22 June 2008

Owak George

June 16 my student Owak George turned 28… I’m 10 months older than him…

On the 18th of June he was asked to give a testimony in chapel… as he walked forward a few of his classmates sang “happy birthday”

He stood before us with a smile from ear to ear that never went away… and his testimony went like this…

“On June 16, 1998 I buried my mother…”

“On June 16, 2002 I buried my father…”

“On June 16, 2008 my best friend died…”

“But I praise God… He has spared my life… He has a purpose for me… and while I am breathing I will live to praise Him!”

Then George… with a smile from ear to ear… walked to his seat and sat down…

I sat in the front row sucking in hard and holding my breathe… a weak attempt to hold back tears which George himself did not have…

George is an Acholi who grew up in Northern Uganda and like the boys from Burundi has known war his whole life… George too has a sense of urgency to bring the message of peace to a region that has only known conflict…

But what strikes me is his smile… a smile that is hard for me to have on days the internet doesn’t work and on days where I miss family and friends who are still alive but on the other side of the world…

George’s life is so different from mine… his a life of grieving and mine a life of grumbling… his a life of war and mine a life of peace… his a life of poverty and mine a life of luxury… but our God is the same…

George’s life is so similar to mine… we are both determined young men… he is determined to bring the gospel of peace to the war torn region of northern Uganda... while I remain determined to help young leaders like George to transform a society through the message of the gospel… and still our God is the same…

George’s testimony challenges me to live life with a smile that does not end and joy that will not go away… because whatever my circumstances… God is the same…

4 comments:

David A. Rusco said...

Wow Jeff!!!

Kristen said...

Wow, you have a really cool job to get to hear that kind of stuff.
We're happy to be on this journey with you guys!

imjustaphoneguy said...

Thank you for sharing these testamonies, Jeff. Their determination to take the gospel to their war torn countries is convicting.

Teenietinyt said...

PRAISE THE LORD that HE is the same...that is a BEAUTIFUL message in itself.
Jeff, GREAT words