Pastor Rebel is the real-life survivor man

I left my heart in Uganda.  I feel like I’m driving my family crazy talking about my trip to Africa, and it’s been difficult finding the right balance.  I have so many stories to tell, but I don’t want to bulldoze my kids over with my passion.  When I got home, I didn’t have very many people call and ask me, “how was your trip?” Honestly, it left me feeling a little lonely.  Do you ever feel like that?  The only people that really understood what had happened in Africa was my team, but they are scattered all over the country.   Something powerful started in my heart, but how do I express my feelings to really make an impact and a difference. I don’t want people running away when they see me, but I just want to share about the importance of visiting orphans.  I’m grateful for my bloggy friends who have celebrated and supported me since I’ve returned home with encouraging words.  Thank you for being there for me!  Warning: this post will not be short, but sooo worth reading.

It has taken me weeks to process how to introduce my next hero, Pastor Isaac Wagaba.  I want his life to encourage you, inspire you, and challenge you.  Have you ever met someone that you have an instant heart connection?  I met dear Pastor Isaac and fell deeply in love with this man of God.  He has a lively spirit, who literally dances when he talks.  He is joy.  Here are a few words I use to describe my friend- happy, faithful, kind, loving, fatherly, brave, courageous, survivor, joyful.

He is a rebel for Jesus.  I gave him the nickname, Pastor Rebel after hearing his INCREDIBLE testimony of surviving the persecution in Uganda during the reign of Idi Amin from 1971-1979.  This is Pastor Isaac Wagaba’s own words:

“Canaan Children’s Home was born after the Lord gave me a vision when in a dangerous time and that was the time when IDI AMIN was the ruler of Uganda.  He closed all spiritual Christian churches in Uganda and he persecuted the Church openly. Most of our churches were burnt down and many of our pastors killed.  I was one of the pastors, who were persecuted but narrowly escaped by the Grace of God, because I was invaded three times because I was the District Overseer and my name was on the death list…

The other pastors and I persisted and after three hours were told to get ready for death. We were taken outside with our faces blindfolded, our hands held backwards and were shot at. My fellow pastor called John died instantly. I was shot in the right hand and the soldier thought that I had died, and then we were left there. They never knew that I was alive so that is how I miraculously escaped death. After that about 25 of us were thrown on the back of a truck and the driver was commanded to take us to a pit dug in Kampiringisa Forest on Masaka Road, then we were dumped in the pit as dead bodies. Late in that evening, I heard a voice calling, “Isaac, I have saved your life so that you may save the lives of my fatherless children.” [read more]

When I first heard him share his miraculous story, I wept in anger… how could anyone hurt this precious man! I’ve never heard a story as powerful as Pastor Isaac’s in real life, only stories like this are found in the Bible.  I was mesmerized when I placed my hand on his deep scarred wound on his upper right arm.  I was in the presence of a holy man.

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