From Mike Parker, in connection with his recent trip to Uganda this past February:
Imagine, living in a remote, small village, deep in the bush of Uganda. Further imagine that your common daily life is subsistence farming, fishing, or raising livestock (primarily goats and cattle). Consider that as you begin your daily struggle to find and collect water, gather firewood, you see the men of your village – drunk, and gambling away the few Ugandan Schillings they have earned.
Thus, you are not sure if your mom will have enough money to make a meal to eat that day. As you go through the day, you see neighbors have taken their chickens and a goat to the local witch doctor, to offer as a sacrifice to appease the spirits and gods. You wonder if your little brother will get better – for he has been very sick, and your parents are told they need to appease their ancestors and offer up a prized goat so he can be healed. When it gets dark and bedtime nears, you are fearful – will the evil spirits visit you home tonight and harm or scare your family?
Now imagine this – the fear is gone! There is a peace and joy in your, hut instead of darkness and a feeling of bondage. Your mom seems so much happier. Your dad, is no longer drunk and gambling. In fact, he seems to have a new sense of purpose and responsibility to provide for your family. Your family has embraced Jesus Christ.
Although life is still a day to day struggle, there is a sense of freedom, that your family is happier. Your day to day situation seems to be improving. In fact, you can now go to school because there is money to pay school fees because your dad is not drinking nor gambling the money away. Wow – you are so excited to learn! Especially to read, so you can read this new book called a bible which will teach you about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but also about life, healthy living, worship, relationships,
finances and so much more.
This is not wishful thinking. It is a true dynamic, which is really taking place in ten villages in the Busoga region of Uganda! Villages that have never had a church, nor heard of Jesus Christ, are now worshiping the true Savior! The One who came to set the captives free.
On our recent visit to Uganda, it was amazing to see the children, excited to know Jesus. That they have been growing in their faith, service, and knowledge of Jesus. Unlike their parents and community elders, they are learning there is no need for a witch doctor and that Jesus is their only Sacrifice. Jesus is their great high priest, not a witch doctor! They are growing up in the Lord and therefore are learning a “new life for a young generation.” A different world view. A different way to live.
Proverbs 22: 6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”