Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Farewell, Master Johnson

Tonight, we hosted a dinner in honor of a man who has been a faithful teacher at Christ School Bundibugyo for twelve years. After a delicious dinner of Pat’s pork appetizers, matooke, rice, plain spaghetti noodles, gnut sauce, cabbage, beef sauce, and chicken, we gathered around two kerosene lamps to hear stories of God’s faithfulness in the life of Busesiere Johnson. In his characteristically animated manner, he shared that after the first year of CSB, only he and Kevin Bartkovich remained. His friends called him “mad” for moving to Bundibugyo and said that they would keep a house for him in his hometown Kabale for when he comes back from this insanity. He laughed how his colleagues at CSB also thought him mad when he planted a stone in the ground. They wondered if he was practicing some sort of witchcraft or sorcery. No, he said, he was planting a stone of rememberance, an Ebeneezer, to the faithfulness of God. That stone in his compound at CSB would always serve to remind everyone that just as God brought the Israelites through difficulty, He also has protected CSB students and staff. He recalled that when the rebels came through Bundibugyo, students had already been sent home and that he even passed them on the road and they did not stop him. He shared his gratefulness for missionaries that served here, for the way that God’s love came alive to him in the Sonship course, for the way that God has blessed his wife and five children.

An especially moving moment was when he received the parting gift of “The Jesus Storybook Bible”. His eyes grew wide and he could not complete a sentence. When he finally found his voice, he said, “The Holy Spirit must have told you to give this to me. The one thing I wanted as a gift from CSB was a Bible but I never had time to talk with Deus about it. This is the most valuable gift I could ever receive.” It was a beautiful point in time to read the last lines of the Bible that remark that God’s story does not end, but, rather, it is “to be continued”. Indeed, we look forward to the day when we will sit together with God’s children from around the world and throughout time, feasting, sharing, and being together in the love we have as brothers and sisters in Christ.

As we walked the Johnson family out, we prayed with them for their journey ahead as they move to Kampala for further schooling. We echo their prayers for their children to be ambassadors for the gospel, sharing it with Uganda and the world.

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