A stricken alcoholic’s family receives help—and their lives change completely.
Shallon took a deep breath as she looked around the home. Her new husband, Jackson, surely did not own much. No matter, she told herself. I will work hard and help us get established financially. Every day she worked, saving as much as she could from her wages; but when two children came along, the money barely provided food for the family. She did at least manage to purchase two chickens, hopeful that the eggs would bring in more income!
But Shallon’s family had a problem bigger than poverty: Jackson’s alcoholism. Alcohol drowned out the family’s love and companionship. Jackson would come home drunk and beat Shallon brutally until she fled the house to sleep outside. When he sold her chickens for alcohol, Shallon gave up hope. All her work felt futile. She had become a house maid in her own home—and she would have left were it not for her little children.
One evening as she worked in the field to earn dinner, her neighbor’s children ran to her. “Hurry!” they called. “Your husband got hit by a motorcycle! Someone took him to the clinic.”
Shallon’s heart sank. They had nothing to eat, and now there would be hospital bills—and injuries for her husband to heal from. What were they going to do?
That night, the couple slept at the clinic, both hungry. Very early the next morning, as Shallon prepared to go and find work, someone knocked at the door. “Good morning,” a young man and woman greeted her. “Do you mind sharing what happened to your husband?”
Shallon fought tears as she told the whole story. “Wait a moment.” The lady sprinted off. A few minutes later, she returned with a bowl of porridge and a plate of sweet potatoes. Shallon blinked. Why was this woman providing food to strangers?
After everyone ate, the visitors gave Shallon 10,000 Uganda shillings to buy meals at the hospital. “We will check on you before Jackson is discharged,” they said. “By the way, we are members of the local Seventh-day Adventist Church. May we pray for you?” As they bowed in prayer, a weight lifted from Shallon’s chest. Perhaps things would work out. Perhaps her husband would recover.
Twelve hours before Jackson’s discharge, the couple came back with three other people. “How much is their bill?” they asked the nurse.
“Sixty thousand shillings,” the nurse said.
“We will pay it.” As Shallon watched the strangers take the money from their own pockets, she wondered if she were dreaming. Now she would not have to sell their land to pay the bill! Her new friends sang a song, with words that said, “All the way my Savior leads me.” They gave her clothes for everyone in the family. Then they prayed again and invited the family to worship with them on Sabbath.
The next Saturday, Shallon and Jackson found the church’s address. To their surprise, the congregation worshipped under a leaky tarp roof! For all the kindness they had shown, these people knew poverty well—yet they had loved and aided a poor alcoholic’s family.
When Jackson saw the kindness these strangers had shown, it touched him as nothing else ever had. He gave his heart to Christ, and never tasted alcohol again. Jackson and Shallon began worshipping with the Adventists every Sabbath. They started daily Bible studies, and eventually, both were baptized. God’s grace enabled them to live new lives in Christ, and their family life completely changed. Today, because of the strangers’ kindness, Shallon and Jackson have become new creatures in Christ!
Pastor John Kaganzi is a district pastor in the Ruhandagazi area in Uganda.
How You Can Help
Pray for Shallon and Jackson to remain strong in their new faith. Pray that they will be a light in their area.
Give to the work in Uganda. Needs include church buildings for new congregations, training for church planters and support for church planters. Send your gifts marked “Uganda Workers,” “Uganda Evangelism” or “Uganda Churches” to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
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