Sunday, March 27, 2011

Finding Genuine Treasure

March 27, 2011

One week ago today I ascended into one of the armpits of Uganda.  The village sits high above my hometown of Jinja, but sinks lower than the average level of poverty in this undeveloped nation.  The poor people of Uganda call the people of Masese poor.

Masese is a settlement of people who find survival more attainable up on their hill because the city leaves them alone.  The symptoms of suffering are everywhere.  Disease is rampant.  Drunkenness is so common among the men that many of them use it daily to avoid the realities of their circumstances; passed out by noon from the brew made by their children.  Children beg on the streets of Jinja.  Few of them attend school.  There is no money for school fees. The squalor is everywhere and hope seems to have escaped this depressing place.

Within the eye of the storm and apparent lack of resources I found a gem who carries the Greatest Resource in all of time and eternity.

Peter, our driver, and I had remained behind to provide security for our vehicle as the team from Oklahoma climbed farther up the hill with Moureen to dispense medicine.  It was obvious vehicles never came this way.  Foot traffic was the common means of transportation.  A taxi would be just the kind of resource thieves could take advantage of.

Within a few minutes I abandoned my post by the vehicle and began using my limited local language skills in an effort to encourage a small group of women near us.  They had seen the skin color of the women on our team and had already gathered handmade necklaces, hopeful for a sale or two.  I quickly moved over to a group of three men.  Two were obviously quite young men, whom I discovered were married and with children, but the remaining man seemed old.

Oozing Jesus
Age was not what this gentleman wanted to discussed.  He held a well worn Swahili bible between his wrinkled hands.  In all my years living in Uganda, he was only the second African to ask me if I was born again.  He was passionate about Jesus.  He didn't want to talk church or discuss any of the major or minor doctrines of the Bible.  He wanted to talk about Jesus.  He carefully opened the cover of his bible and showed Peter and me the day on which he had given his life to Christ.  1961!  Most of the born again people I meet in African have met Jesus within the last 15 years.  A few within the past 20.  But, 1961!?!  Fifty years ago!?!

Peter ... oldest believer I've met
This old man's name was Peter and he had survived the assault of Idi Amin who hated Christianity and attempted to turn Uganda into a Muslim nation during the late 70's.  He had witnessed more than his share of death, disease, and destruction during his lifetime, but those seemed to be pale backgrounds for the rich textured and brilliant colors of the main focus of his 72 years of life: Jesus!  Refreshing and a great reminder to keep the main thing the main thing.

There's a song that goes:

The more I seek You, the more I find You
The more I find You, the more I love You
I want to sit at Your feet
Drink from the cup in Your hand
Lay back against You and breath
Hear Your heart beat
This love is so deep
It's more than I can stand
I melt in Your peace ... it's overwhelming

1 comment:

  1. Nothing here to say except WOW!! Amazing story Paul. I love the way you hear God's voice and obey His nudging. Thank you for reminding me that I can do the same thing right here in Fairview Oklahoma!
    God's blessings,
    Debbie Whiteneck


Please share your comments here.