Eddie might be the craziest person I’ve ever known. Everyone’s face lights up when he is around. Whether he is singing, rapping, dancing, or preaching, the joy that he has in Christ is evident. And what amazes me the most about Eddie is how he has not allowed his circumstances to stifle that joy.
One day Eddie and I were sitting beside one another on the bus on the 2-hour drive to Luwero and he began to share his story with me. Eddie grew up at Bethany Children’s Village. Growing up as an orphan at Bethany means a lot of hard work, and a lot of depending on the Lord and sponsors for your resources. But as I have mentioned before, growing up at Bethany also means making your service to the Lord a priority in your life. And service to the Lord remains evident in Eddie’s life even today.
When Eddie turned 18, he lost his sponsorship. He was, therefore, no longer given some of the necessities that he needed in life because he had aged out of the program. At the same time, his first girlfriend broke up with him. He told me how difficult of a time that was for him. He didn’t understand what the Lord was doing in his life. Then he said something that I think every young person needs to come to realize. The Lord told him that when he had those things, a sponsor to provide for him and a girlfriend to love him, he acted as if he no longer needed God. That he had found his provision and love in God’s gifts rather than in God Himself. He said that he would rather be single and make sure that God was his life’s priority, than have a girlfriend who doesn’t understand his need to serve God as he should. What an incredible thing to realize at 18 years old.
Eddie now spends his time going on missions around Uganda, farming at Bethany, and saving money to get his pilot’s license one day. His passion is to fly, and he plans on going to school to become a pilot. The hope that he has in the Lord and his drive towards a better future for himself was inspiring to say the least. He is not going to give up on his dreams.
When he shared his testimony in the homes of Namasujju, five people came to Christ. He is completely humbled by how the Lord uses him to share of Christ’s incomprehensible love and provision.
Eddie and I became very close friends on the trip. We went to devotions together for the two nights that we were at Bethany. Having grown up in that exact environment, he was able to be very honest with the kids. So much so that by the second night, I just sat back and listened to him preach. He told them that they have been blessed to live in such a place. That they cannot live their lives with their hands stretched out begging for money, but that they have to learn to provide for themselves. He also told them of God’s faithfulness. That He will never let them down, and that He is their unchanging Father.
Eddie & I with one of our devo houses at Bethany
I could sit and listen to Eddie for days. He is not only hilarious, but his honest heart for others and for the Lord motivated and encouraged me with every conversation that we had. I miss Eddie a lot. I hope to see him again. He sends me updates on Joel when he is able to see him because he understands just how much my heart hurts for that little boy. I am not the same person I was before I met Eddie. He has challenged me and inspired me in a way few others have, and for that I am eternally grateful.