Director Steve Wheeler guest hosts the David Spoon Experience on KPRZ 1210AM in San Diego, CA. In this second hour of the radio show, Steve shares about Pastor Ruat in Myanmar and Pastor Amjed and the adversity they face pastoring in those difficult places. He also interviews Dr. Jay Grimstead author of the new book Rebuilding Civilization On The Bible.
The year 2001 is a year I will never forget because that is the year I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.
I was born into a broken nonchristian family, I grew up using drugs (grown in our area) as well as drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. I was searching for something and felt very lost. It was during this time that the Lord used Pastor Onesimus to share the Gospel with me, the Word of God brought hope into my life. As I read the Bible, I began to think in a more positive manner, and the Lord helped me to stop these bad habits. I wrestled in the Spirit about the things I heard in the Gospel, the battle between my will and the Lords calling to my Spirit.
After pondering these things for some time, I was encouraged to attend a local church in Kampala called Mutundwe Christian Fellowship Centre. God healed my heart and gave me the grace to confess and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, Lord, and Christ.
Since then the Lord gave me a new will, I immediately joined a local church near my home called Harvest Center in Kampala. The Lord was so good to me and used the pastor of this church to pray with, encourage, and guide me. The Lord changed the trajectory of my life, and I am so glad He did!
I would like to thank God because I am alive and walking in his grace.
I was born into an Islamic home where I was one of the favorite children, our parents loved us, and we enjoyed that love within our family. There was a total of five siblings in our family. One of my brothers was a troublemaker; he would try to get me in trouble or fight with me because he did not like me. He was the oldest in our family, but he was the son of my mother from a previous marriage and was not my father’s child. I was the youngest in our family with three older sisters and an older brother. We grew up in the town of Masaka. The reason my stepbrother and I did not get along was that he wanted to receive the family inheritance which was going to be mine, this is the reason why there was so much conflict between us.
When I became a man, I left home and went to Kampala to find work, while there I met an engineer who gave me a job. One of the projects I oversaw was in the town of Rukungiri. When that project wrapped up, I received another assignment there and decided to make Rukungiri my home. One day on the radio I heard someone preaching the Gospel, this preacher shared of an event the church was having, and I decided to go. I went to the crusade they were talking about to learn more about the Gospel, and that is how I came to the knowledge of Christ.
After living in Rukungiri for several months, I decided to return to my parent’s house and tell them about my new found faith in Jesus. When I arrived home, I found out my father had just passed away, before he died however he made an oath that I would be the one to become the spiritual leader of the family. Growing up as a Muslim I would read the Koran and help my father perform sacrifices to evil spirits; this is why my father had said I would become the spiritual leader of our family.
I told my mother and siblings that I was now a Christian and that I could not do this since I believe in Jesus Christ. I was informed that there were no fools in our family and to not become the spiritual leader would be a foolish thing to do. My family told me they would give me two options. I could be stupid and follow Jesus Christ if I did I would be forced to leave the family and give inheritance to my siblings. Or I could reject my faith become the leader of the household and receive the inheritance. Because of this ultimatum, I asked if they would allow me two days to think about my answer.
I had two days and one night to decide and give them an answer. That evening I went, and prayed, while I was praying I remembered in Genesis 12 the passage of scripture where God was calling to Abraham. At the remembrance of this scripture, I began to denounce every covenant (to evil spirits) I had made. I denied every pact and agreement I knew I was personally involved in when it came to Spirit worship. (Covenants in Uganda are made by sacrificing the blood of cows and other animals.) As I began to pray the shrine in the room caught on fire (on its own/by itself). My family knew I was praying in that place and when the shrine caught on fire they came in thinking I was attempting to destroy it. They dragged me outside, beat me up, and threw me in jail.
While in prison my stepbrother came and paid one of the prisoner’s and one of the guards to murder me. The prisoner who had been paid by my brother came to me and asked what I had done to be in prison. He described the man who came and paid him to kill me, it was then that I discovered it was my brother who was arranging this. The prisoner told me that my brother had paid a guard to kill me as well and that if anything were to happen to me, my brother was the one behind it.
