1 Cor 16:9 ”There is a wide open door for a great work here, although many oppose me.”
Everyday most of go through many doors. I wonder how many each of us pass through? I think I must go through 10 just to get out of bed, in to the bathroom, in the shower, in the closet and then out the door to the garage to get in my car and out the garage door. I am tired already. Then I get to the office and go in and out of the doors to my 4 rooms at least 7-8 times a day seeing children. Then I can really get tired. That’s another 30 rooms for a total of another 60 doors at a minimum, not to count trips to the hospital to see patients over there some days. Then it is back home for another 20 or so doors and you can see we are close to 100 door entrances every day. We think nothing of it. We go about where we want, when we want with little thought of someone saying you can’t pass through this way. That is how we Americans live our lives. There is no concern for where we can travel……we only need to have the desire to go through the doorway and we go. It is as simple as that.
For about a year now, we have been seeking for our friend Pastor Emmy to come to America. He has walked up to the doors of the American Embassy in Kampala four times, and he has been told four times that he cannot come to visit. Each time it has been with the comment, ”you don’t have strong enough ties.” They give him the same piece of paper stating the rejection status. On Wednesday morning, 1/21/09 (which will actually be the middle of the night on Tuesday for us here in America), Emmy will again set his feet on the grounds of the American Embassy in Kampala. This time he stands not alongside us like he did in March, but alongside so many of you, his new friends, who support Parental Care Ministries USA. Emmy and Perescah, his head teacher in Mbarara, will be applying for a US visa to visit at the end of next month. In the past, the embassy officials have never even bothered to ask Emmy a single question, they would just literally say “no you cannot come to America”. His limited formal education (7th grade) and his lack of steady income (being a pastor) were viewed by the consular officers as huge hurdles impossible to jump over. They see him as an immigrant and nothing else. However, what looks impossible to man is very possible for God. The Lord sees Emmy correctly as a man who has been so faithful for so long, who started literally with nothing in his pockets and a few people wanting to worship the Lord on a piece of grass in the most remote of areas. Here is a man who lived in a mud hut for 5 years and was so grateful that the Lord provided for him during that time. Here is a man who has sold his house and his personal car to pay for food and shelter for nearly 200 orphans. He truly has sold all that he owns to take care of “the least of these.” Here is a man who has led the way in taking care of his family by having around 30 of them in his house full time. We in America can get so worked up taking care of just 1 family member in our own home for just a short period of time. Oh we could learn so much from this example of faithfulness. As I sit here typing this I am thinking of my friend on the other side of the world. He is about to walk back to the embassy grounds again for the fifth time. He will enter many doorways. At times it’s a place which seems like Fort Knox with all the security, bullet proof glass and fortified walls.
Matthew 7:7 says “Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened.” It certainly is not for lack of effort that Emmy has been turned away without a visa. His attitude was so perfect back in March. He basically said, ”It is not His timing yet.” If only I could face my big disappointments in life with such Godly perspective I would be a much better man. His timing is not always our timing. The Lord can see through doorways I don’t even know exist yet. Jesus can open doors we can’t and close doors that no man can open (Revelations).
We have been praying for this day to come. A day where Emmy would be granted a US visa and he would be allowed to visit our great country. Not for what it would do for him, but what it would do for us and our country. You see, the Lord knows that Emmy is not stained from this world and He may want him to remain that way. I am prepared for that result. But I do think that He is ready for us to hear from this man, because I know we will be so moved by his words and stories. Emmy has had faith to believe that he would be walking through doors that he hasn’t even seen yet. The Lord told him that many would come to help him some day. We are seeing that door is now open with Parental Care Ministries. One man and his wife, along a small dirt road in Uganda, had the faith to believe that help was about to come through a doorway. Thanks to so many of you and your prayers, the Lord is making a large door to walk through.
The first time we visited Uganda in March 2008, I was heart broken to watch Emmy drop us off at the airport. We hugged goodbye and then went through the door to the terminal to check our bags. He was left outside at Entebbe airport like he is in this picture with Supermom Sarah. I remember him putting his hand on the glass and wanting to touch ours. A wall of glass separated us physically but not our hearts. I can only think of the open door that the Lord is providing for us to walk through to help God’s children in Africa. I am also excited to think of what Emmy would bring if he came to America next month. Welcoming Emmy next month, many of you would get to see a humble servant, the same man that we have grown to love. A man with a faith just as great in the good times and the bad. He has a story to tell you all, in his words, in person, in his prayers. Would you join us in prayer these next 36 hours for Emmy and Perescah?
We turn their visit to the Embassy early Wednesday morning over to you Lord. We ask that the consular officers at our Embassy see their pure hearts and desire to teach those of us in the American church and our schools something about faith. May you have them enter in Your timing Lord, according to your will. Please make a “wide open door for a great work here” in America. We need you now more than ever Lord and we need our friends in Uganda to visit and stir our hearts to love You more. Amen.