This really happened to me this morning:
Pastor Wilson leaned down and drew a circle on the red dirt floor of his church sanctuary. His eyes glistening with heartfelt expression he explained his art, "That was me. Zero. No father. No mother. No education. Nothing!" When he said 'nothing' he flipped his arms out to the side like an umpire calling the runner safe. Wilson explained how he was recruited at 13 years old to join the rebel army of Idi Amin. He was lured by the promise of power and respect. In time, the army became something he hoped would bring him death and stop his suffering. I watched as Wilson remembered how his life changed when the war ended and he turned to drinking, drugs and garbage food.
It wasn't until he met a Godly old woman who took him into her home and showed him love that he began to listen to the Gospel. Regardless of language barriers she figured out a way to share from the Bible with him. Wilson accepted Christ and God built him into a leader.
He built a house. Got married, had a daughter and lost his wife tragically. He said, "What is my suffering compared to that of Jesus Christ?" Later he remarried and had three more children.
Pastor Wilson led a church in a community with 35 witch doctors. The property for the church was purchased from a witch doctor who had disposed of the four previous owners. Wilson prayed and stayed. The witch doctor is now gone. So are all but 8 of the others. By the will of God, Wilson was changing his entire community.
Pastor Wilson is 42. He cannot read and so his children read the Scriptures to him. He didn't go to school but he started one. A good one. Very good. He and his wife have brought up 4 successful children. His 14 year old son is recognized as a great preacher. His eldest daughter was voted class president. Wilson said, "I want to break the chain that made me zero." And he is.
Pastor Wilson was zero but now he leads a thriving church in a booming community. I asked him, "Without a family to raise you how did you become a man of such virtue?" He sat back in his chair and thought for a moment. With a smirk he said, "I know how to answer that question. The Holy Spirit has been very helpful." I shouted "Amen!" and gave him a high-five.
After his testimony I had the great privilege of praying for Pastor Wilson. He agreed to let me share his story with you. I asked if we could have our picture taken together. In typical Ugandan fashion, Wilson took my hand to show that we were friends.