Last Saturday my wife and I were invited to a book launch. The book was the story of a man that I have come to love and respect, a man who against all odds has come out to be one of the greatest if not the greatest advocate for people with special needs in Uganda.
The book, A WHEELCHAIR FOR FRANCIS is a story of this young man who grew up in real poverty, who contracted polio at 3 years of age and who by the resilience of his parents, siblings and his community he grew up, went to school and has become who is today.
Sitting in the audience hearing testimonies, listening to the book being read, I came out realizing that God, shapes our lives for his own divine plan.
Francis found Jesus early on as a young man, met a man Dave Carroll, who was a missionary with New Hope Uganda and through his interactions with him and scripture Francis found out that He is created in Christ Jesus for good works, got know who he is and went on to find a vision for his life. Again as many of us have come to realize, the Lord gave Francis an amazing wife Adrienne, a Canadian from Vancouver who completed his life. Today they have 3 wonderful children and an amazing ministry; FATHER’s HEART MOBILITY MINISTRY.
Francis is an elder in our church at Gaba and I am so proud to call him a friend.
The lessons I have drawn from Francis’ life are many but below are a few:
1. Inside of every human being, there is a seed of greatness.
Whoever knew that this young man teased for his disability would ever grow up to stand before thousands of people, confident, articulate, defending the cause of a segment of our society that we all have been guilty in thinking if not saying they are cursed or they are useless. Who have not planned at all for these great people, who have failed to realize that the Lord loves and cares so much for them! Today this couple has distributed over 12,000 wheelchairs and has caused the city council of Kampala to require every public building to create special access to people with special needs.
2. You need people along the way that will ignite the potential in you.
Listening to Francis’ story and also the much that I know is that God has placed along his path people who have ignited his potential, parents, the missionary who disciples him, the ministries and organizations that have partnered with him, the many churches who have to give him a platform to speak. As I always say we are all the product of the people God has placed along the paths of our lives.
3. Parents play a very big role in raising the self-esteem of their children.
Francis story is a story of dad and mom who never abandoned their child who had become disabled, this is important to mention, especially in many parts of Uganda where parents often feel such a child is a curse and therefore a shame to their family. When you read the story you see the resilience of Francis’ dad when he labored so much to try and get a wheelchair for his son. I cannot help but appreciate this couple for they participated in helping the young man to build his self-esteem. Remember there was some real bullying at school.
4. The Word of God plays a major role in erasing the social status that people put on us.
Francis often talks about a missionary by the name of Dave Carroll, I never knew why he is so special to him until I got to learn that this many helped him to understand who he is in Christ, and more so the Father heart of God. By the way, Dave wrote a wonderful book on this very subject.
5. There is no dream too big for God to accomplish.
When I got to know Francis and during the time when he worked for our ministry, Francis shared his dream of serving people with special needs, he told me about how he saves money, orders wheelchairs from a local workshop and how he is committed to do this and expand this to thousands. Today God has blessed that dream to become containers and containers of wheelchairs imported into the country to serve thousands. Indeed God loves Big dreams and he actually enjoys working with people with big dreams.
6. Where there is a vision there will always be a provision.
Often when we get these God ideas we often get paralyzed by the thought of how much it will take. We then look at our circles of friends and realize they may not help us, we look at our home church and realize they have so much they are dealing with. The result usually is fear, discouragement and finally, we shelve the dream. A great friend of mine used to say this to me: “God Work done in God’s way will never lack God’s supply. And what God has commanded he will pay for and what he has not commanded he will not pay for.” Friends God will provide for his work.
7. The spouses God gives us are the closest partners we have as we pursue His Dream for our lives.
Seeing this couple often makes me praise God. Close to each, serving each other, complimenting each other. Many of us guys often we look outside our homes for Ministry partners and we forget that the first and main partner in ministry is our spouse. They provide what we do not have, they see what we fail to see and they often are our best prayer warriors and cheerleaders. No wonder the author of this book we are talking about is; Adrienne.
I hope you are learning as myself from this story and I also encourage you to buy this short book and share it with your children and also use its story to inspire many.
Find the book from the following:
– Aristoc Book shops
– Airport Transit Book shop