June 27, 2022

by Rev. Peter Maganda

An Outreach to Triangle Secondary School in Iganga District on June 15, 2022

Lutherans For Life is a great tool for reaching out to many youths because it is a Gospel-motivated voice For Life that leaves every hearer transformed and desiring also to transform many beside him or her. I have experienced it in the first school at Triangle where we met over 800 students both at ordinary and high levels of learning in the same institution. The school has over six hundred Muslim students because it is in one of the districts that has the highest concentration of Muslims in the country. The school is both a day and boarding school, having students from almost every district in the country. It is not a Lutheran School, but the director and headteacher is a Lutheran, and therefore he offered Trinity Lutheran Church a room (class) that they use for worship. The event started with a word of prayer.

We thank greatly Lutherans For Life for the resources they provided in addressing different topics, especially those used in addressing abortion—for which we had four facilitators.

The first topic was “Will it Hurt? This was a great topic that was assigned to one teacher for biology in the school. The teacher, first of all, appreciated the content because he said it first transformed him since he was the first student of the topic. So, when he went to present, he poured out the content with conviction that what he was presenting was of great value to the students and also to the teachers themselves. While discussing the “Six Facts about Pain Perception in the Developing Human,” the students paid attention because some had had no knowledge of whether a developing human can feel pain and therefore hurt.

The second topic was Is Abortion Allowed in Cases of Rape or Incest? This was a very interesting topic because some students in the school had experienced it in their homes, some in their communities. At the beginning of this topic, many had the answer to the question as being yes. It was so until they read a statement by Dr. Jean Garton that reads:

“Place two newborn babies side by side on a table. Call together medical specialists, scientific professionals, social engineers, and leading theologians. Have technicians measure the size of the babies, examine their bodies, observe their behavior, draw blood, and perform reaction tests of all sorts. Then let the experts tell us which baby is the product of rape. They can’t!”

This made them believe that a child of rape or incest is the same as the child born of marriage, and that before God, they are both children gifted with life. This led to a number of discussions because cases of rape and incest are many and increasing in the societies and homes where the students come from.

The third topic was “The Secret Pain of Abortion.” This was a touchy one. I could see the students making reflections in their minds and hearts as they listened. Many realized they would celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Day, but without much knowledge about what they celebrate and how those who might have aborted really feel on such days which are intended for happiness. While teaching this topic they were asked a question: Where are those who abort found and who are they? Amazingly, they said some are students and teachers at school, some are parents at home, and some are Christians and Muslims.

The topic sank into them as they realized that by making a decision to abort, they are making a decision of not wanting to be mothers, fathers, and grandparents; they are denying their parents the privilege to be called grandparents; they are not having a relationship that descends from them; and they are above all not knowing that God is the giver of life.

During this topic the students opened up and told us of the reasons for carrying out an abortion, and these included:

  1. They do it in fear of their parents. They said once parents hear that their daughter is pregnant, they become wild because they want their daughters to continue with their education.
  2. They also said that some abortions are forced by their parents. Parents take a decision against the will of the daughter who has become pregnant because they think once their daughter aborts, she can continue with her education.

Those were the major reasons they emphasized, and they said the cases increased so much during and after COVID-19 because most of the time, the students were not at school but at home getting exposed to dangers of becoming pregnant.

The last topic was the Word of Hope, which was faithfully presented, and students heard the voice of Jesus and the way He does respond to us sinners.

Mr. Okello Richard, the headteacher (principal) of the school who also serves as the head of laity for Trinity Lutheran Church, said that the program came at a time when it was most needed. He reported that over thirty girls within the first term had carried out an abortion. And, the worst part is that their parents are the ones that enforce abortion because they do not want their children to miss school. He also said, “Once a girl is identified [as pregnant] by the school administration, [she] is sent back home to be taken care of by the parents, [and] to the surprise of everyone, after two weeks the student reports back to school with no pregnancies.”

I am so thankful for the administration at Triangle Secondary School, especially the headteacher, for granting us permission to be at the school. I also thank our eastern deanery coordinator, Rev. Benard Mwesigwa, and Timothy Waigolo, the chairperson of Youth’s League in the deanery, for helping to teach the students at the school.

As dean for the eastern deanery of the Lutheran Church of Uganda, I thank Pastor Michael Salemink for enabling us to make a connection with Michelle Bauman. I pray that the Lord opens many doors through which our deanery can partner with LFL/Y4Life, especially by reaching many with the Word of God restating the sanctity of life.

Next we are planning to visit Nakabango Lutheran Secondary School in Jinja City, Eastern Uganda.