Saturday, May 9, 2015

I want my 2nd December 1995

I want my 2nd December 1995

A view of Makerere College (internet photo)

David Mbati (Deputy headboy 1996), (RIP), Mr. Katongole and Beverley Nambozo (Headgirl 1996) Courtesy photo.

In 1995 in Kampala, most Christians I knew were happy to meet and share testimonies, hug, greet each other with Praise God, say a blessing to shop owners and street children and hardly worry about costume and lighting when on stage. Before a show, they spent at least one hour in prayer. Makerere College School was all that. I was in senior five when a group of about fifteen or more of us, experienced a Saul to Paul moment.
When your mind and hearts have been preparing for something, it will always happen. The frail will always frolic in strength and there will always be enough for everyone.

Because of the flexibility on hostel opening times at Makerere College School (Macos), in our squashed room with six double decker beds, every Saturday and Sunday morning, five of us would rush to bathe at about 3:00am and wait for 4:00am where we would run to the tiny theater room just to pray. It sounds odd when you say it out loud but I don’t remember having such excitement for anything in my life. We were seventeen to nineteen years old, waiting with our torches for 4:00am on a Saturday, to pray. The head girl, Joanne Aniku, would open the hostel gate for us and we would rush with bibles in hand, racing for fellowship. Sometimes, we would hear the boys singing, preparing the place for worship. It was one of the warmest feelings of my life, singing before dawn, praying in earnest, worshipping in joy and sharing love with my friends in Christ.
We were so concerned about one another’s well-being. We were neither allowed to go hungry in the dormitories, nor struggle alone with a difficult subject because we all looked out for each other. It was a fellowship. During break times, we would meet just to share bible verses and testimonies. There was such lightness in our steps and a warm magnetism about us, which even the staff, began to notice.
Steven Kitumba one mid-week fellowship shared from Ezekiel 37, Dry bones, live again. He said that when you feel you’ve reached the end of your rope, God joins another rope to it. We couldn’t speak; only shed tears because of the intensity of his message at that moment, the way we were lifted from one place to another.
Dry bones, live again.  I’ve never heard anyone else share from that chapter since 1995.
The profundity of 1995 was the love we shared for one another, which is what the Lord desires, that we love one another as he has loved us. During one of the 4:00am weekend prayers, someone shared a word that The Holy Spirit would visit us on Saturday 2nd December and that we should prepare for this visit.
 2nd December 1995 needed neither coercion nor advertisements. All we did out of obedience like Noah, was start preparing by scrubbing that theater room which hadn’t been scrubbed in over a year. The windows glistened and people stopped to stare just like they did Noah. And then we posted a plain pencil drawing of a dove on one of the notice-boards and sent out hand-made invitations to staff and students for the Holy Ghost visitation.
Once again, saying it out loud does make me feel like a lunatic.
We dressed in our very best that day, decorated around the room for the Holy Ghost party and waited as people came in from 4:00pm. Singing songs, leading teachers and students alike into the room, we waited. Like Noah, we waited.

It came upon us like a breeze, then a drizzle and then an unmistakable eruption of tongues broke out. It was glorious. It was the after-glow of hysterical laughter. The French teacher was in tears, there was hardly any standing room and students joined hands all the way to the classroom. The singing never stopped. The love grew. There was a makeshift VIP carpet from the door to the stage, for anyone who wanted to speak at the podium. Balloons lifted to the ceiling as blessings came down. It was the perfect blend of an intangible vigor with a tangible stillness.

I want my 2nd December 1995.

Sara Kaweesa, who was part of that fellowship, directs Arocha International Uganda, a Christian conservation organization. Dennis Kasirye began his own church. Macos is extraordinary. Many of its students have verve for life that is astounding. Solome Ndikatuga Basuuta, Helengrace Namulwana, Keith Kibirango, Steven Kitumba, Doris Mitti, Mark Kakitahi, George Matovu, Isabella Kesiime and many others.
I have been part of many enthusiastic groups since 1995 which have made incredible milestones and I’m so grateful. That December was exceptional though, because we can only reach unimaginable proportions when there is a fusion of spiritual energy which outpaces the physical, where there is depth of mutual respect, no feelings of superiority but eagerness to grow as a cell.

Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva studied in Makerere College School from 1995 to 1997. She is the founder of the BN Poetry Foundation and BN Leadership Academy, author, poet, dancer and actress.

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