Chris and Ros work at Uganda Martyrs' Seminary (UMS) in Kampala. UMS is an Anglican theological training institution that trains men and women for ordained gospel ministry in the Anglican Church of Uganda.
Chris teaches systematic theology, New Testament, mission and practical theology courses. Ros is involved in pastoral care of female students and looks after their three children: Josh, Daniel and Chloe. Both Chris and Ros are Sunday School co-ordinators in their local parish church.
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As we write this, we’re in between welcoming two sets of new students for dinner at our house.
The first nine came last week and 13 more are due tomorrow. We have some time chatting (they always want to hear more about church in the UK and life for church leaders), eat together and we listen to some of their stories and prayer points.
We’re always struck by how much death there is in their lives. A significant number of our students who are parents have lost at least one child, some more. Just three weeks ago one of our students called to say he’d lost his one-year old son. Another student lost three immediate relatives over Christmas in three different road accidents. The numbers of parents, siblings, aunts/uncles and cousins who our students lose is beyond counting. Rarely a week goes by when we don’t hear about a few. I (Chris) sometimes feel like I’m being formulaic in my responses to them. I sometimes forget to follow up to see how the student is getting on. My students say they attend about 20-30 burials a year. Death is so commonplace here, so brutal, and relentless.
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