In the Beginning ...
... NOTDEC Uganda had no big public space, so worship had to be in one of the first four bungalow houses.
Then, the Classroom block was built — opened with a service of dedication and thanksgiving in January 2010, and immediately used for worship and teaching. Sometimes, it's hard to tell which is which!
The multi-purpose chapel was built in 2012. In addition to worship, it is used for a wide range of activities: pre-Nursery toddlers play with toys there. But first and foremost, it is NOTDEC Uganda's Church.
Anglican — but no bells!
The call to worship isn't bells, but drums — and, in Uganda, quite right too! Singing during the service is accompanied by drums and by shakers like this one made out of a vegetable oil tin. The children follow their role models.
Services may look like a high church version of what we're used to in the UK, but they sound entirely different. Except when there are visitors from the UK, the language is Lukonzo. And the singing is buoyed up by such a strong rhythm that it feels as if the whole congregation is about to break into dancing.
At the end of the service, Milly looks towards her brother Tom — then Chaplain and service leader — as the children finally do break into dancing to the beat of the drum.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
And Sunday School
Sunday school is vital to NOTDEC Uganda's work, teaching the stories and message of the Bible to the very youngest. "Let the little children come to me ... for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." Sunday school is now normally led by teachers Alice and Christine. The final picture shows “collection time” – when the children are each given a small coin which they then put into the collection basket.