With a Little Help From Our Friends!
by Steve Trullinger
As I return from an amazing four weeks in Uganda, helping to encourage more than 1,300 leaders in five locations, I am reminded of my first visit to the “Pearl of Africa,” in 2002. So many incredible “God-sightings” occurred on that mission, it would take quite a bit of space to even touch on them briefly.
But let me zero in on an adventure during that trip that impacted our whole team in dramatic fashion.
During our brief game-viewing safari to Murchison Falls National Park, we were told by our guide that we needed to leave early to try to make it back to the main road (paved), since it had begun to rain and we had quite a distance to travel back along the dirt access road to the Falls. He was concerned that we might experience significant delay as that road would surely turn into a “mud strip” due to the powerful storm that was about to drench our “escape route.”
Sure enough, our drive to our hotel turned into an all-night “adventure” along the muddy “road!” This included the team pushing our van back up on the road after sliding off into the ditch at the side, more than once. One of our team members offered to drive the vehicle since he felt a special empowerment from the Lord to control the slippery critter better than our guide, and indeed he did a much better job!
As we were waiting at about midnight for vehicles in front of us to make their way up a slippery hill, we had a break for a few minutes to stretch a bit. I felt led to encourage the team to prophetically “shovel” mud out of the way in front of our van, as we needed to get some traction to make it up the hill. The team went along with this “crazy idea from Steve” and used their pretend shovels in the prophetic act. Can’t hurt, right?
A few minutes later, six African men came out of the bush along the side of the road in the middle of nowhere with shovels and spades and cleared a way for our van to get some traction! They were wearing tattered clothes like many men in the rural areas but it seemed very strange that they would even be available to help us at midnight! One of our team members offered to pay them something for their trouble, but I discouraged him from doing so, saying that “they don’t need your money.”
You see, I had the sense that these were not in fact African men, but helpers sent by Abba! As we boarded our van to head up the hill, we turned around to wave goodbye to the “men,” but they had suddenly vanished!
The rest of the journey to our hotel was accompanied by the loud praise and wonder of our muddied team, grateful for a little help from our “friends!”
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