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Creative Learning Center

                                            Creative Learning Center

                                                              Written by Jennifer Reitsma

I recently spent 5 weeks in the lovely nation of Uganda. The loveliest part of this nation is not the exotic animals, the colorful flowers, the lush green landscape or the headwaters of the Nile. The loveliest part is the people.

I had the privilege of ministering to a group of girls and the staff at Creative Learning Center each week for 5 weeks. Creative Learning Center has been established for girls ages 10-18 who are not in traditional school for any number of reasons — maybe they’ve had a baby, cannot afford school fees, or some other home situation that has forced them to leave school. The center works with 20 girls for a period of three months in hopes of teaching them better English skills, computer skills, and possibly even trade skills, such as hair braiding. After the training, some girls are able to integrate back into traditional school. The center ministers to their spiritual needs and teaches them about Jesus and His love for each one of them.

These are precious girls who have experienced a lot of hardship at a tender age. The girls are happy to greet and welcome visitors, and they praise and worship the Lord, dancing and playing the drums. Some of them are quick to smile and hug and some are not. No matter their exterior personality, underneath it all are layers of pain and suffering.

I first visited Creative Learning Center in April of this year while on a two-week mission’s trip with my church, Living Word Christian Center. We had a powerful time of praise and worship, sharing words of encouragement with the girls and praying over them, and then finishing our time with a craft and a snack. The craft project allowed the girls time to have fun and to be creative, and also gave us opportunities to talk with them and to encourage them one-on-one. It was one of the highlights of my entire trip!

I loved ministering to the girls in April and was excited to find out that we were going back in August! The students were on holiday for the whole month of August, so they came to Creative Learning Center out of their own willingness for each scheduled ministry time. Just as in April, we ministered to the girls and had fun with them, not only telling them about the love of God, but demonstrating His love through our actions.

I visited the girls weekly on my own once the team returned to America. I built upon the foundation established while the team had been there. These were precious and life-changing times, not only for them, but for me. The Lord gave me amazing ideas for teachings that would show them how He sees them, and also how they can build their Christian character. I ministered to them first out of the Book of Ruth, then about humility and favor, and finally about thankfulness. They listened and received the Word of God with hungry and open hearts. With assistance from my Ugandan helpers from Prepare the Way Ministry — Perus, Harriet, Anitah and Cathy — we continued to worship, make crafts each week and enjoy snacks together.

One of the weeks, my Ugandan daughter, Jackie, joined us. The girls loved meeting her! She had started back to school so couldn’t come back again with me the following week, but it was so precious to hear them reaching out to me and asking about her! Truly, God had built a friendship between all of us!

My final session with the girls was in partnership with a ministry team from Kansas City; and once again, the girls were changed and impacted by the Word that went forth, prayer ministry, and a fun time of crafts and snacks. It was hard to say goodbye to these beautiful girls, but I am honored to have had the opportunity to sow the Word of God and the love of God into their lives.

Spreading His Glory throughout the earth,

Jennifer Reitsma