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I Want to Thank You for Changing My Life

It is hard to put into words the things that have happened in northern Uganda. An unimaginably evil man named Joseph Koney led by “7 spirits” decided to attack the Ugandan government. He formed a cult rebel group and named it “The Lords Resistance Army (LRA).” His tactics for gathering troops included the kidnapping of young children and forcing them to join his militia. Young women were captured from villages and forced to be the “wives” of rebel soldiers. Many horrible and demonic things were done to these children.

Seeing only the devastation that the war in Uganda brought, I began looking for signs of life. I found light in the eyes of the missionaries at “The Village of Hope”. Missionaries Jerry and Candice Bingham have been serving the people of northern Uganda for years. They reach out to persons infected with HIV/Aids and other diseases and bring healing to the victims of the LRA.

The hotel that I stayed at was called “Jo Jo’s Palace”. You can imagine what the rooms looked like! On the day before we left, a young man named Peter approached me asking for money. I felt like God wanted me to share the gospel with Peter, so I asked a question. “Did you ever tell a lie?” I said. He looked me right in the eye and said yes. “Have you ever stolen anything?” I said. “Yes.” Then I told him about a savior who died for liars and thieves and that he could spend eternity with Jesus. We knelt down and prayed for him to receive Christ and one of our team-members took this photo. I gave him a few dollars and asked him to spend half of the money giving water to the poor, and the other half he could keep for himself.
On the next day as we were preparing to leave, Peter came running up to me. “You changed my life yesterday!” he said. “I went to church this morning! I took half of your money and delivered it to the very poor. They were so happy! So, I took all of the money that you gave me and bought more water, “ he said. “I want to thank you for changing my life!” With that he walked away smiling.

It is impossible to make sense of the horrors of this life, without taking into consideration eternal purposes. The young women at The Village of Hope and Peter may have an extremely hard living condition today, but I know that they will spend eternity in peace.