In all things, give thanks…and a chicken

by Katie, DTS Student

The hot afternoon sun beat down on me as I followed our translator down the narrow path of the remote village in Pader, Uganda. We were right behind Evynn and a villager we’d just met. In the distance, a cluster of mud huts peaked out of the tall African grass. Twenty minutes later, we finally reached our destination. What would we discover in the village? Would the villagers want us to pray for them? And how would God answer our prayers?

A middle-aged woman stood outside the first hut. Several chickens strutted about and pecked at the ground. Our translator explained to her that we wanted to pray for people. He asked if she or someone in her family would like prayer. The woman beckoned us inside her home to meet her father.

I followed her, avoiding the chickens and ducking my head to clear the doorway.

Jall,” an elderly man greeted us. Hello, how are you?

The man’s limp body slumped onto a small stool. “I’m sorry I cannot do more to welcome you,” he told us through our translator. His voice was weak, raspy. “A few weeks ago, a group of thieves attacked me and left me for dead. Please, please pray for me.”

Evynn and I knelt beside the old man, gently resting our hands on his shoulders. We prayed that God would take away his pain. And we prayed that his heart would be free from bitterness so he could experience the healing power of forgiveness.

As I prayed, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude sweep over me. I felt like God was showing me how He’d cradled the old man on the night of the attack, how He’d sent angels to protect him and ensure his rescue. I remembered the verses that talk about giving thanks in all circumstances.

And then it struck me how much this man really could be grateful for: God had preserved his life!

After we prayed with the man, we said goodbye and turned to leave. We had just stepped outside when the woman stopped us.

“Please don’t leave yet!” she called out.

She hurried past me and snuck up behind a plump hen. Before I knew what was happening, she snatched the hen’s legs, her hands a blur.

“Take this,” she said, lifting the chicken into the air. “It’s our gift to you. We only wish we could give you more.”

Our translator grabbed the struggling, noisy chicken and I chuckled to myself. Isn’t that just how God works? He sent us to bring hope to an injured old man. He taught me how to give thanks no matter what the circumstance. And now He gave our team a chicken for dinner!