Blackness. You can't see where you are going or what you are going to bump into. Everyone is talking and it's in another language and everyone is just trying to find their way to some sort of light. A candle, a headlamp, a cell phone, a charged laptop. My hand hits the wall and I trace it walking slowly until I find the entrance to the door. I stumble around the things on the floor inching my feet around slowly hoping not to fall, then blindly scan the bed with my hands in hopes of finding a headlamp. Children are in the other room and can't see. A child comes in. Aunty Becky. She comes with a candle and the small light fills the whole room...and it's enough. It's enough to enable me to find an even brighter light. It's enough to give me peace of mind. It's enough to bring comfort and know that the darkness is only for a short time. The power goes out often enough but it always comes back on again...at least with electricity.
Blackness. She's demonized they told me. 8 years old. P3 Class. The same classroom that kept getting hit with witchcraft during our holidays when people broke into the classroom and smeared bodily fluids all over the walls and chalkboard and left dead things behind. Night dancers they are called. Demonized people who roam at night in dark practices. I was not afraid at all. Honestly I was just...hurt. I took it personally that here we are giving our lives away serving your children of your nation and you attack us spiritually. Sometimes its hard to remember that we do not battle against flesh and blood and the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. Of course now we have our watchman who stands guard with prayers and a bow and arrow. Don't mess with us. But no one ever said it would be easy and I never guessed it would be.
What's her name? Hilda. I didn't know her. I only knew of another girl named Hilda and it wasn't her. We're going to pray for her they told me. The teachers. Full of faith and anointing. They have been a team that has carried me at times. We've been through a lot of thick and thin together and here we go again...to SHINE in the darkness.
Blackness. It doesn't take much to destroy it. Only a tiny light can work. Even a spark can start a flame until we're all burning and glowing in love. That's how love begins...just a spark that turns into an unquenchable flame as Song of Songs tell us, stronger than death, more jealous than the grave. Are we willing to go there? To the blackness? Do we burn with love for those who need Him? Those trapped in the night. Are we willing to walk in the light? To keep our lamps burning and full of oil? to shine?
I found them in our office crying a beautiful song of worship in a perfect African language with harmonies and I just broke. Tears filled my eyes. It had been a hard week. I didn't think I could really manage to minister to anyone at the time. In those places we just have to remind ourselves of our righteousness, of His authority and His blood and His sacrifice that gives us the power. In our weakness, He is strong. I released some of whatever had been in my heart, just weariness and heaviness and the teachers laid hands on me. Dusk was approaching so we set out to find her. To go into the night.
The path was a little bit unclear. Back into the village. Across a tiny bridge that made me a little insecure but I managed it. It was dark. It was heavy to be honest...and I was a little...nervous. Courage is always doing it afraid though. That one I have learned. We removed our shoes and stepped into the house. There she was with an ice cold plastic smile that wouldn't move. I had to look away when she looked at me. She salivated constantly and held a rag up to her mouth to soak it up. She had refused to eat all food and her body was thin. Her eyes were pitch black. and there they were.... witchcraft ties. Little ties all around her ankles and wrists. At first glance you might think they were just some sort of jewelry or decoration but I knew. I asked the teachers ...aren't these witchcraft ties? They said yes of course. The family members were all unbelievers. The satanic witchcraft shrine was just behind her house. A tiny brick one room building with only a very small entrance you have to crawl through to get inside. Inside you are hidden in the darkness. There were big spears around the shrine used in rituals. I was told they give them to children to put around their beds for protection. Sick. I wanted the auntie who was caring for her to repent of this witchcraft but she didn't know any better. We asked her if we could remove them and pray for her. We knew it was family generation cursing and due to the occult. The girl had lost her mind, had frequent convulsions, and no medical diagnosis. A month ago she was in the top 10 in her class, bright, cheery eyed, and full of life her teacher told me. I was a little bit afraid of her somehow. I didn't really want to look at her but I knew under the darkness was a precious daughter of God. A little girl just trapped in the war we are all in. A little girl who had just been hit by the darkness. So here we were to shine.
