Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Hope in Uganda

How can you bring a Muslim family to the Hope of Jesus? Just ask Pastor Patrick of Jinja, Uganda.

Jinja District, Uganda — Not long ago, Mzee Abdu of Kyambogo, Uganda used to avoid Christians in his rural village. As practicing Muslims, he and his wife steered clear of the local church.

As Abdu and his wife approached their later years, their biological children left for major cities in Uganda to search for work, leaving behind three grandchildren to be cared for.

But with a meager income, Abdu and his wife struggled to take care of their grandchildren. They sometimes went without meals, and their desperation grew as their grass-thatched roof started leaking when it rained.

A visit from the local church brings Hope

Bright Hope's partner in the nearby Jinja District, Grandview Baptist Church, noticed Abdu's family and stopped in to offer them support. Abdu’s reservations towards Christians soon began to melt away. “This is a very special day to me,” he shared, “It has been long since anyone has come to our home.”

Mzee Abdu (left) was a Muslim who used to avoid Christians at all costs, until the local church shined the light of Jesus Christ to his family!

Mzee Abdu (left) was a Muslim who used to avoid Christians at all costs... until the local church shined the light of Jesus Christ to his family!

During the visit, the church's leader, Pastor Patrick, and other church members listened to the family’s struggles. They asked to pray with the family, and Abdu gladly said yes.

After the visit, Pastor Patrick and other church leaders gathered to discuss how they could mobilize resources in their community to help Abdu’s family. They rallied the community to construct a new semi-permanent house with an iron sheet roof to keep the family warm and dry during seasonal rains. Meanwhile, they helped Abdu's grandchildren with scholarships to attend the church’s school.

Reminded of God's love

Grandview's church leaders kept praying with Abdu's family and reminding them that God loves them. During a follow-up visit, Mzee Abdu and his wife asked if Pastor Patrick could lead them to receiving Christ as their personal savior.

“We want to accept your God. He has loved us so much! Our lives have totally changed since the day you came here. We had lost hope.”

That day, Mzee Abdu and his entire family gave their lives to Christ!

Pastor Patrick of Jinja Uganda walks to bring the gospel to his community

Pastor Patrick of the Jinja District, Uganda, walks long distances to spread the Gospel to his community.

When asked why his church reached out to Abdu's family, Pastor Patrick shared about the impact of Bright Hope's training workshops at his church. After these trainings, he reflected on Jesus’ ministry and the way the early church in Acts ministered to the local people, and had a fresh vision. “Actions speak louder than words,” he said. “We just built a house for Mzee Abdu, and he asked to give his life to Christ. In the past he never wanted to hear the gospel.”

On a recent visit with Bright Hope staff, Mzee Abdu could not hide the joy of his salvation. “I see Grandview Baptist church as the light and true example of Hope for our village,” he beamed.

Thank you, Bright Hope allies, for supporting this work through the local in-country church!

Read more stories from Bright Hope's Ally Connection newsletter.