06 June 2009

In her own words...




My names are Ogwang Lucy and I am not a traditional student. I registered at Gaba Bible Institute in 2007 as a 54-year old widow and a mother of nine.

 

We are from northern Uganda, in the town of Gulu. Despite my mother’s faith I did not give much thought to God until the war became too much in 1986. At that time I became serious about prayer.

 

My husband never shared my faith but he cared for our family. In 1993 war became hot and they forced everyone into the camps. We didn’t want that for ourselves so we moved to the capital, Kampala, searching for a better life.

 

When my husband died in 1997 I began raising chicken to put eight of my children through university. All of my children are serious about their relationship with God. Once my children finished school I thought my work was finished so I spent most of my time at church.

 

After women’s fellowship one day I saw a banner for Gaba Bible Institute. I wasn’t qualified, for I had dropped out of school over 40 years ago and I hadn’t the money after sending my children to school. But the women in my fellowship encouraged me to join.

 

The first day I met with the Administrator and I told him I had no money. He offered grace to pioneer students and told me I could stay. Next I met Pastor Jeff the Academic Dean and I told him I wanted to study music in hopes that my children would buy me a piano. He questioned my decision and told me to consider theology instead.

 

Classes were a challenge since it had been so long since I had used my English. Pastor Jeff encouraged me to sit in on the English classes and soon it all came back to me as before. Soon I could understand the things that he was teaching and I never went back to the music classes.

 

I had been taught that my role was to listen to my pastor and raise God-fearing children. But Pastor Jeff changed my thinking. He shared the story of Abraham and how he was blessed to be a blessing to others. I had never considered that I could ministry to anyone other than my children.

 

The things I was learning were not only for myself but were to be used to be a blessing to others. I saw a necessity to go back to my place to teach my people.

 

In our world missions class I got an idea to go back to the north to help people to leave the camps and resettle the land. It had been 15 years since I had been to our land in Kitgum but I knew that my husband had left me land titles for over 1,200 acres.

 

When I returned I found my land filled with trees and the land was fertile from 15 years of rest with no digging. I knew the work was too much to do on my own so I began working with Pastor James Opoka at Greater Love Church in Gulu.

 

Those who grew up in the camps have a hard time thinking for themselves. They are used to having everything brought to them. This means that we had to begin working and then ask them to join us.

 

We started by cutting some of the trees and selling them for charcoal. With the money we bought a pair of bulls and began plowing the land. It is difficult work because many of these 20 year olds have never had opportunity to hold a hoe and dig. But we are there to be with them and to show them how it is to be done.

 

God continues to meet all of our needs. We were able to build a structure and the World Bank gave us 410 chicken. We plowed the field but had no seeds. Today I was given 70 kilos of rice seed and 6 new plows for digging.

 

When people stand side by side and work together to resettle the land others become eager to join us. We share with them our food and the knowledge of God and their minds are being transformed.

 

Living in community prevents the people from backsliding because they have worked the land, they have met Christ and their lives are not the same.

 

My fourth son Simon is now studying at GBI because he saw a change in me. He must finish and then join me. The rest of my children are also standing with me and building a house for 1000 chicken. As I supported them, they are now supporting me.

 

2 comments:

Kristin said...

What a awesome story from what seems like an incredible woman.

Kathy said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing this, Jeff. What a blessing to see how God chooses to work through people in His own amazing and unconventional ways. I hope you continue to post stories about how your graduates are making a difference in their world.