When Jane plants half an acre of cassava, no one knows how important it will become.
“Out, I said!” A red-faced man stood in the doorway, pointing toward the street. “Not one day longer!”
A young couple cowered behind him, clutching a few belongings. My wife Jane paused in the street. “Why? What have they done?” she asked the landlord.
“They are nine months behind in paying me rent!” he fumed. “I can’t have squatters on my property.”
My wife searched the young tenants’ gaunt faces. “Is that true, young man?”
He hung his head. “I lost my job as a driver due to the lockdown.”
Jane turned back to the property owner. “Please, can’t you let them stay one more night? They will need time to pack.”
“They can get their belongings after they pay the rent they owe me!” he stormed. “I will hold them as collateral.”
Jane walked toward the door and beckoned to the young couple. “Come home to my house for the night. We will help you find another place to live.”
That evening after a filling supper, Jane and I prayed with Vicensio and Scovia. Then Jane gave them water to bathe in and a bed where they could sleep. Early the next morning, we had worship with them, and then listened to their story. They had both been orphans, and although they identified as Catholics, they did not belong to a local church. For their wedding, alone and penniless, they had gone to a justice of the peace. COVID-19, combined with their complete poverty, had made it impossible for them to travel to Mbarara to seek help from relatives.
“We have a vacant room at our school,” I told them. “Why don’t you stay there for now?”
When Jane had planted a half acre of cassava before the pandemic, I wondered where she planned to sell it. We certainly wouldn’t be able to eat all of it! I didn’t know that God would use the excess to feed the hungry during the lockdown, when so many would be jobless. Because of Jane’s cassava, we had no problem providing food for Vicensio and Scovia. We also loaned them a corner of our field to plant food—but until their crops grew, they would have cassava aplenty!
One Sabbath we invited our new friends to come and worship with us at our home. They accepted, and after lunch they requested that we teach them songs from our hymn book. “I love singing,” Scovia confessed. Ever since that Sabbath, they have not missed even one Sabbath with us. Scovia has joined our church choir, and they both attend Bible studies with us several times a week.
Vicensio and Scovia are not the only ones Jane has fed with her cassava. Many other hungry families have been sustained through that field, and many of them now join us for Bible studies! People need a practical gospel that addresses their personal needs. As we share our food with the hungry and give shelter to the homeless, we are finding it easy to win their hearts to Christ.
Vicensio and Scovia told us that their next-door neighbors—fellow Catholics—never seemed interested in helping them. “We now belong to the church that cares about us,” they said. “We are so thankful for the cassava you give us, and for our room at the school.” Very soon, this young couple will be baptized as members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They have become part of our family, and Jane and I love them as our own children!
James Musinguzi is a retired pastor who keeps active in evangelism and church planting.
How You Can Help
Pray for Vicensio and Scovia as they continue to grow and learn about Jesus and the truth of the Bible!
Give. Needs in Uganda include new church buildings and church planter support. To help, mark your gifts “Uganda Workers” or “Uganda Churches” and send to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138
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