After writing yesterday’s blog, I read ahead in my Uganda journal and re-lived miracles GOD did for me during some extremely difficult months. Even though this blog is longer, I pray my testimony will encourage you that Our Father hears even whimpers of faith from "downstream!"
After language school in Nairobi, Kenya, we moved to Uganda as rookie missionaries in 1982. As soon as we were settled in our new home, Ron began traveling to the villages to train pastors. The kids and I stayed in Kampala where I drove them to school each day, stopping at many army roadblocks along the way. God’s protection on us those days is another story!
After months of travel…several weeks out, one week home, then back out…Ron became quite ill. However, not knowing what the problem was, he would just rest at home long enough to feel better, and then get back in the truck and travel over horrendous roads, back to the villages.
Feeling total responsibility for our home life in a very unsecure city, I had become bone and soul weary. On Amy’s ninth birthday, April 12, 1983, I cried to Ron, “I don’t know if I can do this, I’m SO tired!” Later that day when we went to the post office, there were THREE packages waiting for us! One was a huge box of Christmas gifts that just happened to arrive, not late, but on GOD’s appointed day, April 12th! Did we ever celebrate that night!
A few days later, I still needed emotional strength, so I took out a box of Sunday morning service cassettes from our home church and randomly chose one. In that very service, the pastor just happened to pray for Ron and Wanda Sommers by name, and after hearing that, I just happened to sing, “His eye is on the sparrow…” the rest of the day!
Ron returned from another trip, still extremely sick. However, a couple days later I received an encouraging letter from my missionary mentor, Marilyn Ford, saying God had put me on her heart and she’d been faithfully praying for me. I looked at the date on her letter…April 12th!
The very next day we received a letter from Missionaries Jimmy and Mary Beggs. After we had worked alone in Uganda for almost a year, they announced God was sending them to work with us! The date on their letter…April 12th!
I could not see what GOD was doing upstream, but HE saw my weary faith downstream! GOD prepared encouragement for me BEFORE I knew I would need it on that specific day in April. And GOD also provided a trip to the states so Ron could see doctors. It was then we learned he had hepatitis and should have been on complete bed-rest instead of jarring his infected liver on every bump of those village roads! Again, GOD’s care…another answer from upstream before we even knew we needed it!
I am still amazed how GOD helped us believe for the impossible in Uganda, even though we felt so helpless. Our dear friends Jack and Carol specifically prayed Joshua chapter three with us…that we follow the Ark to know which way to go, and that we consecrate ourselves and let GOD open the way through the flood-stage waters of Uganda after Idi Amin. We also prayed that as men were chosen from every tribe to carry memorial stones from the Jordan River, likewise men from every tribe in Uganda would be trained to carry stones of Truth to their hurting nation…And that is exactly what happened! Even long after we left Uganda, young pastors continued to carry God’s message of healing and restoration. Today, the beautiful nation of Uganda stands as a testimony to the whole world of God’s faithfulness…all because those pastors too believed what they could not see!