This is just a short blog to share a couple of the small stories that have already happened at our own house. Even though these are small things, we’re excited to taste the first fruit of what we’ve been praying for. The first story is about a man who started coming around our place during construction. He came to me with a letter saying that he’d been shot while working in his field last March. I found out through a translator that he was looking for help to get to a hospital 2 hours to the south. He needed a doctor to look at the wound, which was in his upper leg, and apparently had never been treated. This guy crutches around everywhere and has practically no use of his right leg. I told him he had to go to the local health center to get a referral to the larger hospital and then we’d see if there was anything we could do. After the guy left, the story got a little more interesting. According to everyone around, this man was actually shot while stealing sheep from a well known man on the other side of town. When he had gone to the local health center for treatment they wouldn’t treat him because he was shot while stealing. His partner had been put in prison and he had been allowed to go free due to the punishment he’d already received in the form of a crippled leg. After hearing all this I was swayed by the mindset of the crowd. I started thinking about how we could be helping other people who were more deserving, people who weren’t thieves. He came back around a couple of weeks later with his referral but I had already made up my mind (this thief got what he deserved and can figure out on his own how to get his leg fixed). This time however my beautiful wife was with me. Something you may or may not know about my wife is this: one of her great strengths is that in a very prophetic yet subtle way her heart beats to the same beat as the Father’s. Things that break the Father’s heart break Kerri’s heart, things that bring the Father joy bring Kerri joy, things that anger the Father anger Kerri. I’ve seen it many times. As I explained the whole back story of this guy to Kerri she had the opposite reaction as me. She pointed out that this man has very few other options. We had heard his father disowned him and it seemed as if the community had cast him out. In a culture like this one that is the worst thing that could happen to someone. Community is everything; if you’re an outcast you’re less than human and you lose any and all support networks. There’s no one to help you when you’re sick. There’s no one to help you when you’re hungry. There’s no one to help you when you’ve got a bullet in your leg and you can’t do any of the manual labor jobs to earn a meager income. As if this wasn’t enough of a reason to help, there is the example of the Author and Perfector of our Faith, who spent all of his time hanging out with the “sinners” and lost sheep. You know, that whole “it’s the sick that need a physician, not the well” thing. I saw the actions, the sin, but Kerri saw the man, the creation, the lost sheep the Father dearly wants to come home. As Kerri voiced her thoughts I instantly knew she had it right.
Fast forward, now, to save time. We had him listen to all of the Gospel of Mathew in Karimojong and also took him to the hospital he needed. On the way to the hospital he said he had enjoyed listening to the Words of God; he felt he had been living the wrong way and wants to follow Jesus. We’re going to start going to his house once a week to discuss this fully and while it’s not yet clear if this is just what he thinks we want to hear or truly from his heart it’s very exciting none the less. Be praying that this guy and all of his neighbors accept Jesus and we see a move of God spring up in Narikapet (his neighborhood).
The other story is about one of the young men who lives on the same property as us. His name is Ampellio and he is the first person who has come to us asking for a bible. This happens to Kenneth and Kristi quite a bit but it’s cool to have our first. We told him we would give him one if he would memorize Psalm 1. This way we can know he is serious and not just looking for something free. He seemed intimidated by memorizing a whole Psalm because the idea of memorizing scripture is completely foreign here but he was also very excited to give it a try. He went to his home in the North for Christmas so we’ll see when he gets back if he’s managed it or not.
Like I said, these are small things but to us it’s exciting to see what God is doing in people’s hearts and even more exciting that he lets us be a part of it. As a wise old man named Lee once said, hopefully we will continue to have fresh stories of what God is doing around us.