Home Away from Home
When Gilbert asks an elderly woman for food, he has no idea how much her kindness will change his family’s life!
Gilbert reached out to stabilize his new wife’s faltering steps. “I’m so dizzy,” she murmured through pale lips.
Guilt stabbed Gilbert’s heart. For three days, he had been unable to provide food for his pregnant wife. Now that night had come, he had no hope of finding work until morning. How he wished he had not been so reckless! If he had not gotten her pregnant out of wedlock, her parents would not have chased her out of their home, nor threatened to have him thrown into prison. In fleeing to Bushenyi, far from home, the disowned young couple had spent all their money on transportation and a half month’s rent. Gilbert had hoped to pick up manual work once they got settled, but for three days, his search had been fruitless.
In the morning, Gilbert decided to ask the neighbors for help. The gate to the beautiful, expensive house was locked, so he leaned up against the cement wall. At last, an elderly lady opened the gate. “Good morning, madam,” Gilbert greeted her. “Could you help me with some food? For three days we have not eaten.”
Without asking questions, the woman sent someone to the banana field while she prepared a sauce from ground nuts. The massive bunch of bananas looked delectable, but when Gilbert tried to lift it, his legs trembled and crumpled beneath him.
“Take this young man and the bananas to his house on the bicycle,” the woman told her worker.
“Thank you, madam,” Gilbert murmured. “My wife needs it so much.”
The following day, the woman came by Gilbert’s house to visit. “What put you in this situation?” she asked with kindness in her eyes. “May I pray with you?”
As Gilbert explained, the woman sat up straight. “You just come home with me, dear ones,” she beamed. “I have work for you in my banana plantation, and a perfect room where you can stay. By the way, call me Mama Rhoda.”
Gilbert could hardly believe this turn of events. Every day, he and his wife sat at Mama Rhoda’s table and ate their fill. She treated them like her own children, and their hearts delighted in her motherly love. “This is a home far away from home,” his wife whispered one night as they walked to their bedroom after family prayer.
Every evening, Mama Rhoda called the entire household together to study the Bible. Although it was foreign to them, Gilbert and his wife enjoyed the new routine. Mama Rhoda took them through a series of Bible study guides from a book entitled Seventh-day Adventists Believe. The Bible truths she taught were compelling, but her love, care and sympathy made her teachings too fragrant to resist. “Life is meaningless without Jesus!” she always told them. “Sin enslaves, torments and burdens us, but Jesus declares, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ Matthew 11:28.”
Once Gilbert and his wife understood Jesus’ love, they could hardly wait to be baptized and give their lives to Jesus—the One who had relieved them from their guilt and offered them hope and eternal life. They yearned to walk with Jesus to the end!
A week after their baptism, Gilbert’s wife gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. After legalizing their marriage, they made plans to take their son and go back home. Whether or not their parents would receive them, they now knew they could go confidently, for Jesus would be by their sides!
Pastor John Kaganzi is a district pastor in the Ruhandagazi area in Uganda.
How You Can Help
Pray for Gilbert to stand firm in Jesus! Pray that his and his wife’s parents will accept them and listen to what Jesus has done for them.
Give to the work in Uganda. Needs include church buildings, worker training 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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Your donations support five Bible workers and a radio station in Uganda, and have even helped to build churches for poor congregations. Thank you for giving!