“Where does an idea come from? The goat just outside the door doesn’t have an idea. The chickens running around the property seem clueless. So why do we have ideas and they don’t?” Pastor Elijah Sebuchu had just introduced me to a classroom filled with 12 to 16-year-old boys.
I was in a remote village three hours outside of Kampala, Uganda’s capital. We traveled in a Land Cruiser for two hours until we reached the end of the electrical grid, and then went another hour deep into the bush. On the way, we passed a few mud hut villages and finally arrived at the Hands of Love school and orphanage. There is one water well and no electricity. Nine hundred children live there. Dressed in their school uniform, white shirts and khaki pants, they were bright-eyed and filled with energy.
Trusting God for Their Future
I explained, “Scientists don’t have an answer to this question. They don’t know where an idea originates. I contend our ideas come from God. He loves each of us, desires a personal relationship with us and has a plan for our lives. He sets that plan in motion by giving us an idea. This idea sits in the back of our mind and directs our steps for the rest of our lives. This is why some of us choose to be doctors and others artists.”
“Do you have an idea of the work you are to do?” I asked.
“Yes!” they said, almost in unison.
Sitting in the middle of nowhere with no running water or electricity, they knew what God wanted them to be. I went to the blackboard with my white chalk in hand and asked, “Will you share your ideas?” No volunteers.
So I continued, “You have two voices in your head, the voice of God who created you and the voice of Satan who wishes to destroy you. Who are you listening to? God speaks to you with encouraging and positive words. He gave you the idea. He wants you to act on it.
“Satan speaks in negative terms. He tells you, ‘You can’t do that. You will fail. You will be embarrassed in front of your friends. You try to achieve that idea and you will be worse off than you are now. Don’t even try.’ God says, ‘Trust me and the idea I gave you. I give you ideas to move you forward, not defeat you. But you must trust me.’
“The first step in trusting God is to speak the idea. Tell the people around you about the idea in your head. Most will laugh, but some will support you and help you. It is by sharing your ideas that you expand your relationships. It is through these relationships you will make the idea a reality.”
“Who here has an idea?” Almost everyone raised their hand. I pointed to a young man in the middle of the class. “Tell us your idea.”
Becoming Children of Destiny
“My idea is to become a lawyer and one day a judge.”
“Great!” I said. “What year did you get the idea? Let’s figure out how old you were when God gave it to you?”
He said, “It was 2010. I was eleven years old.”
Then I called on the next boy.
He said, “My idea is to become a professional driver and a journalist. I received the idea in 2011 when I was twelve years old.”
This continued person by person…
“My idea is to build a factory and employ people.”
“My idea is to become an over-the-road truck driver.”
“My idea is to become a mechanical engineer.”
I called on a 19-year-old boy who was disfigured by a vindictive stepmother pouring boiling water over his head when he was 5 years old. I thought to myself, “What idea did God give this young man?”
Quickly he said, “My idea is to be a radio presenter. I knew this since 2011 when I was 14.” Amazing!
The ideas kept coming. There was so much optimism and energy in the room. Each and every one of the boys just lit up knowing they can trust the idea God gave them. They were now on track to achieve it. They took the first step by speaking the idea to their friends and teachers. These friends and teachers will connect them to the relationships which will end in achievement of their ideas.
Before I left and headed back to Kampala, I took the time to pray for them. It was a prayer of encouragement to believe God and trust God with their future. We prayed in the name of Jesus.
Keeping Hope Alive
As I was walking through the classroom doorway, I looked back and saw these orphans filled with the hope God gave them. I could feel it. In spite of them having one pair of clothes, only a well to drink and wash from, and no electricity, they had hope.
The hope of a good foundation provided by pursuing an education. The hope offered from sponsors in the United States, UK and Germany who love and support them. The hope from the teachers and house moms who sacrifice daily for them by living in terrible conditions.
These young men and women have hope. (Kathy spoke to the girls.) They want out of poverty. They each came from nothing. No money. No parents. No role models. Nothing. But they have hope provided by God in a future of employment, serving their community and building a family.
Later in the day, Pastor Elijah spoke to the young man with the burn scars. He said, “We will schedule a time for you to join me as a guest presenter on my weekly radio program.” You never saw a happier and more hope-filled young man in your life.
Share your idea. You never know who is listening.
An Opportunity to Make a Difference
If you would like to join with Kathy and me and sponsor an orphan, visit Hands of Love USA in Uganda or email Nora Charlesworth, Director. If you have a friend that might appreciate reading this post, forward it to them. Through Hands of Love, God is equipping and encouraging these young men and women to be leaders to transform Uganda and the world.