Soon after I arrived in Uganda with CMS in 1957, a group of missionaries decided to arrange a camp for schoolgirls at Lake Nabugabo during the long holiday just before Christmas. I went with them the second year. We hired tents and took a lorry load and set up camp near Lake House, which was our HQ and refuge from the weather and possible emergencies. Next day the lorry brought a cargo of excited girls and we had a wonderful week of Bible Study, alternating with the novel experience of sleeping in tents, learning to swim and worshiping in the open air. This continued annually till the numbers grew too large for the tent age, just about the time when SU was being established in Uganda, and so the venue changed to school campuses, and soon Gayaza became the site for school leavers and leaders, boys as well as girls.
I was only occasionally involved as an officer, being somewhat involved in school admin, but I attended as often as I could and witnessed with great joy the life-changing experience of so many youngsters as the Bible was opened up to them. As I listened to the Introductory Sessions where the leader from each school described their Scripture Union group, it was clear that many faced quite a lot of opposition and were relieved to be able to share with others and find the support they needed to go back encouraged as well as trained to lead better.
“Over the years SU has reached every corner of Uganda and become respected and accepted as a vital part of the education system. A great many future clergy, including bishops, teachers, lawyers, doctors and, of course, parents owe their grounding in the faith to those camps and have passed it on to their children.”
For all this we praise God, and I wish Scripture Union well in this Jubilee Year, as they seek to follow Jesus, our Lord and Master, wherever he leads.