Actually, opportunity is NOT in short supply ... regardless of what you have heard. Perhaps it is the lack of preparation that allows many of those opportunities to simple slide by us.
Unnoticed. Every day.
Opportunity came knocking in a big way on a Monday, March 23, 2015. This is not my story, but I couldn't be more proud of the two guys who were the major players in a big story that happened that day. It was a moment of destiny. And destiny will help make sense of your past and change your future. It certainly did for Mustafa that day.
But, let's have one of those guys tell it in his own words.
Ezra is the media guy for Next Generation Ministries in Uganda. Peter is the driver for the same organization. Ezra is the guest blogger who tells this story.
|Peter Bukenya shares the good new|
... Mustafa is loved by God & has always been loved by God
On our way to the mechanic, we decided to use a shortcut. It turned out to be a dead end. However, directly opposite of our van was a man seated in front of a muddy, dilapidated house (Kasisira as Ugandans call it). I felt the Holy Spirit urge us to go meet this guy and to just share our hearts with him. Mustafa knew Peter because of the person Peter was before meeting Jesus Christ and the trouble he caused in his area. After introducing ourselves to him he started telling us his story.
|The team from Idaho joins Peter & Ezra|
Mustafa is a Muslim and a father to 7 children. He can't work because he got paralyzed on the left side of his body 4 years ago. He had been diagnosed with malaria, but since he didn't have money or access to medical services, he took the path of local herbs. They didn't help, but the situation continued to get worse every day.
Now Mustafa has to stay seated in front of this one small room and babysit his baby as his wife works to keep the family alive. Mustafa continued his story by saying sometimes they go weeks without food, depending on only water because there is no money to take care of his family. His wife earns 20,000 Uganda shillings every month ($7) and this money is meant to pay for rent, tuition for the children and food.
|Ezra believes Christ will change Uganda|
... one person at a time ... people like Mustafa
His story touched our hearts. That is when we realized it was God who had brought us this opportunity to meet this man. Right there we started sharing Christ with him. All he kept on repeating was that he had never heard these words before in his life. He couldn't believe someone LOVES him just the way he is and has given him the opportunity to be a part of this one big eternal family.
Over the past 4 years he has been paralyzed, Mustafa has tried to commit suicide several times. It is a spiritual challenge when people get to such challenging points in their life in Uganda or the whole of Africa. But, our coming and expressing the love of God to Mustafa resulted in him saying, "this is a sign for sure God loves me and still cares."
|Andrew Snyders carries 40 kilos of beans|
For about an hour we shared Jesus Christ with Mustafa. Later he accepted to receive Christ as his Lord and Savior. It was an incredible joy to see Mustafa give his life to Christ! That’s when we realized that God intended for us to meet Mustafa all along. He gave us the opportunity and had prepared us for this time.
We later returned with the team half an hour later. They laid hands of prayer on him and blessed him with some money so that he could get his family and children something to eat through the night.
That night back at the house we debriefed from the day, as it is our routine, and informed Paul about the day and how the Holy Spirit had given us direction throughout the day. His heart was filled with joy and asked if we could take Mustafa some food and supplies the next day. This confirmed that it was not our doing, but God's.
We listened to the voice of God sending us to be a part of Mustafa’s life. The heavens surely rejoiced as this man joined the family of God and accepted the love and forgiveness of Christ. It is now our responsibility to help him grow in Christ as we share life with him and show him how he has become a part of the New Creation ... how old things will pass away and new things will come.
The heart and soul, the DNA if you will, of Next Generation Ministries is making disciples ... followers of Jesus Christ. We believe we are called to participate in the the advancement of the Kingdom of God by making disciples who become leaders and multiply to make more disciples. The foundation of and the venue for disciple making is relationships.
On our radio program, GENERATION 784, one of the jingles says, "Doing what public policy has failed to do ... changing Uganda ... one person at a time."
Our goal is not to make converts. We are called to make disciples. The real work of discipleship begins after Mustafa's commitment to Christ. An ongoing relationship with him is going to be the means by which Mustafa grows to become a disciple maker himself.
Thanks Ezra and Peter for encouraging others according to invitation of Jesus who said, "Walk with me. Work with me. Watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace." Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)