As I write this in mid-December, we have now provided scholarships for 16 students, 14 of which have graduated, one dropped out and one is still in medical school and plans to return to Bombo upon graduation and take charge of the medical clinic PCC paid for a few years ago. The others among other things are:
• Teaching in Donela School, the private Christian school established by Align Ministries in Bombo, now serving more than 600 students in grades 1-8.
• Pastoring in churches in towns near Bombo, churches planted by BPC.
• Leading in music and worship in the various churches.
• And more.
In fact those original students we sponsored decided they needed to do more and they committed on their own initiative to save part of their income to help provide tuition funding for students who would follow them. And they have continued to do that.
Currently we are supporting four new students all of whom started college this year. What a rich blessing this has been for the class. Who knew back in the fall of 2007 the ways we at PCC could have an impact on this wonderful community of young Christian students half a world away!