Here is an interesting personal testimony from an overseer in Uganda with whom I worked last week. These kinds of things seem strange to Americans, but they are actually quite common here. I have learned to ask how people first met Christ when I start working with them because almost everyone here has a unique and fascinating perspective and experience with Him.

This man was formerly the assistant to a certain high placed official. He had a good job, and was rising in his culture. Then, for some unexplained reason, he began to develop a strange physical ailment – a hole spontaneously formed in his scalp and enlarged and enlarged over a short period of time until it was about 1.5 to 2 inches across. This hole was through the skin and the bone so that his brain tissue was actually exposed and visible.

He felt weak and generally could not work. His employer had great sympathy for him because he was a valued employee. He sent him to every specialist they could find in Uganda for treatment. However, most said that they could not see how he was walking around, and that they had never seen anything like it. Their prognosis for him was dire, and, of course, terminal within a short time.

As his quality of life deteriorated, he pursued any option that was presented to him. He wore a special hat that covered the opening and protected it somewhat. Nothing he found could help, and no one knew how to treat this strange ailment.

Finally, he was drawn to a certain place in the city of Tororo where there is a church and a mission training school in a compound. He was not a believer, and had never been much around evangelical Christians (“born-agains” in Uganda). He didn’t really have business there and wasn’t sure why he was there at all, but he became curious as he wandered into the compound and heard the church service being conducted. He approached the door of the building, and as he stepped through the door he became aware that his hat was gone from his head. He stopped to look back for it, but he could not find it anywhere. Then he entered the building and stood with the other people who were standing and singing.

He told me that almost immediately he reached up and touched his skull. The hole was gone. He felt nothing but smooth skin in its place. He couldn’t believe it, and when the others sat down, he remained standing. The people came to him and prayed with him. He quickly responded to the good news they told him about God’s love through Jesus Christ. That moment he became a believer.

When the people emptied out after the service, he was afraid to leave, thinking his healing would leave if he left that place. So he stayed there in his seat for a long time, pondering the meaning of what had just happened to him and thinking about his life. Much later, he realized he couldn’t live in this church building for the rest of his life and so he timidly exited the building. Of course, he had been healed by the Great Physician, and so the only thing he was missing when he stepped outside was his hat, which he never found.

What can you say to such a report? I heard it from the mouth of the man himself. He said he still has all the papers predicting his doom from the various physicians and examinations he endured. Now he preaches this same good news that he heard in the church to others and plants churches. He is not afraid to ask for big things from God, and, according to the reports, unusual wonders follow him in his ministry (https://meadeinternational.org/2014/11/08/church-planting-in-africa/).

Not the least of these wonders was the thick pile of papers he showed me, each one with the picture and vital information of an orphan that he provides schooling for through his brick-making business. He makes one massive brick production a year out behind his house, sells his bricks, and pays all their school fees and expenses, as well as the costs for his own large family. The rest of the time, he seeks more orphans to help, preaches the gospel, and oversees the churches he has planted.

I think the phrase to best describe this is, “The kingdom of God has come near you.” I suspect that when he crosses over and sees Jesus as He really is, one of the first things Jesus will say to him will be, “Look, here’s your hat. I’ve been keeping it for you.”

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