At dinner last night I ate with Robert Kennedy Nokrach. Robert is a 38-year-old Ugandan. It was just the two of us so we were able to have more than surface conversation. Robert was a two year old boy playing in his small house in Uganda. His father had just come in from working in the field and his mom left for the field to take her turn. While his father was sitting in the front of their house a car pulled up and some government officials of Idi Amin’s regime got out and demanded that Robert’s father come with them. When his father asked why the men replied, “The big man wants to see you.” They forced his father into the car and friends nearby ran into the field to get Robert’s mother. Robert’s father would never be seen again. He became one of the thousands who disappeared under Amin’s reign of terror. His mother and sister live in a displaced persons camp – victims of the civil war. Robert explained the nature of The Lord's Resistance Army. AFTER YOU READ THE REST OF THIS POST PLEASE HIT THIS LINK AND READ ABOUT THE LORD'S RESISTANCE ARMY. They want power and claim that they are acting on behalf of God’s intentions. They kill, rape and pillage. Right now things are not as dangerous because most of the rebels are actually in Sudan right now. His mother remarried and had other children. Her husband was killed. Robert went to live with his uncle who was killed by The Lord’s Resistance Army. He has lost several siblings, cousins and other family members to the civil war. As an orphan Robert was taken care of by people who took him in. He was able to go to school. Today Robert is the headmaster of a school started to educate those who have been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the civil war. There are 3,600 children in his school. The school was started by an Australian woman whose heart was captured by these little ones. Robert is married and has four children – two girls and two boys. Mesmerized by Robert’s story I asked, “How do you keep from hating those who do these things as The Lord’s Resistance Army?” He said, “These people do not know what they are doing and God has worked on my heart to not be bitter.” Not satisfied with that answer I said, “How would you feel if a man walked up to you tomorrow and said, ‘I am the man who killed your father?’?” Robert sat silent for a moment and sadly replied, “I have only begun processing on such things within the last two weeks.” It was at this point that he shared all the details of his father’s abduction. His pain began to surface. I asked him if the realization that his son is now two and a half years old (the age he was when his father was killed) has surfaced these issues for him. “Yes,” he replied. “Mike, I was the age of my son when this happened and my father was the same age as I am today. I am feeling so much pain thinking through what happened so many years ago from the perspective of the context of my family today. What would happen to my family? I know how hard it was to even feed ourselves after this happened to my father. It is very painful.” There are literally millions of tragic stories similar to Robert’s throughout Sub-Sahara Africa. By God’s grace there are more and more stories like Robert’s story of redemption in Africa. I can’t think of a better Headmaster for a school of 3,600 orphan and destitute children than Robert Kennedy Nokrach.
Holy Father, creator and sustaining wisdom of all that is, both in heaven and on earth, take from me those thoughts, actions and objects that are hurtful. Give us instead those things that are profitable for me and all who seek rightly to praise you. I ask this grace in the company of all believers and through the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who is, with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.