Wednesday, May 16, 2012


The first time we went to Uganda, January, 1991, was to check out the country to which we felt God was leading us. Unfortunately, our original plan, to leave in early December, 1990, fell through. We shifted the departing date a couple of times, and ended up scheduling it for mid-January ... which, unexpectedly, turned out to be two days after the first Gulf War began. We left Omaha with eighteen boxes and pieces of luggage: eleven boxes of materials a local ministry had collected from a number of churches -- shoes, clothes, books, small tools, and even a trumpet -- and seven supplied by us, items we had collected or purchased, including toiletries, OTC drugs, school supplies, lots and lots of twin-sized sheets for orphanages, paint brushes and paint rollers, and M&Ms, granola bars, and small fruit cups. On top of that, we had our own clothing. Overall, lots and lots of stuff.

We lost piles of money -- so many airline requirements we had never anticipated and being 2-1/2 days late because of planes rescheduled to comply with the war situation -- and arrived with a lot of tension and confusion and concern.
God brought us through in many ways, one miracle after another. However, one always stands out for me.

Three days after we arrived, I was asked to put a library together for the orphanage in Kampala where we were helpi
ng. I asked a Ugandan lady to sort through the three hundred books in the evening and I'd come back in the morning and take on the job.
When I walked in, she had several stacks in her room -- yep, she also slept there -- piles of text books, fiction, non-fiction, and Bibles. Many, many Bibles.

When I sat down in the chair to begin the job, I glanced at the Bible stack. On the very top there was a Bible that looked trashy. Embarrassingly so. I asked "Wh
o would give a terrible looking Bible like this away?"

I reached down and picked it up and as I opened the cover I was stunned. It was MY Bible. I received it for my first birthday in the Lord and had lost it at a writer's conference at Boys Town in Omaha ten years 
earlier. It had my maiden name in it, so no one would have known it was mine. However, as I looked through it I found that all my old notes were still there. Nothing had been lost. Overwhelmed by the joy, the miracle, I immediately started jumping up and down, crying, screaming, laughing hysterically, and startled the children and adults around me who didn't know what had happened -- including my husband. The director of the orphanage outside of Kampala, where we were going to be helping a week later, walked in at just that moment. It was Jay's first view of me: an hysterical, insane, crazy-acting nutty woman.

However, I also immediately knew that in the midst of all our confusion and challenges, God was telling me that we were in the exact place He wanted us to be at exactly the right time and that He would take care of us. [And He did!]

When I had the blessing of sharing or preaching while we were there, I always told this story. I said, "I lost my Bible ten years ago, ten miles from my home, and God gave it back to me here, ten thousand miles from home." And then I lifted the Bible and showed it to them. They always came to their feet cheering, overwhelmed with joy -- and I always cheered right along with them.

I have that Bible. It is on a bookshelf in a zip-lock bag. I pull it out occasionally just to be reminded by sight, touch, and even a little bit of smell, of the gift that my Father God gave me - Twice.



Lyli said...

what an awesome God story!

Gayle said...

Wow! No others words, WOW!

S. Etole said...

This story always gives me goose bumps!

Anonymous said...

Ha!!! I think this story is so funny!! I'd forgotten all about it. I think I need to share this with a few friends. Love, Niki

Jennifer @ said...

Oh .... my .... goodness.

Simply amazing. I'm sharing this with my Getting Down With Jesus Facebook page! Incredible.

The Rest of The Story said...

WOW! Off the charts!!! Unbelievable God story. Thanks so much for sharing, and although you are not me, I would share that with anyone who'll stand still long enough. My eyes are smiling!:-)
The Rest of The Story

Jennifer said...

This is amazing. It's so awesome to think that God has a plan for all that is lost, even a well-used Bible. He is worthy!!

Alicia said...

WOW! His ways are so much higher! This story is incredible. Can't wait to share it with my kids tonight. God goes to incredible lengths to love on us, doesn't He?

Duane Scott said...


Lovely story.

I'm sharing this with my readers on my blog.

Joe Pote said...

Wow, what a cool testimony!

I am convinced that God delights in doing little things like this for us, during times of trial.

Little reminders of His love and care that are undeniably miraculous.

I've started calling them God's love letters.

If you like, you can read about one of God's love letters to me, here:

Blessings to you!

Christina said...

Thats amazing! What a wonderful story of His faithfulness and a confirmation of that path you were on. Love it!

Wendy @ ECTaS said...

Wonderful testimony! Please consider sharing this on Scripture Sunday (at ECTaS) - it would be a joy if you did so and a blessing to many others :D

Wendy @ ECTaS

elizabeth said...

What an AMAZING story! My brother has been a missionary in Ethiopia, Rwanda and most recently in Kampala, Uganda! My daughter and her family are currently serving as missionaries in Ghana. We just visited there for the first time last month.

Wendy @ ECTaS said...

Thank you for linking up... this is a fab story which needs to be shared.

Wendy@ ECTaS

Deidra said...

Very cool! Thanks for sharing this with me!

Zosha said...

Beautiful story! God is so good!