Lord’s Day Schedule‚Ä°

  • Sabbath School—9:45 a.m.
  • Morning Worship—10:45 a.m.
  • Afternoon Worship—2:00 p.m.
  • ‡ Regular schedule temporarily suspended.

Proctor Passages — Aisha

Proctor Passages from Rev. Philip T. Proctor


I have a policy. Not a bad policy, really, but like almost all policies one that needs to be broken every now and then. I never give out financial assistance to anyone who comes to my home, but rather always direct them to the church, give them the names of the church leaders, and inform them that I insist on ministering through the church. Last Wednesday, I made an exception.

I was in the middle of an afternoon counseling session, when my gardener informed me that someone was at the gate asking for help. I patiently (I think) reminded the gardener that he is supposed to explain The Policy and let me get on with my work. Our gardener replied, “I think you really need to come talk to this one” and I rose, ready to go out and do what everyone else seemed incapable of doing — explain The Policy in all its clarity and wisdom. I got blindsided.

Aisha appeared to be about 19 years old. Two years ago, in a state-side parallel, she would have been the high school homecoming queen. On Wednesday, she looked like an Auschwitz survivor. She had a beautiful 6 month old baby daughter who had a hep-lock in her left wrist — one of those semi-permanent tubes that allows the hospital to insert intravenous fluids. She was asking for 5,000 shillings (about $3) so that her baby could receive one more bottle of medication that evening. I told Aisha that I would, of course, help her, but that I wanted to really help her, and wanted to hear how she came to be in this condition so that we could see how to get her out of it. What I heard broke my heart.

Aisha grew up in a Muslim family in Kasese, a village about 9 hours west of Mbale, where we live. Her mother and father had fought one too many times, and her mother had left home and moved to the border town of Busia, about an hour east of Mbale. Busia is a place where truck drivers by the hundreds spend the night waiting to cross from Uganda into Kenya; a town where any pleasure can be bought, and a place where a woman can earn a living for a short time before succumbing to AIDS. A little over a year ago, Aisha had decided that being the one responsible, in her mother’s absence, for keeping her father’s house was too onerous a life, and decided to join her mother in Busia. Within a few short months, her mother had died of AIDS, Aisha was HIV positive, and was pregnant. Last week, I would be surprised if she weighed more than 70 pounds. She had been living under a plastic sheet in a nearby trading centre, and continuing to make whatever money she could, plying the same trade that had brought her to this condition.

I spoke with Aisha of two things: the hope of medical assistance which could restore her physical condition, and the hope of the Gospel which could give her life. The sinful and foolish choices that a stupid, beautiful young girl made had brought her to this place of utter despair and death. She was simply living out the death that was already her condition, apart from Jesus Christ. The Shorter Catechism, Question 19 asks “Wherein consists the misery of that estate whereinto man fell.” The answer is: “All mankind, by their fall, lost communion with God, are under His wrath and curse, and so made liable to all the miseries of this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever.” There is the story of Aisha. What we see, from the outside, is the miseries of this life and death itself, but that’s only the middle portion of the problem. The entire problem is the entire answer! The entire solution must be found in the Redeemer, Jesus Christ, who rescues us from our estate of sin and misery and brings us into an estate of salvation.

I wish I could say that Aisha made a tearful confession of her sin and turned her life over to Jesus Christ. That’s how a missionary report like this is “supposed” to end. God’s grace, I’ve discovered, is more often not so quickly apprehended. In 1 Corinthians 3:4-8, Paul deals with this very issue. One plants, another waters, and God gives the increase. Was I planting? Was I watering? I don’t know. All I know is that God will, by His Word and Spirit, give the increase.

I prayed with Aisha, gave her enough money to treat her baby’s medical condition and to find food and housing for a couple of days, and told her to come back on Friday, when I would be able to connect her with TASO, an AIDS support network that can provide her with free medical care, and has an office in Kasese where her father and extended family lives. I would also provide her with transportation to return home and connect her with a local evangelical church in that area. Friday has come and gone, and I’ve not seen Aisha again. I went ahead and informed the local TASO people to be on the lookout, as well as talking to some other local AIDS medical professionals, but to date no one has seen her. Has she dropped off the face of the world? Has she succumbed to the ravages of her disease? I don’t know. It breaks my heart, because I see in her what could be any of my own daughters in a few years, absent Christ’s preserving grace.

In a nutshell, that’s what we do here. We preach Christ, the only answer to the entire problem of the misery of that estate into which we are fallen. Sometimes we see wonderful tokens of God’s redeeming grace. Sometimes we see heartbreaking rejection and clinging to the pig mire. More often, we encounter the person somewhere along their journey and don’t really know where the end of the path lies. Through it all, we testify to the saving power of Christ and Him crucified.

Thank you for your continued prayers on our behalf and for the ministry here. Please remember Aisha and her 6 month old daughter. She’s just one of the mass of statistics concerning AIDS in Africa. She’ll disappear, and no one will know that a stupid, beautiful young girl ever lived such a tragic life wandering across Uganda. She’s a human being, created in the image of God with value, dignity, and worth. I long to see her again, possibly in this life, but more passionately I long to meet her gathered around the throne of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth. God can do this miracle. He did so with me, and can do so with her.

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Philip T. Proctor
OPC missionary/evangelist to Uganda

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