Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lost

And Found

It really was quite a journey on the way to the discovery that we were lost.  It began normal enough ... waking to the symphony of exotic birds making my conscious self aware that the beginning of another day had arrived ... followed by the typical morning rituals of preparations for a day in the Pearl of Africa.  And, it seemed to be yet another typical day until a phone call made known to me some rumors.

One of the Island Boyz was the discussion of the previous day.  During our absence while in the States, so the rumor went, this particular former thug had wandered back in his old ways.  There was deep concern that he had "fallen."  My suspicion was that it was more than a rumor.  The first time I laid my eyes on him two weeks earlier, his countenance tipped me off.


Encouraging the distraught wife
No one knows a man like his wife. The trip to the village confirmed the rumors and added some details.  She was distraught, but blessed that some of her husbands friends would cover her emotional pain with their love for him and his family.  The breaking point for me was when his five year old daughter, her face drenched in sadness, clung to me with a prolonged hug.

We easily located our friend and returned to my house with him.  I suspect he was a bit taken back by our intrusion into his private world.  But, that's what family does.  He humbly said, "I can't lie to you.  I have fallen." God said two are better than one so that when one falls the other can help him up.  We told him even if he refuses our extended hands to help him up we will always love him.  But, it is critical that he knows who he is so that he can know where he is going.

By then the day had long slipped past lunch and was headed toward mid afternoon.  We added a couple more guys to the vehicle and headed for a marriage conference in the village where I was meant to be the last speaker.  Based on what I was told I anticipated about a 40 minute drive to the site of the conference.  I should have know better.  One of the Island Boyz had an idea where this village was ... meaning he knew it was on the shore of Lake Victoria.  Getting there proved to be a different matter.

After finding a sugar cane to measure the depth of the water covering a pothole that consumed the width of the dirt road, and wiggling our way through some seriously muddy parts we estimated the drive to be at least close to two hours! After our "navigator" questioned whether we made the right turn on our first intersection and some villagers confirmed our mistake, we turned around and realized this was a by guess and by golly adventure we were on.  We really didn't have much of an idea where we going.  We were lost.

The best way to get your bearings is to frequently ask those more familiar with the terrain if we are, at least, truly moving in the right direction.  Which we did.  Frequently!

Finally, when we stopped to confirm we had made our last turn and we were on the last road to this place, that was SO deep in the bush it is where the dogs turn around, we discovered that the two men we asked were headed in that same direction.  We invited them into our vehicle.  What would you rather depend on?  A set of verbal directions or the presence of someone who absolutely knew the way and was willing to take you there?


Where the dogs turn around!
Moments after adding two more passengers a thought occurred to me.  I shouted to Kato, one of the Island Boyz in the rear of the vehicle, "These guys don't know why they are in this van, Kato!  But, you do, so preach to them!"  This five month old follower of Christ began to share the Gospel of the Kingdom with the men, one of whom was a Muslim. For the next twenty minutes they had the seeds of truth thrown on their hearts.  Finally I heard one of them repeating a prayer after Kato.  It was the Muslim.

These men were originally headed to a burial, but upon receiving a resurrected life decided to let the dead bury the dead and continue on with us to the marriage conference.

I had no idea we got lost so that others could be found.  It was beautiful.  We were lost and these guys helped us get found.  They were lost, didn't know it, but Kato helped them get found.  I was glad to fulfill my temporary commitment to speak at the conference, but more happy that two lost young men have found their eternal way home.


4 comments:

  1. Praise God for mistakes that turn out for his Glory. Blessing on You.

    Leon

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  2. I so enjoy the way God works, Loving the journey, Bobbette

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  3. More proof there is no such thing as an "accident".
    DK

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  4. Leave it up to our never-ending loving Father, to use everything in our lives to show us the way and NEVER waste anything. He's the best and (first!) "green" example a person could have. Can't help using that expression coming form the NW. He's got it down!... there is "nothing new under the sun".

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