Changing Lives…

A privilege God has given us.

The most awesome reward God grants to a missionary is to witness change in people’s lives. The following story is of the wonderful changes that have taken place in the lives of two people whom Wayne and Mary Daniel serve in a remote area of Nakasongola District, Uganda, East Africa. They are James and his mother Nalongo.

In late January 2001, James, a child supported through African Children’s Mission, fell from a large mango tree, breaking his arm and his leg in several places at the upper thigh. His mother knew he was badly hurt, but she didn’t know where a hospital was that could help her son, and she had no money to pay for the treatment. Nalongo knew only the medicine practiced by traditional healers in their village. Relatives tried to convince her that it could only harm James more to trust his care to the doctors at the modern hospital, but Nalongo knew in her heart that her son needed a different kind of treatment this time. Encouraged by ACM’s Uganda National Director, Nalongo agreed to surgery for her son. He was taken to Kiwooko, a mission hospital located in the neighboring district of Luwero. James’ leg was mended, but the most remarkable healing took place in Nalongo’s heart.

James and his mother come from the Munyarwanda, a primitive tribe with primitive customs. So different was the environment at the hospital than the environment within their clan that the experiences they encountered while James was being treated affected their lives physically, psychologically, socially and spiritually.

Nalongo didn’t know how to protect her family from deadly Malaria, the importance of clean drinking water or even simple hygiene practices.  The nurses at the hospital taught her how to keep her home clean and to fight malaria by cutting the surrounding bush, draining stagnant water, which collects near her home, and sleeping under a mosquito net. They taught her to boil their drinking water, to eat a balanced diet and at least two meals a day.

The people of Nalongo’s tribe are often thought of as inferior because of their primitive culture. At first she was shy around people of other tribes with different cultures. However, soon Nalongo learned to respect other cultural morals such as dressing appropriately, sitting in a chair instead of squatting on the floor and not spitting just anywhere, which is acceptable in her own culture. By the time James was released from the hospital, his mother was comfortable with and was associating well with others.

At the mission hospital Nalongo learned how to better care for her family and changed her attitude toward traditional, primitive ways.  She learned that she is a person of worth and how to live with people of cultures different than her own. James and his mother met committed Christians who told them how the Lord had enabled them through hardships. Nalongo knew about Christ but had not believed in Him as her own personal Savior. She and James heard God’s Word daily and Nalongo surrendered her life to Jesus Christ.

Before this experience in Nalongo’s life, she depended on the traditional ways of her tribe and clan. She dared not trust any other way. Her culture breeds fear of the unknowns of modern life. The people of her clan and other primitive clans in Uganda believe that if one seeks help for a broken limb at a modern hospital the limb will be cut off. Of course, that is not always true, but at Kiwooko we were told that James’ fracture was so complex, requiring major surgery and a lengthy hospital stay, that if ACM had not been there to pay for proper medical treatment, the only alternatives would have been to leave James a cripple for life or amputate his leg. We praise God for the privilege of being in a place and position to help a child in such a wonderful way – to change the course of a life!

“The Lord who created me has plans for me and my son and everybody; so, if we believe, we shall get to our final right destination. Glory be to God! …It is only Him who can always lead us through our problems. May the vision that He gave to the founders [of African Children’s Mission] be achieved and may others have their lives transformed in the process. Otherwise we die in the bush because of our total ignorance to depend on modern medical facilities.”   Nalongo

Would you help us make a difference in more families like Nalongo’s? Please donate now! Thank you so very much!