A look at BSU Home Coming, Season 2
By Joan Logose
We might not have the Home Coming queen and king or even the usual football match to crown the day, but yes! The Bible society of Uganda does have a Home Coming event.
With its origins in American colleges and High Schools, this is a ritual of annually welcoming back their alumni to fulfil a sense of belonging. Some churches in America also hold homecoming events where churches welcome back family and friends who have dispersed to different locations around the country and for one day, they become family again.
First held by BSU in April 2015, the event has a similar objective of bringing together former and current staff for a few hours to reminisce and feel a sense of belonging to the organization.
It is common practice for long lost colleagues, family and friends to hug and chit chat when they meet after a long time apart and that’s exactly what happened on Holy Thursday 2017,as the current and former BSU staff settled in, to kick start this year’s Home Coming event.
Do the following names ring a bell? Bishop Benezeri Kisembo (1981-1987), Mr. Jeroham Kadu (1987-1996), Mr. Henry Kalule (1999-2009) and Mr. Simon Peter Mukhama; If you are familiar with BSU History, then you probably know what those names stand for. Yes! You guessed right. Four generations of BSU General Secretaries graced this year’s homecoming event, and this was a highlight for many.
Like it is at all Bible Society functions, devotion gets things rolling. This particular one was led by Mr. Henry Kalule who delivered a powerful message centered on various portions in the book of Psalms (Psalms 8:3, 62). The biggest lesson from this; Without God, we are nothing! He encouraged the staff wherever they are, to value their relationship with God as it feels good to be called children of God.
The journey down memory lane continued with the former General Secretaries telling nostalgic stories of how they came to the organisation. There was also a lot of wisdom and counsel to be picked from the diligently pre- recorded video accounts of their life at Bible Society. All in all, God has been good through the generations.
Fast forward to the current generation, when it came to his time to speak, Mr. Mukhama preached reconciliation and forgiveness between the former and current staff. He suggested that an Association of former BSU staff be created as each of the generations serve their purpose during their time at BSU. He also gave an update on the Historical Park Hotel case, the new Bible House redevelopment project, Golden Jubilee celebrations, current translation projects, and changes in UBS.
The General Secretary also did fundraising towards the redevelopment project and of course managed to get some of the former staff to pledge towards Life membership.
Some of the former staff also accepted to take part in Bible week as it is a practice they know very well and would be very good BSU ambassadors.
After his address, the current and former staff unanimously took on the idea of forming an association of former BSU workers.
When introducing herself, Namiiro Florence who worked at BSU as volunteer in 2008 said, “Thank you very much for remembering us. We appreciate, because when we are out there, not everyone remembers us.”
Just before seating down to a sumptuous luncheon, the staff were served cake by the General Secretaries present. What an honor!
About 38 former staff made it to the event and each of them received a gift as they left.