Friday, July 22, 2011

Tombstones and Banana Trees by Medad Birungi and Craig Borlase

Medad was a typical six year old boy in a typical village in western Uganda. Medad's father had five wives and the home compound was crowded. His father decided to relocate and abandoned Medad's mother and family, pushing them off the trucks as they were leaving. Medad's mother was a Tutsi who had fled Rwanda and the Hutu. They were left alone and shamed.
So begins Medad's story, one he says shows “how a boy who begged to die by the side of the road grew to be a man who was able to forgive.” (24)
They had no clothes but on their backs. They didn't even have a pot to cook in. But God provided. Nonetheless, Medad tells of the curses and spells placed on them and how he hid from those who would beat him. Some of his relatives were Christians and helped them, but there were some “Christians” were not good to them.
He did well in primary school and was accepted into high school, the fees to be paid by his oldest sister. But as he went to her house to collect the money, he was met by a messenger telling him she had been murdered. Some of his other sisters were raped.
His mother finally scraped together the money for high school fees and he worked for his room and board. He became involved in a gang. He was confronted with the unconditional love of God at a concert and after struggling with the concept of forgiveness for some time, was converted. He began to forgive those who had hurt him and his family.
He began giving his testimony. He prayed for his father and they were eventually reconciled. He finished his schooling, was baptized in the Holy Spirit, married, worked for various ministries, got fired and called a heretic, was refused ordination in the Anglican Church (was commissioned as a lat evangelist, then was finally ordained in 2004), and now has a fruitful ministry.

His life is a testimony to the power of forgiveness. He says, “Unforgiveness not only gives demons the right or ability to torment us, but it also prevents God from forgiving our sins. Now this is serious...” (152) “If you have a hard time forgiving others, the love of Christ isn't flowing through you. … Start working on your relationship with your heavenly Father so you can come to know of His great love for you...” (154)
He calls his life “a journey along the winding road of forgiveness...” (187) He is convinced, “Of all the people in the world, there are none stronger than the people who are able to forgive.” (196)

Medad's is an encouraging story. It also says much about the people of Uganda and the church there. It is also a call to forgiveness each of us needs to hear.

David C Cook, 208 pages.

See for Medad's ministry.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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