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Omubihembe Drought

Omubihembe Drought

Late in February 2014 the sky was a cloudless, pristine blue over the village of Omubihembe in Southwest Uganda. Most would call it a perfect day, but for the villagers, the beautiful sky pushed them deeper into despair.

It was a few weeks away from planting season and it was high time for rain, as seeds would not sprout in dry ground. For the past year, a brutal drought had persisted in Omubihembe, leaving gardens and fields withered and mostly barren. When rare precipitation did come, it was in the form of hail, which ravaged the few plants that had managed to sprout in the arid conditions. Two consecutive harvests were virtually fruitless, leaving the people disheartened and on the brink of starvation. So, as another planting season approached with no end to the drought in sight, villagers were unsure what to do.

Though 4 Him In Africa had taken on a project of feeding some in the village through the presumed Spring harvest, many were still crushed by hopelessness and hunger, wondering if God had stopped caring about their plight, or worse, was causing it for some reason. A few, however, were unwilling to give up. With encouragement from 4 Him In Africa, the villagers held meetings, prayer gatherings and pep rallies to remind themselves that God was able to do miraculous things if only they would have faith.

After these meetings and much prayer on both sides of the globe, the decision was made to at least prepare the ground, breaking up the crusted earth and tilling the dry soil to receive whatever moisture God might send. And then they waited, and continued to wait. The longer they waited with no rain in sight, the more discouraged they grew.

Meanwhile, aware of the dilemma the Ugandan’s were struggling with, the 4 Him In Africa Board also discussed the situation and what “good” advice or help they might be able to offer. It didn’t take long for them to realize that God was gently pushing the group to make a suggestion that might not make sense to young Christians or unbelievers. Confident God would work out the result for the good, it was decided that the advice offered would be for the villagers to earnestly pray and take a huge leap of faith and sow their last seeds in the bone dry dust of their gardens and fields. Shortly thereafter the group reached this conclusion, an email urging these steps was sent.

Though some in the village had faith as small as a mustard seed, they accepted our urging and a few days later took a leap of faith and sowed the last of their seeds in the dust, while others ignored the advice and ate their seeds. The decision to sow bathed in prayer by countless many, to everyone’s delight God chose to answer those prayers with rain just 24 hours after the seeds were planted! The rain had not come on the villager’s timetable, but instead in God’s perfect time.