A starving family finds not only work, but hope, with a compassionate stranger.
My family had gone two days without food, and now my children were crying from hunger. We had left our home village to find work in Bushenyi, but the rich man I worked for had been withholding my salary. With a heavy heart, I leaned my head on my wooden staff. “God, why have you decided to let us die now?”
No sooner had I opened my eyes than a strange man walked by. “Why are you sad?” he asked me. When I told him the story, he pointed down the road. “Go to the house next to the jackfruit tree. There is an old woman there who will give you a simple job.”
My wife and I trudged to the house and knocked. A young boy opened the door, and an old, stooped woman came out of the bedroom, leaning on a wooden cane. She smiled as she greeted us.
“I am Nuwagaba Alex and this is my wife,” I began. “We have been directed here for a job. Can you give us work?”
“When did you last eat food?” she interrupted. “You sound like a person speaking from an empty stomach!”
“We last ate two days ago. We are terribly hungry and our three children are starving.”
As the woman ordered her house maid to serve us some food, I thought of my children. “Excuse me,” I asked the maid, “may I have a small bowl to pack some for my children?”
“Worry not,” the old woman said. Reaching toward a pile of books in the corner, she pulled out a Bible in my local dialect and began reading. I did not really pay attention because I kept thinking of my hungry children. After the Bible study, however, the woman asked her maid to bring us two kilograms of maize flour and one kilogram of beans. “Go and cook for your children, and tomorrow I will give you a job,” she said in a tender voice.
My wife and I left feeling lighthearted and happy. Our whole time in this area, we had never met such a merciful, godly person. Everyone else had been hostile, looking out for themselves and not caring for others. Yet this woman had given us food without even asking us to work for it! That night as we cooked and fed our children, my family shared the happiest night we had had in three months.
The following day, when I went to work, the woman had another surprise: She gave us a house in the middle of her banana plantation where we could live for free! From this house, we could work in her gardens; and when she had no work for us, she would link us to other people with jobs. We would have work every day, and our pay would be food.
On Friday, the woman visited us and forbade us from working on Sabbath. “Then you are forbidding us from eating on that day as well!” I complained. “Without working, we cannot eat.”
After all her kindness, I shouldn’t have worried. Every Friday, she brought us a bunch of bananas and requested that we come to church. At the Ruhandagazi Church, which is 100 meters from where we stay, we delved into the Bible during Sabbath School. Soon, my wife, our two daughters and I were baptized. Although we own neither land nor a home, we have found a home in Jesus, and we are working and saving to buy land. Pray for us in our new spiritual journey!
Pastor John Kaganzi
This narrative by Nuwagaba Alex was shared with and written by Pastor John Kaganzi. Pastor John is the leader of the Ruhandagazi SDA District in Bushenyi.
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