Fruit that Remains

This true account is one of many stories of a life that has crossed paths with our own throughout our time in Zambia, Africa. The names and places, of course, are changed to protect the identities of those involved.

I wouldn’t say I liked Mubanga very much. If I’m honest, maybe I didn’t trust him. And that’s probably because of how we met. Anytime a witch doctor gets involved, things don’t usually end well. I’ve been to so many villages, all frequented by these “traditional healers.” Their work leaves a lasting imprint of fear and oppression. So it was in the middle of all this that I met Mubanga for the first time.

Most meetings with witch doctors are all about finding balance with the spirits. When they come to your little village and sense a “disturbance,” their job is to search out the one who’s causing the problem. And all this can be done… for a price. So, as you can imagine, these imposters create problems that only they can fix. Talk about job security, right?

When we arrived in the village, it didn’t take long to see the crowd that gathered to receive the “doctor.” And there, in the middle of everyone, was Mubanga. He obviously wasn’t the guest of honor they had all come to witness. But from what I could see, he was definitely running the show.

Weeks later, I was surprised when Mubanga came to our Bible study for the first time. My first thought was that he was a spy! Why would someone who practiced witchcraft want to learn about God?! I looked at the headman and quietly whispered, “Is it OK for Mubanga to be here? Can we trust him?” He laughed, and now I laugh, too, when I think of how ridiculous I was!

He came back a second time. And before I knew it, Mubanga was a regular! He started asking great questions and was always the last to leave our meetings. Soon, I was disappointed if the “witch doctor’s helper” couldn’t be there! My past attitude towards him seemed silly at this point. And it taught me a valuable lesson. God can change anyone’s heart… even a witch doctor’s helper.

It took a little time, but Mubanga eventually accepted Christ! But that’s not the end of his story. He went on to become a disciple of mine and soon became one of our key leaders in the village. The man that I initially misjudged was now one of my closest converts. He’s still growing in the Lord and has victories and defeats, just like the rest of us. But he’s come a long way from the first time we met.

The truth is that God can use anyone. There are many people like Mubanga that we quickly write off. We think, “How can someone like him ever receive Christ?” So, we never tell them the Gospel. Maybe we’re afraid of rejection, or perhaps we’re too scared to put ourselves out there for the cause of Christ. The truth is that you don’t know how the story will turn out because life is a journey. Don’t pull off to the side because you’re afraid of where God will take you.

Today, if you want to find Mubanga, he’ll be preaching on Sundays in church and running Bible studies from time to time in different villages. His story is one of redemption. So, find yourself a Mubaga, trusting God to change hearts and minds!

“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” -Jesus

Written by Damon