For those of you who have been following my newsletters, you would remember the emails I wrote looking for finances to get Emma prosthetic legs so he could walk for the first time in more than 15 years (if you haven’t read them, you can click here).
Well, as you can see from the before and after photo, Emma has new legs! As of the middle of February he is now able to walk. And a couple weeks ago he WALKED down the aisle to be married! It is so cool. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to see how God was glorified in this man’s life. I feel so privileged to have been able to help make that happen. It is so awesome the way God worked it out that I happened to be there that day at the clinic and meet him. I just felt in my heart that I was supposed to make sure he got those legs. Sometimes it is difficult when surrounded by such poverty and suffering to not be overwhelmed by the need, yet I trust that the Lord will lead me as necessary. It is exciting to be able to help make such a practical difference.
You know, I am so blown away and excited by all the amazing supernatural things God did while I was in Uganda and Sudan meeting spiritual needs, but it is so cool to see the results of meeting the physical needs as well. Amen!
There are so many awesome stories from Uganda, but one of my favorites is also one of the most simple. John was one of the young men who came to our pastor’s seminar. He recently dropped out of school because he is completely blind in one eye and quickly going blind in the other as well. The local clinics can’t help him and one day he came to me asking for finances to travel far away to go to a good hospital.
Our team gathered around and prayed for him for quite a while. I wish I could write and say that he was healed that day, but he was not. I prayed and did not feel that I was supposed to help pay for a hospital. Instead, I told him I would take his picture and get as many people as possible praying for his healing. The following day I grabbed my camera and took the photo you see here, which he was not very happy about as you can tell. He is quite self-conscious of the way he looks and does not make much eye contact with people. That same day as I was sitting in the seminar about ready to get up and teach, I looked over at John who was intently listening to the message, and immediately was reminded of the new sunglasses I had brought with me from home.
I had just bought a nice pair of sunglasses for this trip, but the day before leaving for this refugee camp I had dropped them on the ground and scratched the lens right on top of the eye. I was quite bummed, because they were ruined. Although the scratch was barely visible, it blurred my vision. For some reason I didn’t throw them away and actually brought them with me to the camp. As I sat there I started to think, “which lens was ruined?” I looked at him and saw his left eye was blind and began to get excited with what I believed God had just shown me. I immediately ran to my hut and grabbed the glasses and was so excited to find that it was the left lens that was scratched! I couldn’t believe it, did God have me ruin my sunglasses so I could give them to John? After the teaching I excitedly gave him the sunglasses, which he refused at first, because he had nothing to give me in return, but I gave them anyways. He did not seem to appreciate the gift, and I began to question whether or not I did the right thing. Could I have offended him? I didn’t know. It can be very hard to understand other cultures.
Well, the next morning, while I was still lying in bed, John came into my hut with a big smile on his face and wearing his best clothes. He hurriedly said, “James, come out, I need to take a picture with you!” I went outside and saw he had invited a friend of his who had a camera to come and take our picture. He then pulled out his new sunglasses, put them on, and with a great big smile on his face, we had our picture taken together. He was smiling so big and I had them take the picture you see here with my camera as well. I wish you could have been there to see how happy he was. I am again in tears as I think about John again. For the first time he was able to look at people in the eyes and smile without being self-conscious. In fact, he looked pretty cool!
The previous day he had not wanted his picture taken because of the clothes he was wearing, but now he was wearing his Sunday best and had the biggest smile on his face. I still believe that God is going to heal him and I beg you to pray with me for his healing, but I believe God has begun a healing within his heart already. God is so good!