He asked why we were fighting and I explained how the shrine had caught fire, and he said,”That is the only reason?” “I was also paid 50,000 to beat you up, but if this the reason you guys are fighting I don’t want any part of this.” The next day I went to work because I was on the roster, (prisoners in Uganda work in jail as a part of community service) at the end of the day when the rest of the prisoners were returning to the prison I was pulled out from the group. One of the guards took me up the road to a field with three trees and had me start digging with a hoe. When I began to dig with the hoe, it went through a root and broke, so I was no longer able to use it. It was at that moment that the guard cocked his AK47 to shoot me.
In my heart, I felt someone tell me to turn around and look at him. I dropped the hoe and heard the voice say again to turn around and look at him. As I turned the guard took two steps backward, the voice inside me told me to step toward him. It said that if he took three steps backward I should take three steps forward towards him, and that is what I did. The guard once again took two steps back, and I took two steps forward, looking in his eyes this whole time. He took six more steps backward, and I went forward six more steps. The guard lowered his gun and turned away and said go back to work. I felt that I should go back and continue digging like he told me to. When I turned and began walking back to the hole the guard attached the bayonet to his gun and sprinted towards me stabbing me in the back three times. Each time he stabbed me he pulled the bayonet all the way out and thrust it all the way back in. The last thing I remember as I laid on the ground was him yelling out the word “fallen.” By the time the prisoners picked up my body to take me away they knew I was dead, so they took me to the prison morgue. While there they had another prisoner come and wash my body. I was covered in blood, as the prisoner began to clean my body, he checked underneath my armpit and felt my heart beating and knew that I was still alive. He went back and told the other guards that I was not dead, when asked how he was aware that I was alive he lifted up my arm and said,”I checked his heart.” When they realized I was not dead, they took me from the morgue to the hospital. Now the guards had already called my home and told my brother and siblings that I was dead.
When my mother came to see my body, the guards told her that I was alive and in the hospital. My mom found me and placed me in a different hospital so my stepbrother would not find me. My stepbrother was very rich, and he had the power to have me killed again, so I was sent away secretly. My mother, however, had to sell a piece of land to bribe the guards at the prison to tell my brother I was, in fact, dead. After I had healed, I returned home, and my good brother came and found me and said,” Welcome back.” My good brother told me that I would have to leave and not come back or I would be killed my stepbrother again. So I went to Kampala, but my brother found out I was alive and again sent people after me. Therefore I returned to Rukungiri and have lived here ever since. The Lord has protected and guided me; I am forever thankful for the life He has given me and the gift of His salvation!
For as long as I could remember my family was devoted to being Catholic. We adhered so much to the traditions of the church that if a family member chose to become an evangelical believer in Jesus Christ, we would persecute them to the point of severe physical harm or even death. It was against this backdrop that in 1977 my older brother accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. Immediately upon telling our parents that he was a Christian, they chased him out of our home, and he fled for his life. After two years, he came back and rented a house not far from our home. Unknown to my parents I began spending time with my brother. On December 25, 1979, he invited me to attend the Christmas program at the Christian Church where they were presenting a drama on the prodigal son. During the altar call at the end of the program, I felt drawn to come forward and accepted the Lord Jesus as my Savior. I know that day I received God’s forgiveness of my sin and felt the freedom that only comes from Him. I praise the Lord for my brother who prayed for my salvation during those two years he spent away from my family.
After my conversion, my brother encouraged me to tell my father of that I was now a believer in Jesus. He opened the Bible and turned to Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” So I went and told my parents of my faith in Jesus that day. When they heard the news, they beat me and chased me out of the house. I ran to my church, and they sent me away to Manila for my safety. It was a difficult time because it was my first time away from home. When I arrived at North Harbor (by container ship), I did not know how I was going to live. I didn’t have any friends or relatives and could not speak or understand the local Tagalong dialect. Not having any place to stay I slept in Lunita Park and under a bridge to get out of the rain. After three months God made all things beautiful in His perfect timing. A Southern Baptist Pastor met me and after hearing my story took me in and allowed me to live with his family. They helped me learn the Tagalong dialect and encouraged me to study at the Luzon Baptist Bible School at Dagupan City. After graduating with a degree in pastoral ministry, I joined the Baptist Mission Philippines Evangelism (BAMPE) Association of Luzon. The Association assigned me as a church planter in Metro Manila. In 1992 I received a great blessing from the Lord when my parents accepted me back into the family. Thirteen years later in November 2005, they accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Trusting in Jesus was the best decision I have ever made. I believe in His perfect plan and am excited to see how He will grow the ministry of White Fields in the Philippines.