Monthly Archives: April 2014

Michelle Saves a Toddler From the Middle of a Busy Highway!

As mentioned in the previous blog, tragedy happens often here in Uganda.  Today as Michelle and I traveled to Jinja on a 4-lane highway with traffic going about 50 – 55 mph, a toddler was crossing the two lanes of traffic ahead of us – in the middle of the two lanes!!  I saw the kid first with both hands extended in the air to balance herself.  I started blowing the horn – no response.  Michelle asked, “Is that a baby in the road?”

This road is similar to the one from which Michelle rescued the toddler.  There is normally quite a bit of traffic on it.

This is the road from which Michelle rescued the toddler, although at a different location. There is normally quite a bit of traffic on it.

Our hearts were pounding!  Fear gripped us as I considered the gravity of situation and whether we would witness an horrific accident and a gruesome death.  Praise God no traffic was behind us.  As I stopped in the fast lane, Michelle unbuckled and jumped out of her seat even before I fully stopped, and  onto the highway, risking her own life.  I continuously glanced from the baby, to Michelle and to my rear view mirror, as Michelle swept the toddler off her feet and carried her to safety.  Now rescued, I could pull our vehicle off the road to safety.

My heart was pounding!  Michelle searched for the mother, who was at a nearby landscaping market, shopping and chatting with the owner, oblivious to the horrendous situation that could potentially have unfolded.  Praise God we were there.  A man on a boda (motorcycle) driving the wrong way on the road, began chastising the mother.  There’s irony there.

Praise God for His Grace Shown in Jesus Christ.

Praise God for His Grace Shown in Jesus Christ!!!

God’s grace covers our own daily neglect of our responsibilities.  We should be focused on our struggling spiritual life, but we are too often busy and involved in the day-to-day transactions of the world to even notice or take care.  Often God graciously swoops in through a kind act of mercy and covers us, rescuing us from the dangers of sin.

Michelle and I both came close to crying.  We have not experienced such a potential for disaster, and it stayed with us for miles down the road.  We just praise God for His grace and protection, allowing us to rescue a baby who might have been killed.

 

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The Power of God is His Heart

The last few weeks I received invitations to speak at various churches in the area.  Today, I spoke at Samuel’s church, giving a message entitled, “The Power of God is His Heart” (Luke 7:11-17).  Samuel is the young man I have discipled for months.  This afternoon I created a small video of our visit – it’s not much, but hopefully will provide just a small taste of our visit.  Here’s the link:

Last week we visited Church on the Rock in Mfumbira.

On Saturday (March 29th) at Michelle’s Bible study in Masese, she was hit by a small rock while she was teaching.  The rock was thrown by some children and hit her in the chest.  It wasn’t bad, but she immediately recognized the influence of the enemy and rebuked the evil.  After the Bible study a lady asked Michelle to receive Jesus as her Savior.  Michelle prayed with her, and recognized what had happened – the resistance and influence of the enemy.

Sadly far greater tragedy happens in Uganda than being hit by a rock.  We hear of tragedies regularly here, far more often than we heard of tragedy in our community in the United States.  Some of these tragedies I only share generally, avoiding details on this public forum out of respect for the families.

Recently we’ve heard of the death of a father of some children our kids spent time with.  This man was killed after returning from work on his bicycle at night.  The children have no parents now.

We also learned of the tragic and despicable rape of 6-year old girl by a young adult male.  We visited the girl in the hospital and she was full of the Holy Spirit, smiling, singing songs about Jesus and asking to pray for others who were in the hospital.

After a four-day hunt, a large one-ton crocodile was finally caught within walking distance of where we live.  The croc was estimated at more than eighty years old and had eaten four people (mostly fishermen) and maimed others.  You can see the story here:

Man-Eating Croc Captured

One of those maimed by the massive crocodile was a worker for a local missionary friend of ours.  After not showing up to work for some time, the maimed man’s neighbor later admitted to killing the maimed man to send his body parts to a local witch doctor.  This murder leaves two children without parents now.

Pain, suffering, poverty and oppression are a way of life in Uganda, maybe more so than other countries.  But in the midst of affliction, pain and suffering I am reminded of Lamentations 3:32-33 where the Holy Spirit inspires “the weeping prophet” who was watching the brutal collapse and captivity of his nation to write, “Though (the Lord) causes grief, yet He will show compassion, according to the multitude of His mercies.  For He does not afflict willingly (the Hebrew word there literally means, “from His heart.”)…”

Did you catch that?  The real, true God, from His heart is compassionate.  If you hear people talk about God’s judgment, they may very well be speaking truth.  Because God does judge sin justly, but patiently.  Patiently because at His heart is compassion, mercy and love.  If we don’t know God’s heart, then we really don’t know God, do we?  “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.  They are renewed every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.  Therefore I have hope in Him!  ” (Lam 3:22-24)  Knowing God’s mercy and love is not just recognizing a beautiful sunrise in the morning – that’s only knowing the Creator.  It’s a good start, but does that save anyone?  Do we know God as Savior in the midst of suffering, pain, oppression and poverty?  Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”

If you don’t know God, Lamentations tells us we can know Him. “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him” (Lam 3:25).  Trust Jesus – He’s at the heart of God – compassionate, kind, merciful and full of grace and love.  If you have questions, please ask.  If you don’t get satisfying answers, pray and keep looking.  Personally, I looked for years, and the answers finally came.  While I was in the midst of that time, I wondered.  Keep your heart open and seek earnestly with a teachable attitude.  You will find the real and one, true God.  May we know His heart.