Yesterday, it got real!
Written By: Adam H.
Good morning from Kamonkoli!
We have had a great time here playing with kids and sharing the Gospel. We have been preaching, singing and enjoying great fellowship with our team and our new friends in Uganda. Have we seen pain, poverty and suffering? Yes. But the smiles, laughter and fun have overwhelmed all of that.
Yesterday was different. We made home visits to five families living outside the village and in relative isolation. What we saw was breathtaking–mud huts and thatched roofs. There was no running water or electricity. The clothes folks were wearing on their backs what were likely the only clothes they owned; and those clothes had LONG AGO seen better days.
It was the Africa you see on television news when famine and tragedy strikes.
Despite the overpowering scenes of poverty and circumstance, these people were kind, generous in spirit and grateful for our presence.
During each stop, we would gather with the family and the kids (that seemed to appear from nowhere!) A team member would share a short devotional. Prayers were offered for the family. Then we distributed clothing.
At our third stop, our team gathered with the family. At the same time, however, I noticed an elderly lady laying on a mat in the dirt a few feet away. She was ill. Very ill. Clearly suffering from malnutrition and hunger. She was weak, frail and had no meat on her bones.
I held her hand, looked her in the eyes and spoke with her. I asked an interpreter to join me. She complained of headaches, stomach aches and needing sugar. I asked permission to pray for her, which she granted. And my prayers were translated into her native tongue.
As our team continued to pray with the family, I stayed with the woman I called “Grandma” (because she was the matriarch). It was her daughter and grandchildren that were being prayed over by our team.
Then, with a courageous inspiration that could only come from the Holy Spirit, I felt compelled to ask if the woman knew Jesus. She asked to hear more. By this time, other team members joined me. The interpreter told me that she was ready to receive Christ.
I shared the Gospel with grandma. I told her of God as Creator, as righteous and just, as hating sin, but loving us so much that he sent His only Son to die for us. I told her that by repenting of our sins and expressing heartfelt believe in Jesus Christ, she could spend eternity in Heaven with Him. I took a deep breath and asked if she was prepared to make such a confession and decision. She said yes. I was so thankful to be surrounded by our team…because without the power of the Holy Spirit guiding my words and my friends all around, I am not sure I could have led Grandma through the prayer of repentance and acceptance. But God used me as His vessel for this purpose and the woman accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
Please know I share this not out of pride, but out of a sense of seeing the mystery of God unfold. You see, just four months ago, I led our weekly small group at my church through a ten-week study of the Gospel–what it is, how to live it and how to share it. I told our small group that I was teaching myself the Gospel and they were welcome to join in, because one day, we would all have an opportunity to share it. I had no idea that it would be in the Ugandan bush, 8,000 miles from home!
While we were with Grandma, we learned that she is HIV positive and is no longer taking any medicine and she has little access to food. However, later this week, a large bag of staples and food will arrive for her and her family. And, through sponsorships coordinated by One More Child, grandma’s two grandchildren will begin school in January, receive two meals a day, access to medical care, and additional support for the family. All of this will be provided via Hines Ugandan Ministries. Praise God for that!
Today, as you read this, will you pray for Grandma? Pray that her suffering ends – either through complete healing or by entering the gates of Heaven with a smile on her face and a song on her lips. I promised Grandma I would be doing the same!