I thought I would share a story about one of my friends, Laban, that I wrote in September. The world needs to know about kingdom changers like him!
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” –Matthew 28:19-20
When Laban first told his family that he was going to pursue Bible College rather than a traditional form of education, they were furious. They saw the big picture, his life, reduced to squalor for the sake of the gospel. They knew there was no money in it. From Laban’s perspective, his parents saw the big picture, but not the important picture.
“I had applied at first to be a student,” he said. “I was interested in experimental and applied psychology, but there was just no peace in my heart. Once I decided to attend Bible College, I felt relieved, happy. I have more joy and peace now than any other point in my life.”
Laban did not always feel the call of evangelism on his life. Having been raised in a Christian home, he traveled to church each week and went through the motions, but never had a personal relationship with his Savior.
In 2009, a man called Timothy invited Laban to give his whole heart to Jesus. Confused, Laban accepted the call and made a decision that would forever “mess up” his life.
“After that day I had an entirely different desire for God,” he said. “I went from a face among the crowd to having a personal relationship with God.”
Laban told a story from his time at boarding school that helped him gain confidence in God’s power.
“I had a disease that affected my mind,” he said. “It felt like a tumor on my brain, and every time I felt the headaches begin I would run to my dorm to sleep it off.”
On one such occasion, Laban took a shortcut through the fellowship hall to get to his dorm. On the other side of the building, the door was locked and he had nowhere to escape. He stayed in the fellowship hall where other students were. No one spoke to him, touched him, or prayed over his head. Yet miraculously, his headache went away and he has not felt it since.
“I speak because I saw Him work in my life,” said Laban. “I have confidence in what He can do because of what He has already done for me.”
Laban has stepped out in faith to engage people in the truth of the gospel. He has allowed God to completely interrupt his life and use him as a mouthpiece to those who do life outside church walls.
“The cry of people in the church is far less than the cry of people outside the church,” he said.
At one point in high school, God gave Laban the vision to see billions of lives transformed for Christ. Laban began door-to-door evangelism in the villages near his home, daily seeing people submit to the will of God. By the end of the year, Laban had led over 400 people to the feet of Jesus through home evangelism and high school conferences.
“My desire for that number was met, but God still wants more,” said Laban. “The more I say no, the more uncomfortable I feel.”
While he evangelizes at Kampala International University on a regular basis, Laban also travels to nonconventional places to meet people where they are. Recently, he started traveling to bars, clubs, apartment complexes and meeting centers to meet people who likely would not otherwise hear the gospel.
“It is like being underneath a mango tree,” he said. “The mangoes are ripe, but some of them are high up and hard to reach.”
Laban said that he stopped outside of a club for about 10 minutes before deciding not to go in, only to feel guilt in his heart and turn around and enter the place of darkness.
“I just felt a voice inside me telling me to go in,” he said.
Laban sat down next to a man named Sam, who was drunk and frequented the club often. Sam told Laban that he was welcome to sit and talk about life, but not about God.
“Every time I mentioned Him, he shut me down,” said Laban. “Finally at the end of our conversation I asked if I could pray over him,” and he relented.
Laban wrote down his contact information on the back of the wrapper for a brandy bottle and gave it to Sam. Sam called him later that day, and the two have continued to connect regularly.
Another one of Laban’s acquaintances does not believe in God. He says that the only thing that religion is good for is dividing people. Yet, he continues to meet with Laban regularly to ask questions.
“My message to these people is that we are all sinners, but still God loves us,” said Laban. “I am constantly finding myself in hard to reach places, but that’s my job. I feel perfect peace when preaching.”
Laban engages people in discipleship meetings every evening, four of which are security guards who have given in to God’s purpose for their lives.
“I work with them and they are generous enough to give me their time,” said Laban. “I feel like I’m doing the right thing, telling my neighbors about God.”
One of the biggest lessons that Laban has learned in the past year is that there are some things that he cannot do that others must.
“Sometimes when others are not going out to evangelize I think to myself, ‘these people are not seeing what I am seeing,’ but they are doing what God has planned and created for them,” he said.
Today, Laban’s family is happy that he is taking the whole gospel to the whole world. Laban married the love of his life, Amazing Grace, at the end of 2019, but his first love will always be winning people to his Savior.
“My heart beats faster in the fields of harvest than on the threshing floor.”
Today Laban and Amazing Grace are preparing to move from Kampala, where I was, to Kenya. It is their hope to continue reaching the lost there. Please join me in praying for the success of their ministry, that the Lord would bless and keep them!