|Ugandans sharing drugs with one another|
He ran mad.
No ... he wasn't a runner who was very angry.
A couple of clicks on my laptop uncovered some sad and scary synonyms:
... insane, mentally ill, certifiable, deranged, demented, of unsound mind, out of one's mind, not in one's right mind, sick in the head, crazed, lunatic, non compos mentis, unhinged, disturbed, raving, psychotic, psychopathic, mad as a hatter, mad as a March hare ...
So ... that's what he was communicating to me. Not once. Not just twice. He told me he had ran mad three times in the past 7 years.
He has become a good friend and brother of mine. His name is Kitaka (chi-ta'-caw) Joel. He proudly told me that his surname means "soil." Hmmm.
|Surgical repair was done without anesthetic|
The first time Joel went mad and out of his mind he grabbed a knife with his left hand and stabbed himself in the right wrist with a laceration of over 3 inches. When taken to the hospital, the doctor told him, "since you are a drug user, we will sow it up with nothing to deaden the pain."
|Joel Kitaka living at my house|
The good thing is that Joel had parents who loved him. The second time Joel went mad was Christmas Eve in 2015. He was taken to the hospital again where he was sedated for two days. The day after Christmas he came back to his senses.
During these episodes of madness Joel would terrorize his family with violence and unpredictable mood swings. Not long after his Christmas holiday madness, Joel went mad again, in January of this year, and was admitted to the hospital where he remained for two months.
While Joel was in the alcohol and drug unit of the hospital he attended sessions on Tuesdays that talked about the nature of these addictions. Joel came to believe that he was responsible for his own life and made the choice never to do drugs again.
|WOW! Over 20 pounds of pork!|
I visited Joel's parents church last Spring because I was invited to preach, I also shared about the opportunity of the ONE STEP Course. When Joel heard about it, he immediately wanted to enrolled. However, he waited to know if his parents wanted him to attend. While his parents offered to pay for driving instructions for Joel, he opted for One Step and his father gave him the registration money.
|Joel with his mother, Susan, and father, George|
We decided that, after four weeks of steady progress in Joel, we would invite his parents to observe first hand the change in their son. After they were invited, they secretly wondered what kind of problems there son was causing to be invited to the "campus." Instead, Joel was helping Mama Pam form a menu that he and his family would enjoy. When Mom agreed to roast pork for Joel he was ecstatic!
To end the evening of celebrating the work of God's grace in Joel's life, several of the enrollees spoke words of life to Joel ... which his mother carefully wrote down. After thanking God for this dramatic change in Joel, there were prayers offered over him and his life ... which he is now living abundantly.
This is just one story from the first month of this pioneer, intercultural, mentoring effort of Next Generation Ministries. But, there are many more to tell. Joel is planning to be a part of the short term mission the team will be taking to Tanzania on November 1st. We continue to trust the Lord for the finances that will allow us to go and give away what God has given us.
If you would like to be apart of this short term mission experience with us, please click this link for Tanzania Mission 2016.