It was a typical day in Kaabong if such a thing exists, and Robert was driving into town to handle a couple of errands. He took with him Andrew and Tanner, summer volunteers from the states. As they were on the road Robert was stopped by a man. The man told him that a woman had hanged herself and someone should call the police. When Robert found the woman she was hanging from a small tree with a makeshift rope around her neck, but she was not yet dead. Robert and the volunteers carefully carried the woman to the truck and then to the hospital.
Upon arriving at the hospital, Robert went in to find someone to help them, as Andrew and Tanner carried the old woman in. People were scoffing at the scene and even laughing. To their eyes it was wrong to see an “important” white person caring for a poor, helpless woman. Once they received help the people were just as calloused, saying we will give her some fluids but she just needs to die. After she received her treatment she then left with the guys. People were now curious as to what was happening and they asked who these men were that were caring for the woman. The answer that came makes me very proud. “They are Christians!”
The woman, named Longolemoe, was then taken back to our basecamp. There many people from the tribe gathered to discuss the issue as the woman’s needs were being cared for. We found out in this time that the woman was desperate and hopeless because of a land dispute. In 2007 she had borrowed money from a wealthy man in town, she needed this money to care for a sick relative. The relative died and she has never been able to repay the debt. So, the man from town told her he would just use some of her land as payment for the debt. So he began farming the land a little every year. But this year he brought out his tractor and claimed the land as his own. Plowing under the crops the woman had already planted. Essentially this meant that the woman would die because without crops there will be no food for her. She knew she would starve this year so it was better to die quickly than to suffer and starve.
As we gathered together in the assembly of believers, we talked about the story of the Good Samaritan and how Jesus himself taught us to care for people who were in great need and who no one wanted to help. We felt privileged to be a part of him doing just that in our midst. As we continued to talk about the woman and the debt we also talked about How when we were hopeless and out of options Jesus payed our sin debt and gave us a new life. We felt like this was an awesome opportunity for us to display that very thing to the people of Kaabong by paying the woman’s debt and canceling any claim that the man had on her or her land. So we gathered an offering and the church provided more than enough to pay the woman's debt.
The next morning Robert and I took the money to the mans house. When we arrived we explained to the man that we were wanting to pay the woman's debt with interest. This way everyone would get what belonged to them and it would be a fair solution to the problem. The man, whose name was Moses, then told us that he was not interested in receiving money. All he wanted was the land. (The land is likely worth 10X the debt of the woman) I told him that we are looking for a peaceful solution for this problem. I said, you know if you take this woman’s land she is going to starve and die. Moses callously said what does it concern him if she dies? In fact it is better for him because then he doesn’t have to deal with her or her family. He laughed as he said these things and both Robert and I felt the the full depravity of man was on display. As we failed to find a solution, the suggestion was made that we just handle the dispute in the traditional way. I asked what that would entail and they smiled as they explained it would entail calling the witch doctor, making a sacrifice and calling down a curse that would cause the woman, her sons and myself to die. I told the man I do not think he wants to go that route, because he would surely lose. He could call all of the witch doctors in Uganda and if Gods people were praying they could not hurt a hair on our heads. He confirmed that this is the route that he wanted to go and began to blaspheme and called upon the name of god and the spirits in the same sentences. As he continued perverting the ways of the Lord I was filled with zeal for my Lord and I felt the Spirit fill my mouth with words to speak. I was told to say the following, “Everything you see here in your presence will be gone within six months and you will be destitute having nothing to your name. You will acknowledge that God is the only true god as everything that you touch will fail until you repent and acknowledge your evil ways.” I then prayed that God would fulfill what he had spoken and show to all of these people his mighty power. Moses then spoke a curse upon me, saying that my other leg would whither and then I would die. From that point the die was cast. The legal things will certainly be resolved, and I am fairly certain that the woman will receive her land and be well cared for. But now the spiritual war is in clear view of all. Many of these people just like Moses claim God with their lips but deny Jesus as his son or even believe that the spirits are more powerful that Our God. It is my belief that as the people in the area have been making sacrifices to lesser gods (that are in fact not gods at all) the stench of their idolatry has reached his nostrils. I believe that he has grown tired of his name being profaned and has allowed this showdown to show all of the Karamajong that he is the only true God and the only one worthy of their adoration and praise.
So, in the coming months we are needing your prayers in the following ways:
Pray for Longolemoe (mother), Apus, & Achuka (sons) who have had a curse placed on them by the witch doctor. Pray that the Lord would protect them completely and that instead of dying that they would prosper and look healthy and strong.
Pray that everything that Moses touches would fail and that the riches he has accumulated through his greed would be taken away and that he would know that Our God is more powerful than any witchcraft. Pray also that he would come to know our God through this circumstance.
Pray that the land dispute would be resolved quickly and that Longolemoe would be able to return to her land.
Pray for the Volunteer girls Allee and Katie who are caring for the woman and her needs.
Finally pray for our team that we would be wise in all of our words and actions and that we would lean heavily on the Lord and not on our own understanding.
Feel free to distribute this prayer request and story far and wide.
to GOD be the glory