Walking as a new man

When I first met Cato, a man I would estimate to be in his early to mid-thirties, he came to us for wound care while working in the village, barely able to walk.  I do not know what was worse, the smell of his injuries or the smell of the local home brew alcohol they make in the village on his breath.  He was a broken man with horrific injuries on both of his lower legs.  We were fortunate enough to have a team visiting that had 3 nurses on it.  They were able to help me clean, dress and bandage the wounds. It took over 30 minutes to clean his wounds so I began to talk to him, to ask him about his life.  He told me he was the last one left in his family and that he had come back to the village to die. He had no hope.  His wounds were so bad and so painful. What he told me next, chilled me to my core.  Cato said “The pain is so bad you should cut off my leg or cut of my head, I don’t care which.”  He was in a dark place.  Do you know what we did?  We prayed for Cato.

I believe the underlying problem is that Cato is diabetic.  How do you treat that in the village?  He can’t get a steady supply of medicine to treat it and he can’t change his diet, what they grow in the village they eat.  There is no “special diet” in the village.

Each time we went to the village, we walked down to Cato’s house to pray for him and to treat his wounds.
Slowly, slowly the wounds started to heal.  Slowly, slowly Cato started to heal.  There was a small amount of hope with our increasing visits.  As he was able to, Cato started walking up to where we work in the village.  One of Cato’s major problems was that he kept the wounds covered for days at a time.  He liked to keep them covered so that he could walk to the local bar and drink the local alcohol. Staying covered for so long and the continuous intake of alcohol was not helping at all in the healing process.

After a couple months of working with Cato, talking about discipleship with him, treating his wounds and showing him love, Cato did something amazing. He asked for a Bible!  At first, we were very wary of him asking because everyone seems to want a gift from the muzungo.  However, this seemed real; this seemed like a genuine request and outreach for help. I told Cato I would look into a Bible  for him in his language.

A couple weeks went by and Cato kept coming.  During our children’s outreach ministry Cato was sitting right in middle of all the kids listening to the stories from the Children’s Bible. The interest and intrigue were there.  I also noticed the smell of alcohol was almost gone from Cato.  One day he brought me pieces of a Bible he had gotten his hands on to start reading.  To say it was falling apart is an understatement.  I do not even think all of it was there and there were all kinds of pages missing. This man went from hoping to die, to reading literally bits and pieces of the Bible.

On our next visit I presented Cato with a brand new Bible in his native language of Luganda.  The exciting part is I don’t just call him Cato anymore, I call him Brother.  Cato accepted Christ!  We rejoiced together and I can only imagine the rejoicing in Heaven.

Luke 15:10
“…there is rejoicing in the presence of angels of God over one sinner who repents.”   
It is amazing to see God take a man that was broken and hopeless and to build him up into a believer.  It is exciting to see the work God is doing in Uganda.  Cato’s leg still has healing to do, Cato still has healing to do, but he has literally been raised up to walk as a new man.

Walking a way a new man