Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Africa (03/05/09)
TITLE: Tons of Trouble
By William Stevenson
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Tons of Trouble:
That’s what his name, “Indabaningi” really meant but when I met him he was nothing but a great blessing. Just a little African preacher man who had great tales to tell. But I am running way ahead of myself.
He came to Rhodesia with the intent to overthrow the White rulers and restore his land to his people. Having spent some years in a Russian training camp he was considered a top class freedom fighter. Early in his campaign he was involved in a ‘firefight’ with the Rhodesian African Rifles and his fellow ‘majiba’s’ decided to save their own skins and left him to die from his wounds or be captured by the enemy.
Lying there, on the ground with his AK47 at his side, he spotted a white soldier approaching. He had lifted his rifle to fire when he saw a red cross on the soldier’s sleeve.
“Don’t shoot, Blackman,” the medic called, “I am trained to heal and not to kill.”
‘Could this be true?’ Indabaningi thought. The Russians had said he should not trust any man, but if he didn’t get help he would die. After all the worst this approaching soldier could do was kill him. ‘I’m dying anyway.’ he thought.
When the white man approached he opened a bag and began to examine Indabaningi’s wounds. “You’re really in bad shape,” he commented, “I’ll have to get you back to base.” He injected Indabaningi with morphine, patched his wounds and drove him to the base camp in a Land Rover. At base camp a doctor operated and Indabaningi would live to fight again.
‘This is strange’ Indabaningi pondered, ‘why would his enemies do such a thing?’
While Indabaningi was recovering at the base camp the medic, Peter, befriended him. When asked the questions that were puzzling Indabaningi he answered.
“Although I am a soldier, fully committed to our side winning the conflict, when called to do my National Service I applied to be trained as a medic. You see, I am a Christian. Jesus did not come to take vengeance on us as sinners but to offer us life. In the same way I don’t want to destroy my enemies but to offer them an opportunity to share our wonderful country. You see God made us all, red and yellow, black and white and through what Christ did we can all live in harmony together.”
“Would you surrender if you were in command?”
“No, I believe the approach of your leaders is wrong. They just want to make the land theirs at any cost to the people. Through God we could live together and enjoy the land. It is mine as well, you know. I was born here so I too am an African.”
“But you’re skin is white; how can you be African?”
“As a medic I have seen that we both bleed red and that the cures we need are just the same. As a Christian I know that our fears and aspirations are also just the same. Christ can meet both our needs. If you will surrender to Christ He can change your heart.”
“What then do I need to do?” asked Indabaningi.
“Admit that the way you have chosen is wrong because it is not God’s way and ask Jesus to come into your life and take control, ask him to change you from the inside out.”
“How can a leopard change his spots, or a black man his skin?”
“God’s word, the Bible, tells us that with man it is impossible but with God all things are possible. We must believe that God sent Jesus to die for our past sins and has raised him from the dead so we can live by Christ’s life.”
“I do want that.” Replied Indabaningi.
“O.K. Let’s pray.” said Peter, and a miracle of new life was transacted in Indabaningi’s inner man. This ardent terrorist found that he no longer wanted to wreak vengeance on the white man for stealing his land; a new care for the welfare of Rhodesia became his passion. Now he would call on his people to consider what Christ had done for them. Many believed on Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
It was at this time I met Indabaningi Sitole. A small man with a big name, a big heart, and a message that could bring harmony to the people. We developed a friendship I will long remember.
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