On the 21st October 2021 I was seated on LDR next to another passenger called Kenneth. I had no idea that on this day I would hear a story I would want to tell to countless numbers of people. A story about making a way where there is no way. I came home and shared this story with my family, then with passing friends and now in this article.
Kenneth was a very successful Ugandan businessman until a visit to EDRC changed his life forever. He had been working for Compassion International for 10 years but after his visit to the EDRC Kenneth explained, ‘My heart was moved when I saw the situation there. My wife and I decided to sell up everything we owned to help support the Congolese who had such huge insurmountable struggles.’
Confidence in God’s Way
Eden Mission was set up in Bunia, 10 years ago in 2011 to mainly support families in Congo and Uganda. Kenneth was confident that God would make a way where there was no way. ‘Everyone who knew me thought I was completely mad to let go of my executive role in Uganda to go and live in Congo. We didn’t know how far our funds would go but I knew that whenever it dried up, we would go back to the drawing board and continue raising funds. We offer economic empowerment using the resources the locals have, plus we offer spiritual development & discipleship training.
There is also a maternal health program, and we give marriage counselling and parental training.’ Eden Mission has helped around 4200 people to date. ‘We could have never achieved this without MAF. When we used to go by road, in 2014 I was driving with my wife and 2 girls (aged 3 & 2) when we encountered rebels at a roadblock. They pulled me out of the car and dragged me into the bush. My prayer was that they would kill me and not touch my family. They demanded I give them everything I had including my phone and money, but then also asked for me to leave my wife with them. I offered them everything but pleaded and explained that I was doing mission work and to please leave my wife alone.
As we were talking, a large buffalo suddenly appeared and we were all scattered. It chased the rebel who had a gun. It was God protecting us. I ran towards my car, terrified the buffalo was also going to kill me and drove off like a madman. After hitting the rebel barricades across the road, I kept going. After 20-30kms I reached a small town and found my car was completely wrecked and one of my daughters was injured, but we had escaped with our lives.
I had preached about ‘God interventions’ but had never experienced something like this first-hand where God had definitely intervened. I would probably have been dead and who knows what would have happened to my wife and 2 daughters.
Aferwards, I retold the story to friends and one of them then told me about MAF and how they help fly Christian organisations to support their ministries.’ Kenneth got in touch with MAF and has flown with us 36 times since this life-changing event occurred.
His Ways are Higher
‘My story was also shared via a friend to another friend who told another person in the USA. This Texan then asked to visit our project and flew over from the USA taking a flight with MAF to see first-hand the projects in EDRC. At this point we had run out of our finances, but he helped continue raising funds for Eden Mission and we now have an office also based in Dallas, Texas. I couldn’t believe how quickly our ministry had grown.
If it wasn’t for MAF we would have stopped after the rebel incident. We’ve seen God use MAF in ways I can’t explain. They’ve flown in so many of our US and Canadian partners.
We’ve been able to reach the whole of Orientale Province in EDRC (3 times the size of Uganda) because of MAF. From Bunia we can fly to different locations like Aru, Mungwalu, Aliwala, Mambasa and Komanda which would take 2-3 days to reach by road. It’s also very risky to reach these locations because of rebel activity that’s still ongoing between these remote areas. I believe God will protect the work of MAF because their intention is to be a blessing to the kingdom.’
Kenneth’s words flowed easily as he recounted other stories of transformation, ‘I have seen many lives transformed, but one that stands out is about a witchdoctor who used to sell poison for people to go and use to kill people. We met in 2016 and were telling him about what we were doing and invited him to our training centre. We talked about marriage, good health, personal finance, business development and about Jesus. The witchdoctor was listening and so we offered to pray for him, but at first, he was reluctant. He started receiving deliverance and after 30 minutes God had delivered Him completely and he accepted Jesus as Lord of his life.
The Way to Christ
We then went to his home, but his wife reminded him that his gods had warned him that if he had anyone enter their home with a bible he would die. We assured them that we had come to just pray and so they agreed for us to enter as long as we left the bible outside. The wife was then delivered and also came to Christ.
We then heard their story how they had poisoned and killed over 68 people and hundreds more from selling their poison to others in the community. 2 weeks ago, I met with this same man who I’ve been in touch with since his conversion and found out that he had planted 2 other churches.
He also pastors a congregation of 300 people and runs a pastoral training program. We wouldn’t have met this witchdoctor without MAF flying us to where he lives in Mambasa. Instead of killing people he is now bringing people to Christ.’
Whenever I have the privilege of accompanying passengers on a flight and I hear their stories, their purpose, their reasons for flying with MAF, I always return inspired and astonished at the people MAF are flying every day, all over the world and to some of the hardest-to-reach places on the earth.
Story and photos by Jill Vine