John’s Journey to Faith – Kampala, Uganda
Apr 26, 2018 2152
John is 21 years old and studying at a Christian school in Kampala, Uganda. He is the school student captain and a bright student, so much so that the school has allowed him to keep attending even when he could not raise the required school fees.
John is the 7th born in a polygamous family of 12, his mother being the third wife to his father. His father happens to believe in concepts of Traditional African indigenous religions. In his criticism of Christianity, he terms it “mental slavery” sponsored by the “white man”. In fact, he can be described as some kind of an African Traditional religion missionary who will spend time and resources to see that Christianity’s concept of God has no place in the lives of the people around him. This attitude has been operative in his persistent refusal to support his son, simply because he studies in a Christian sponsored institution.
John tells of one rather unfortunate ordeal when he came back from school wearing a Christian cross around his neck. When the father saw it, he immediately grabbed it, threw it in the air and asked “Where is the Christian God now?” to the amazement of the whole family and some neighbours. Several missionaries have tried in vain to talk to John’s father about his need for God and Christ, but such efforts have not born any fruits. Due to his father’s anti-Christian propaganda, his mother and several members of the family seem to have also lost any interest in Christianity. Thus, most of them, feeling that religion is a necessary part of life, have felt that it is better to join Islam which John’s father (even though he doesn’t confesses it either) at least calls “more African” and less “colonialist”.
Thus, although John is the only member of the family to join a college of high ranking, his father regards him as lost and hopeless, although his mother and siblings see some future in him. This attitude from his father has made John shun home relations and especially his own father.
“Before I knew it, I was kneeling in front of the preacher asking him to pray for me”
When John joined the school, he fell in love with the religious programmes in the institution but says that he was always never sure whether to immerse himself into Christianity or just remain a passive member, lest he annoy his father. And so, although he is praised by colleagues and teachers as a gifted speaker, especially on ethical issues, John did not make a choice for Jesus until the Week of Prayer. He says that before this event,
I had only heard the laws of Christ, which I didn’t have a problem with. But never the love of Christ in the way Pr Bonifresh told it.
On the Friday before the final day of the event, I preached a biographical sermon on the life of Abraham. I expounded on how Abraham rose from a generation of moon worshippers and became the father of faith, inspiring generations of believers. I emphasised the point that anyone can change history by accepting the call of God, because God works with individuals who faithfully accept his call.
John describes the point that drove him “home”,
Then I heard that Abraham moved with his cousin Lot and eventually saved him, but most importantly he helped lay a foundation of true faith for the human race. And that today there could be someone seated in this congregation who needs to rise up like Abraham and begin a new story.
That call literally pulled me to the pulpit and before I knew it, I was kneeling in front of the preacher asking him to pray for me that I may walk Abraham’s journey of faith.
John was later baptised with several other people who equally gave their lives to Christ. He later expressed his gratitude to the organiser and guests saying,
GNU has blessed my life. I feel like Abraham.
John asks GNU to pray for his father and the family at large, that they may know the truth and thus be set free. He has kept in touch with me even after the event, and we meet often to share the Good News.
– Pr Bonifresh Muhollo