We prayed and prayed. We first repented on behalf of her family and all the witchcraft. We then broke all the covenants and curses over this girl and from her family line. I was bent over praying and felt like my face weighed 100 pounds. There was just a heaviness, a battle. We called on the blood of Jesus and proclaimed light and love and salvation over this girl and her home.
I just held her afterwards wanting to show her love. She was very happy to see me. I love being a person so many children are happy to see. I had left my house around 4. By the time we had finished it was almost seven. I couldn't believe the time had gone so fast.
The next day we took her to the best medical clinic I know just to make sure there was nothing they could diagnose. They had nothing. They said she was normal and maybe we should see a psychiatrist.
That night I took her out to eat. I gave her ice cream and chicken and SHE ATE. She had stopped salivating as well. I knew something was happening. We took her home and told her auntie to send her to school on Monday because she had just been keeping her at home locked in the darkness. Time for the light to shine. She went to school and had a wonderful day. I didnt get to the school to see her that day so I decided to visit her in the evening. Of course I went with ice cream. I had grown to love this little girl and just wanted to keep showing her love. With no agenda to convert her and her family...but just to make them feel loved. There is so much more freedom in that place I'm learning. Just GO AND MAKE PEOPLE FEEL LOVED. Just GO AND LOVE. In doing so you preach a radical gospel that loves witches and prostitutes and every other person we demonize. So simple. Why do we complicate it? Its much more fun and easy anyway...plus I'm convinced love draws people into the Kingdom. Win win.
So I went with two of my girls who are some of her closest friends at school, Jesca and Maureen. She was delighted, full of light, joy, peace. Her eyes were shining. I was in awe. The teachers tell me she is back. She is fine. She is at peace. Her right mind is with her. The mind of Christ as we had prayed. The light came back on for her. A sweet precious little princess who had been hit as a victim of the war, but our Savior....our Beautiful Hero rescued her. That's who He is. That's what He does. But we are His body and His bride. We have to be His hands and feet and heart.
and there are a million more Hildas out there, trapped in the blackness. Unable to see. Just trying to trace the wall with their hands in hope of finding a light. But we are the light. We are the candles. Jesus Christ within us the HOPE of Glory...He is shining. The Holy Spirit is imprisoned in unbelieving believers and He wants out.
I think of all the young children trapped in witchcraft, even the adults who sacrifice their own babies here in Uganda in the name of getting money and power, the sex trade, child soldiers,suicidal teenagers, drug addicts, prisoners ...heck even just lonely depressed disappointed people. We all experience the darkness to a degree. Some more than others... So I just want to call on you. You who know Christ. You who have been set free from sin and sickness. You have seen the light. You who ARE the light of the world. Please go and shine! Step out in faith. Say a prayer. Start a mission to rescue the captives. Feed a homeless person. Do something. Love somebody. Catch on fire in His love, Run to the darkness and burn there... and if you're depressed or stuck in a little darkness yourself, I'm convinced that getting caught up in shining your light and sharing His love is probably the best cure!
That little Hilda was my Jesus. That little girl just stuck in the darkness was Jesus in disguise. He was inside there. What we do to the little least of these, those treasures hidden in darkness, we do unto Christ.
LOVE. It is our greatest weapon against the power of darkness. It is an unquenchable raging furious flame that burns in me and it burns in you. It dismantles every wicked thing. It takes down every power and principality with its simplicity. LOVE. GOD IS LOVE, and we are His hands and feet.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. ---John 1:5
I invite you to join me in prayer for Hilda and her family and the nation of Uganda where Christ is bursting to shine forth His light!
***In no way do I want to give glory to any works of the Devil, I only write any details to show you the reality of this world and the darker side so that the light and glory of God and all He sets us free from through His love may be displayed. Thanks for reading. :)