For many at New Hope there was much grieving this week. On Monday one of the girls who was well known and well liked suddenly died from a brain aneurism. Missing her not only took the forefront of hearts of some, but also memories of others who have died unexpectedly including our head of Childcare who has lost his wife and a son over the years.
Not only are many suffering grief but it has all been compounded by the belief that she died because of witchcraft. Many were fearful that if they did something wrong (i.e. walked in the wrong way) they too would die. Joy conquers, though, when reports of her salvation spread and are verified multiple times.
Confusion and fear of death brought many questions so that the leadership felt we should have an assembly of all students and staff. On Tuesday, we had the assembly and they asked me to share some about grief and how one can best process grief. The assembly seemed very heavy to me and understandably somber.
Immediately following the assembly, before people began to disperse, one of the family fathers rushed up to me in the front and asked me quietly to go with him quickly. After we left the hearing of those gathered he shared that they had a daughter of the family group who was in a demonic battle and manifesting physical symptoms. Those gathered, he said, didn't know what to do. The Bible is very clear God is way more powerful so we entered into the battle. Soon after we began, Pastor Paul Kusaabira showed up and began praying for her also, in Luganda. After three hours and a few times of Pastor Paul almost getting slapped, she was responsive and willing and able to renounce what had taken place in her past. She was dedicated to the enemy as a young girl and struggled after believing in Jesus as her Savior.
The next day in our staff meeting one of the staff exploded with an angry outburst and bolted out of the room. Many were discouraged but we proclaimed the truth that Christ is the Victor. He has already won and we have nothing to fear nor do we have to be bound to despair. We are not left without hope.
It was interesting that on Thursday I went to Kampala to get my car worked on and asked the mechanic to have my car ready by 4 so I get my shopping done and get back to New Hope before dark. The roads after dark are the most dangerous thing here in Uganda (actually it is the other vehicles coming toward you with their brights on, people walking and riding bikes and motorcycles with no lights on that are the problem, not the roads). I arrived to pick up the car and he was not only not finished but had the car taken apart. 5:45 I finally got out of there and had two close calls with vehicles, one with a motorcycle and didn't see a boy walking by the side of the road until I saw the whites of his eyes right next to my headlight. I learned my lesson. Get a room if it is that late.
As I was driving and full of anxiety, I believe the Spirit prompted me to speak out the words of the verses I was memorizing. Instantly all anxiety, even in the midst of the danger, dissipated. Praise God, he walks with me in the valley (road) of the shadow of death. AND HE CONQUERS.