Our man who works on the land is a good hard working man. His name is Eddie and we find him so agreeable and peaceful. He lives in a small shack on the land that someone else fashioned for him without consulting me. If I had been considered in the decisions I would have made it nicer for him. He is expanding our garden so well that we hardly have to purchase any produce at the market. On Saturdays he helps teach the children how to work the land. I am grateful for the education he is giving them.
For the past few months he has been on my heart. I have wondered if he knows about the bible and would he be interested in going to church. I asked Robert to speak to him about these matters. I gave him a bicycle a few months ago so he could get himself around as he needed. I am careful to make sure if his gum boots get holes that we replace them right away.
He is shy and humble and quiet. He doesn’t have outrageous vices like the man who worked the land before him. He was fired because he had some substance abuse issues and was quite lazy with the work if no one was watching him daily. Every time Robert and Phiona stop in unannounced they find Eddie hard at work.
This week I asked Robert to talk to Eddie about spiritual things and find out where he is in his relationship with God. Robert is happy to initiate these conversations so they had a talk. Eddie has not gone to church since coming here and he doesn’t know that much about Jesus, but he is so interested. I offered to buy him church clothes and shoes so he can feel very good about himself there. It is such an important part of this culture to always try and present yourself as well dressed as possible.
We stopped one day this week while in town and bought lugandan bibles for all of the jjajjas and we put Eddie on the list there as well. I hope he knows how to read. Robert will help him find a local church where they teach the gospel correctly and use the local language. Our family goes to an English speaking church so it wouldn’t help Eddie at all to join. Eddie is quite willing to ride his bicycle to church. My hope and prayer is this man is well taught and that he chooses to serve Jesus with his life. I know Robert is thankful for the opportunity to mentor him and have talks to deepen his understanding of God.
I have realized on this trip that Eddie has to take a favor from a neighbor to use the latrine and washroom. And he also finds his drinking water from there. We need to make plans to have a latrine built on our land. And we need to find a way to get a well dug so there is fresh water pumping on this land.
I understand the nature of spiritual warfare. I have been prayerful about Eddie’s salvation. I treat him like a human being worthy of all respect and dignity rather than looking down at him like a dog employee as some bosses here would do. This stirs up the anger in the enemy. I have seen it happen clearly this week.
Eddie was forced to spend Friday night in jail because the same neighbor who allows him to use the latrine accused him of maliciously destroying crops on his land. We had to go to the police station all day and struggle to get Eddie released. I produced the land title showing our ownership of the land but local customs and laws regarding squatters rights tangled the mess and he couldn’t get out until Saturday morning.
He was released from sleeping in a closet with no light on the hard cement floor without a pillow or blanket early Saturday morning. We were able to get him released on bond. We sat and had a talk about the problem and I apologized that he was innocent and yet had to suffer this way. He was forgiving and understanding. He could see that we cared about him and we will fight for him. He may live alone on the land but he is not alone here, we care with the genuine love of God. We are not like others who would be friendly to use him for information. He knows we care and surely we do.
I wanted to cry knowing he was suffering this injustice. I wanted to pick a fight. But I was reminded in Psalm 37 that God is fully involved in taking care of the ways of the enemy. The only thing I am asked to do is keep doing the good that we are doing. I trust God has a big plan and we are under his provision and care. In verses 5-7 it says, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this; He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him, do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”
In verse 34 -35 it says, “The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, seeking their very lives; but the Lord will not leave them in their power or let them be condemned when brought to trial.”
When God’s words make such promises I am comforted and reassured. It is simple faith that I have knowing and believing with all that is in me that God’s word is true. God is faithful when all men are liars. I will do what God’s word says and when I err I will commit to him in prayer my sorrow, repent and find his good ways through difficult situations. He will continue to guide and teach me how to overcome my temptations so I can do a stronger work for him. One thing that never enters my mind is to quit. I won’t give up on this mission and calling for the work we do here in Uganda, even if it was me who spends the night in that cell.