first let me say there may be several mistakes in this blog because I am using a keyboard that is set up a little different. I am currently sitting in the Niarobi airport, waiting on a flight to Ethipia to continue this great adventure. The story I am abut to tell you is true and one of the most impacting of the time we have been here.
The team in uganda really had one objective when they came here, and that was to build an educational faciltiy for watoto and to connect with the kids, and we did that every day. At night after the work day was over, we would walk into the community and mingle with the people, talk to them, give them gifts, and just get to this neibhborhood. This district had a huge nighlife, and we got right down in the middlle of it.
Tyson had met a young man whos name is Alex, alex is about 24 and a year and a half ago he gave his life to Jesus. He has a little sidewalk shop where he sales shoes, im sure you will see pictures of it later. He is doing his best to make a living for he and his family. He is responsible for his mother, his sister and his baby. He had a wife and she ran away, she had the baby, left her with the family and ran away. She is a precious littl baby girl named praise.
Alex, is not only a shoe salesmen but also a preacher, he goes up and down those streets, and preaches to the pimps and prostitutes and addicts and impoverished and everyone he can talk to about Jesus.
Before i arrived from Rwanda the team had gone out ministering and i hadn’t gone yet, it was evening and dark so Tyson, John and I went to the slums. This is what they call it. Its off the beaten path. The main road is one club after another, one pool hall after another, one shop after another, but when you go up this road, where the asphalt ends and you are walking on mud and dirt, the further you go the worse it seems to get.
We took Alex so he could interprate and we went up into the slums. There were people everywhere, kids roaming the streets, there parents not having any idea where they are, if they have parents. There are men and women out and the smell of marijauna is pungent in the air, and merchants selling their wares, and prostitutes doing the same. It was shocking how many kids are out and roaming. We had made a friend, his name was mike he was nine years old, his mom died, his dad moved away and he lives with his older brother, who i don’t get the feeling ever knows where he is at. It is a sign of friendship for friends to hold hands, so Tyson and John are carrying bags with bibles and goodies in them and michael and i were walking along and michael was holding my hand, and alex was telling me of the great things God is doing in his life.
We started handing out bibles, you would have thought we were giving out free food, we gave out 100 i believe and we could have easily given out 1000, Tyson was brilliant though, he would tell them, “i am giving you this, share it with all your friends, bring them over and you all read it together.”
So we would give out bibles talk to different ones abuot Jesus, and tell the Jesu akwagala, Jesus loves you. They would grab those bibles and say thanks. It was really amazing. We continued to walk up the street and we came to a church, I’m sure it is nothing like what you may picturing right now in your mind. It was a one room building, beat down and run down, but they were keeping it the best they could and were very proud of it, it was called “Christ in you the hope of glory church. We walked in and there were several women and a few children, worshipping God, they were praying, we asked if we could join them, it was one of the neatest moments, i wish i had pictures of tyson, worshipping with them, but i didnt have my camera and the moment was not appropriate for a picture, it was one of those times that is so surreal you have to remind yourself its actually happening.
After we prayed we begin to sing songs with them, they danced, and we loved on them, and we felt like giving the church an offering, i think what we gave was about 100 dollars, which would probably far surpass the budget for a year, you would not believe the response, they shot off like a rocket, and begin to dance and shout, and we were overjoyed by there gratefulness and simple thanksgiving. So alex said, pastor you should share with them, and so i preached a short sermon to which the responded with great joy. We prayed with each of them, and hugged them and the crowd grew by double by the time we were finished with kids and women who heard the commotion.
As we walked back down, we gave away neclaces, candy, treats and bibles, and we shared our faith with them. We had told Alex earlier that we were interested in ministering to the pimps and prostitutes, and wanted to give them a bible, so we were walking down the street he had us by the hand, and all of a sudden we ducked into this dark ally, very narrow place, and as soon as we did there were men who grabbed our hands and begin to offer women to us. It was a disgustingly filthy place and very dark, there were men standing, and many women setting on a bench waiting to be sold. These were not women being forced at least it didn’t appear that way and alex said these were women who didn’t want to do anytihng else, so they did this, he said he frequantly tells them they need Jesus and they need to Him to change their lives.
It became very uncomfortable very quickly, so I leaned in to Tyson and I said they are obviously misunderstanding our purpose here. Which is fairly naive of us, white men from america, handing out gifts and walking straight in to prostitute central, what were they going to think. I said, “lets back out and try this another way.” We backed out and sense they know Alex and that he preaches Jesus to them and does not approve of their lifestyle we sent him in with a bible. Then we walked off, knowing we did the right thing, we stopped and had a coke, and when we did the most miraculous thing happened.
We turned around, and there was one of the prostitutes she had followed us out, she said, “I want to know Jesus.” We were a bit shocked, but right there on the street, we prayed with her and she gave her life to the Lord. When she asked, another young teenage boy who was standing there said, i want to know Jesus too, so he prayed with us and received Jesus. While we were basking in the glory of this moment, another prostittute came, she was probably 17 and she said i want what they have, so we prayed with her too, about that time, the pimp sent one of the girls down to tell the two who had given their lives to Jesus not to ever come back, and we said praise the Lord! We used wisdom and left at that point, but left knowing that we had shared the love of Jesus with people who were hurt and bound by sin, and just let Jesus does, He set them free.
Sometimes we need to leave the asphalt of our lives, we need to say goodbye to the good road and go ahead and trek up that muddy dirt road of the world, and well find that there are people shining a light there, and we will find there are hungry hearts there, we will find people who need Jesus there, and if we take the love of Jesus where the asphalt ends, it will change us as it changes them.
What is the asphalt in your life? Your comfort? Your status? Your pride? Your fear? Step onto the dirt, and get your feet dirty, it will be the greatest experience of your life.
My next blog I will tell the rest of the story, we went to alexes house, to reach his mother, it will break your heart for those who need love and help, and inspire you to do what you can to reach another’s world.
Please excues type o’s and blunders i am using a keyboard that is not like what we are used to and can cause more mistakes than normal, which i’m famous for anyway.