Sunday the 10th began like all other normal days with church at GCC and a very wonderful worship time at church. The Lord led me to share on how to walk in the Spirit. These last few weeks have been so special at Gaba church, our desire as a church has been to go deeper and we felt that the study of Holy Spirit work will get us deeper. Since we began this study we have seen an amazing change in the worship atmosphere at church and also a great improvement in our prayer services.
As soon as we finished church we hurried home to get ready to drive to Migadde where James my first born is in a boarding school. We had great time of fellowship with James but as I was driving, my inner man kept pulling me to praying in the spirit. This is something that had been going on for the last 3 or 4 days and usually when that burden for prayer comes, I tend to give more time to prayer knowing that God is up to something but usually not knowing the details. Irene on the other hand had also been having these deep feelings of resisting the spirit of death.
We drove off from Migadde which 17 miles on Bombo road traveled straight on towards the airport. I was flying out that night to come to the USA for a week of meetings in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and then on to Canada. We drove fast but smoothly and since it was a Sunday there was less traffic. To cut the long story short, I checked in and was ready to board. In the meantime, I called my various leaders jut reminding them of a few tasks while I am away. We soon boarded our plane and began moving towards the runway. As usual I prayed for our journey and put the plane and its passenger in the hands of God. The pilot stopped just before the runway to let another plane land and then we were ready for take off. My seat was at the window, and I was looking outside as we began taxing. No sooner had we began the fast run than I began to see sparks from below the wings, The sparks continued but the plane gained speed, then I began to see real fire but the pilot continued taking off, we were soon airborne but the engine was still spitting fire. I was overcome by fear, and I began calling upon the name of Jesus, I cried:” Jesus take over this plane, please take over this plane.” People held on to the plane others prayed and many just froze in their seats. The inside immediately went into pitch darkness, and outside the plane began to sound like a very loud motor-cycle, a few minutes or moments later the pilot went on the speakers and said;” I believe all of you have realized that we have not had a bad take off, but please sit still we shall tell you when we get more details.” The shaking, the noise and the darkness continued. The plane did not feel like gaining much height and speed and my fear increased, I began to pray in the spirit, thought about my life, my family and the fact that our time to meet Jesus is any second from then. I immediately decided to switch on my phone and call my wife to ask for prayer but also if we are to die for her to get my last words. The phone rang but Irene was not picking the phone, in the midst of that fear I called our church administrator, Steven who also could not pick the phone, then finally I was able to get through to my assistant William who seemed to have been woken up by my call. I told him the engine has burst and we are running on one engine and I told him we are trying to turn around to Entebbe and try to land. I told him to call my wife, and a few other brethren to pray because we needed a miracle to land safely. In the meantime the lights came back on and the plane seemed to gain some height. We were informed that landing may be in the next 15 or so minutes.
In the meantime, William tried to call me back but at that time my phone was off, we were probably far away from any towers. He panicked and told Pastor Toper that probably the plane has crashed since he could not get me on line, anyway it was not until he finally talked to Irene, who said that if we on one engine we are able to land. ( We had ever lost an engine when I was with her before.)
I looked around after the lights went back on and every one looked in real fear and some people were visibly calling on our God to spare our lives. I prayed in the spirit non-stop for the whole duration of the ordile, I finally asked my neighbor ( a lady from Norway) whether she was a Christian and she said yes; ” but not as strong as yourself” I told her to continue praying for our lives are in hands of God. 10 minutes before landing the pilot came on again said that we descending into Entebbe and assured us that our landing will be smooth. But just before that assurance my mind was crowded all kinds of fears. I was not sure whether the fire was from a bursted engine or bursted tyres, now my fear that if it were tyres then how are we going to taxi when we land and if it is an engine, do we have enough power to land.
Anyway the pilot was so good at lowering the plane in a very skillful way and when we touched down it was OK until he began taxing, the machine began woobling in a zig zag form on the runaway and I again thought we are going to topple over, he however stopped very soon after that and you can imagine the clapping and the joy when we saw the plane stop. As you can imagine all the fire trucks at the airport came rushing towards us and they surrounded the plane. But we were safely back in Entebbe, we later on found out that our plane has sucked a big bird our takeoff and this had led to the fire and a final damage on the right engine.
In the midst of that night’s ordile, the Lord reminded me of a number of things and here some of them. 1. Our lives are so short and anytime they can go. We therefore need to live everyday with eternity in mind. We need to use our lives responsibly and for God while we have them for the maker can demand them anytime.
2. I also realized that my God can protect me from anything and at anytime.
3. I was reminded of the lesson I had taught the church the Sunday before this one about praying in the spirit and how God leaders to intercede for things we may not know about but when we respond we can put a stop to real tragedies that the enemy plans for us and God’s children.
This terrible experience became a moment of an encounter with the almighty God and I believe my life will never be the same after this experience. I rededicated my life to a deeper commitment to God and to His service. I have one life to live and I have to use it for His glory at all cost, with all dedication and all times.
I writing from North Carolina and will be traveling to Canada on Monday.