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11th Letter from Jesus – He makes away in all things

Dear Friend,

We reached Makerere University main gate slightly past 9am. We then walked past the mosque to our right and complex hall to our left heading towards faculty of IT. It felt like I had been here before and yet I hadn’t, my confidence grew with every step.

After a 5 minutes walk going up the hill, we saw an old, rusted and faintly visible signpost written, MUK Guest House. You should have seen my face; I was beaming with such joy. Shamim was ecstatic; she said to me, “Arnold you’re indeed a city boy” was I! Absolutely not. What she didn’t know was that there was an invisible friend who made away for us. If it hadn’t been for Him, we wouldn’t have reached here.

I asked her to go ahead and ask for Aunt Grace at the reception, as I needed to go slightly ahead. I felt the leading to keep walking. It’s hard to tell that the university has such imposing structures because of the many tall trees that hide the view from a distance. As a child, my mother told me lots of stories about Makerere University and how I needed to work hard to get there. Walking up that main university road, I couldn’t help but tear.

Thoughts kept running through my mind, if only my mother knew that I was walking on the streets of Makerere, I guesses she would never have believed me, because I was meant to be in Mbale preparing to go back to Kumi after my final exams. I was lost in deep thoughts and it didn’t take me long before I reached the main building famously called the Ivory tower. I stood right in front of the building and I found myself making a prophetic declaration.

I pointed at the building and addressed it saying, “You Makerere University, listen to me, I will be admitted here and I will study and finish my degree, I will graduate from here.” Frankly speaking, the declaration sounded more like a script taken from one of those Nigerian movies, “I will succeed part One” or from one of the many Nigerian churches with fire prayers. But it wasn’t, I was only a few days in salvation, I knew nothing about prayer and there is no way I would have made that up or even thought about it.

After that declaration, I walked back quietly. I never thought about what I just said, as far as I was concerned it felt normal, but there was nothing normal about that declaration, it was prophetic, spirit led and little did I know that it would shape my future. Knowing what I know now, I believe like it is written the power of life and death is in the tongue.

When I got back to the guest house, I found Shamim with another lady who was waiting to take us to the back to meet Aunt Grace, its then that I got to know that she was a chef. We went through the main reception area to the kitchen and there was Aunt Grace. It had only been less than 12 hours when she found us by the roadside at KPC and yet it felt like I had known her all my life, I felt for her the same way I did my mother. This was the first time I was seeing her face to face in broad daylight, she looked frail and worn out so I thought may be because she didn’t sleep the whole night since she was praying for us.

She beckoned us to follow her to the back office that seemed like a store and that’s where we found a man in his forties, he had a dark complexion, stout and of average height. When we walked in he stood to great us, I stretched out my hand to shake his and he had a firm grip, looked me in the eye and said I am Pastor Yusuf in a deep rusty voice.

After a brief introduction, Aunt Grace went back to her chores with assurance from the Pastor that we would be fine. He asked if we were hungry, Shamim said, we haven’t had a meal since we came last night, which was true. He took us to the staff dining which was a door after his. There was a gentleman who was setting the table because staff were coming for their breakfast.

He invited us to have breakfast; on the table were 2 big flasks of tea and two dozens of yummy bans. I had never seen them before, Pastor Yusuf left us alone since he had a few things to finish then he would join us right after. No one told us that the bans and tea were meant for all staff, we ate all the bans and drank all the tea, we were that hungry. I didn’t think a girls would eat 12 bans, but me and her ate out a draw, 12 bans each and a huge flask of milk tea that could take almost 2 litres.

Moments later, staff started coming in and we heard them say, “Eh nga there is no breakfast.” Shamim and I looked at each other, kumbe these few bans and tea were meant for everyone, the Pastor came back and asked what happened, we told him, you said we should take tea and we did. I have never seen such a gentle smile, he said “well am glad you had your breakfast, lets arrange for the rest of the staff then. Lets go sit outside.”

I was full to brim, that bread and tea did magic, now I was ready for whatever came. Then he joked, “would you like more bans!” with a naughty smile. I guess he was trying to break the ice because we each sat there in silence not knowing where to start from, we all laughed in a guilty way, and then he goes, “I am told you came in from Mbale last night!” to which we nodded yes. He said to us I know your wondering why I am a Pastor and yet I have a Muslim name, then he explained that he was formerly Muslim then he gave his life to Jesus Christ and his family disowned him. He spent most of his life on the streets.

To be honest, I had never heard of such things. I was raised Anglican but I never knew anyone who crossed from being a Muslim to a born again, any way how would I have known because I too only got born again a few days earlier. We sat and listened to his story for about an hour then he asked us to tell him about us. He looked at Shamim and said, so tell me about you? What she said shocked me so hard, she said she was born again too, I exclaimed loudly, it was hard to hide what I felt, my face looked stunned. And I went, “Born-again!”

Imagine a born again called Shamim; all along I didn’t know whom I was travelling with. I was so sure she was Muslim because of the name. Eh miracles can happen, mama Nze. I didn’t hear much of what she said except that she had kids, I was totally lost in thoughts. When she was done, he asked her for the contact of the guy at Daily Monitor and he tried it and it was off. Then he said something that caught my eye, “Some of this people are conmen and kidnappers.” I thought wait, did I hear that well, kidnappers!!

I was lost for a moment, imagine kidnaping a whole me, a tall stout guy from Kumi. By the time the Pastor turned to look at me, I didn’t hear him call my name until he tapped my shoulder. Then he asked me, do you also want to go back to Mbale like her, without thinking I said, No. My answer took her by surprise because while we walked from Nakawa to Makerere, we talked about our options and since the Kampala deal seemed to be failing, we ask for transport and go back, I wanted to cross the border into Kenya as I had planned.

What I didn’t know was what God had planned for me and how He was going to make away where seemed no way. When I said I didn’t want to go back, Pastor then asked me to tell him my story, I started from 1988, as far back as I could remember how my mother and I ran away from my abusive father aboard a night train to Kampala for the first time. No one had ever asked me to tell my story, I didn’t think twice about it, so I gave him the unedited version. That would change my life forever.

In my next letter I will tell you what happened after I told the Pastor my whole life story which for me wasn’t special at all and how God made a way, I never went back to Kumi like we had initially planned, as a matter of fact I have been here since then. Had it not been for Aunt Grace and Pastor Yusuf, I wouldn’t be writing to you, through them, God made a way for me, I believe He will make away for you as well.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 NIV

This is the Word of the LORD.

His servant,

Pastor Mark A Odeke Mark

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:36

Mark Odeke Ministries