The Power of Jesus' Love Has Rewritten Alex's Life Story
Alex is always at our discipleship celebrations. You can’t miss him no matter how many people are there. Maybe it’s because he always wears that same turquoise shirt (every time) and a toboggan that droops around his head. Maybe he stands out because his right arm is missing, but more than anything else, you notice Alex because of his passion and “heart” that radiate when he is teaching and dramatizing the Bible lessons.
After watching Alex year after year, I wanted to know this young man and so I recently traveled to his home. After riding up and down the bumpy roads, I was amazed by the distance he regularly travels on foot to receive his leadership training.
Upon arrival, his entire family was there to greet us, including his grandmas who could hands-down win the “Cutest Granny Contest.” I immediately fell in love with this family and counted it as a gift to have an hour with them.
When Alex began to tell “his story,” everyone leaned in as Alex took us back to the day when everything changed for him. He had just completed his training to be a bricklayer and was full of hope that better days were ahead. . . but when he went to sleep that night, a bolt of lightning went through his hut and struck him in the head.
Alex was unconscious for some time, but when he awoke, his head and neck were burned and he had lost his right arm. However, the worst part for Alex was the emotional and spiritual scars. Alex said, “After that, I saw myself as bad and someone who could not be loved by God or anyone else.” As a result, Alex felt useless and consumed by fear, and began to isolate himself. This went on for years.
Then one day, Alex began to go to discipleship and study God’s Word. He received a Bible and couldn’t stop reading it. Alex said, “I learned that God loves everyone, even me. This changed me and made me leave my fear behind. Just like Moses, God can use my inadequacies and make me who He wants me to be.”
The great Christian writer, A.W. Tozer, once said: “What comes in our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Surely Alex is a testimony of this great truth.
Clean Water for Alex
Alex is now involved in economic empowerment and is full of hope that he is going to be able to take care of his family. However, from the very beginning, there was a huge obstacle before him. He was going to need ten jugs of water a day (each weighing 50 pounds) to water his ginger plants until germination. The nearest water source was 2.4 miles away. With just one arm, how could he do it?
Alex assured us, “I can do it. My wife and I will work through the cool of the night.” I knew he meant what he said, but the thought of them each hauling 50 pounds for 12 miles every night was overwhelming.
By the next morning I was sitting in the office of the water drilling company making plans to drill a water well. I can’t thank our EWT partners enough who gave so that accessible clean water has now become a reality for Alex’s family and community!
written by Betty Jo McLelland