Stories of change: Mother gives birth in Mabira forest – Part 2

Part 2 of my friends’ story
Recently, my wife and I traveled with a Ministry team to Jinja. We visited the Muslim family of a couple that we picked from Mabira last year September (Does this story ring a bell?)
Yes, the couple we picked having given birth along the road in Mabira forest. I last communicated when the couple visited us with the baby last year and how the community made a request for us to visit them. The parents and community implored us to name the baby and we gave him the name – Moses. 
We left on April 20th 2017 to visit our new friends in a place we have not been before.  to us. We traveled, branched off a few miles to Jinja town into the jungle on a 17 km rough road heading to a remote fish landing site. The distance seemed so long because of the bad road!
With several phone calls to our hosts for direction, (occasionally getting lost), our host eventually met us on the way. We passed areas known as Benghazi and Kandaha (Please this is not in Libya, but this community is predominantly Muslim and maybe it explains why they adopted these names), then to Nakagga our final destination, the road was very steep and rugged.
We eventually reached our destination and found the family waiting for us with excitement, they welcomed us with lots of hugs. Evidently the over 20 people receiving us were all Muslims, with occasional Islamic greetings. They were curious to meet us and share their joy and thankfulness for God using us save their son and wife.
We had coached ourselves as a team not to use any of our Christian jargons.  They prayed, ululated, praised and did everything in Islam. We felt the joy of the Lord, praying that the Grace and love of Jesus would be evident in and through us the whole time we were there. And true, they experienced Jesus as we heard one –by- one testify and we were greatly touched. “This is love, thank you”, the grandparents said. “You have greatly honored us, enduring our bad roads to come to us shows love”.
We never quoted any Scripture or even prayed but every moment with them, freely interacting and sharing life was so God honoring and glorifying. No mention of Jesus but fully expressed during the whole time we were there. ‘’Oh, God is good me seeing this day!’’ another said.
Pray God helps us build authentic relationships with the couple and the community through other visits as we trust God to guide us on how to proceed. 

Stories of change – Mother gives birth in Mabira forest

Below is a story of change from my friend Barham. This resonates with my heart on so many levels. That what God has called us to is the gospel in action as we go along. Lets not waste the opportunities.
Recently what looked like one of our usual mission trips where you have already figured out what to do, this one was unique. I confirmed you can never predict what God is up to. The day was Monday 19th September 2016 when we set off for a conference with the Pentecostal Pastors in Mbale. There was a heavy down pour that day all the way to Jinja.
Reaching the middle of Mabira Forest, at a distance we saw a car stop and as we approached, it sped off. On the roadside were two people, a woman seated and a man standing near his bodaboda.
He tried to stop us, but we were suspect they could be thieves and so we drove a little further. However, we were convicted to stop and reverse kind of risking our lives. The man came near our car and immediately told us his wife had just given birth on the road side and needed urgent help to take her to Hospital. The temptation was so great to give excuses (imagine with me please), but we don’t know how we were all moved to compassion and swung into action.
We prepared a seat for her: shivering and holding her baby wrapped in her husband’s jacket, the only cloth available with them and blood stained. At that time, our lives and comfort didn’t seem to matter. Blood all over hands; we lifted her with the baby into the car. To create space for her, one of us had to jump on a bodaboda with her husband and in heavy rain. We then sped off to a nearby health center we didn’t know where.
We finally found one, with two elderly nurses who were very helpful. They needed to lift the baby first but then discovered he was still attached to the mother! Now here I got a bit scared. The nurses looked for gloves only to get a pair but of the same hand. We were getting worried.
We just wanted to lift the woman and the baby inside for the much needed help but the nurses restrained us saying we don’t have gloves. They never knew we had been lifting her bare handed. That’s when it downed on us that actually we had all along been exposed to blood!!
They went back and forth until they got some but again there was no razor to cut the Umbilical cord and other gadgets to stop the bleeding after. One of us run down to the trading center and brought a razor. This Muslim couple was on a journey from somewhere and had no clothes with them, so they were not prepared in any way. That meant that we had to buy essentials both for the mother and baby.
This trip to Mbale was by faith and so our resources were very limited. Immediately the story of the Good Samaritan hit us (Luke 10:25-37). Verse 35 says the Good Samaritan paid for all the bills and verse 37 tells us to do likewise. So we obeyed and paid the bills, money for bed sheets, mother’s and baby’s clothes, prayed with them and exchanged our Telephone numbers for future follow up and since then we have been in touch.
From there, we went for our other mission but the Lord had taught us great truth: His Compassion, Servant hood, Humility, Love and Generosity. It’s very easy to have a great seminar on all these topics but the application of any one of them can be very hard.
We were challenged to have a functional first aid tool kit in the car for any eventuality.
We experienced the Gospel first hand and to this we are thankful to Jesus and pray the Lord continues open our eyes to many of such opportunities and to move us into action.
The parents have since dedicated the Baby to us. ‘’This is your baby and we want to bring him to you, give us an appointment”, the parents have repeatedly told us. “Our parents and relatives want to meet you, when are coming to see them”? They inquire.
Give thanks to God for using us boys as inexperienced Midwives (???) to rescue the situation.
Please pray that this experience will translate into their hearts the Love of Jesus and thereby embrace Him as their savior.

Intentional Growth

In January I made the decision to join Harvest Institute which is run by Worship harvest ministries. This is a yearlong school with once a month meeting and assignments, some of which are monthly and others all year. The institute is about personal leadership growth and organizational leadership with the hope that this will  create transformation in our lives, for those around us and eventually spread to the entire country. The sessions and books we read offer ways of how to be intentional about living this out and in turn influence others.

There is a variety of topics covered monthly falling under four broad areas. The broad areas include 4 major topics; Personal Growth as a Leader, Leading in the Church Context, Organizational Leadership & Management, Leading in a Changing World. In the end the person is challenged to grow in all areas of life as leaders because like John Maxwell says, ‘Everything rises and falls on leadership’, in another instance he explains that ‘leadership is influence’. This is what  influenced the leaders who started Harvest institute, they had a desire to grow the people attending who in turn would impact others.

I have enjoyed most of the studies and been challenged to grow. Truth is, for many years I have had the privilege of learning a lot of these things and more but somehow the cares of life cloud them out of my life which leads to less influence. I sit in most of these classes and smile remembering the last time I listened to someone teaching that topic. One of such topics was to do with Bible essentials of ‘exegesis’ and ‘hermeneutics’. I first heard of these terms about 10 years ago but I convinced myself that these are for bible scholars, surely not for me a ‘lay person’. Finding it again here got me thinking, maybe it is high time I considered growing in using these tools for myself and others.

I see growth happening in my life and more waiting to happen. I feel very stretched but I know that this growing is not for me only but also for those that I will interact with on my life journey. They will benefit more from conversations with me and will be able to learn from me as I learn from them.  I welcome you on a growth journey, which will be both for yourself and for others. Let’s keep learning, unlearning and growing together for the sake of transformation of our nation and world at large.