I mentioned yesterday about the book that Jim and I are currently reading together: Underneath are the Everlasting Arms by Alice and Bernard Bakunda.
This is the true story of the parents of our new medical student friend Timothy from Uganda.
“There are moments in life when a cloud of pain and sorrow overshadows us, when it appears as if the Sun has set, even at noon. That is a dark hour, when all friends seem to disappear, even the ones who are close. It is a time of loneliness, when everybody seems to misunderstand us. In such moments, one may feel as if God is far away. Yet, this is when He is closest. It is then, that He carries us on His shoulders. Underneath are the everlasting arms of the Lord. (Deut. 33:27)
“Alice and I were eagerly waiting for the day when she would introduce me to her parents before they would allow us to start preparing for our marriage. We were in love and had told our close friends about our intentions to get married. The date for the introduction had been fixed. It was to be 28th April 1984 and thereafter the wedding would take place within a few months. But on 27th April, amidst great excitement and expectation, Alice was travelling by car with her parents and a few relatives when they fell in the hands of armed men who shot and killed Alice’s cousin and terribly shattered Alice’s right arm, so that it was amputated. Her father too, was short in the chest and could hardly breathe.
“We had prayed about every step in our relationship and did not expect this tragedy at such a time as this. Yet, it happened! The experience was like falling from the top of the highest mountain, to the bottom of the deepest sea. In that state of confusion, discouragement and loneliness, we discovered we were not alone.
“There was a friend sticking closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He never left us alone. His Name is Jesus. He is always there to help us in our time of need. We have also experienced more of His gracious enabling and blessings, which we would not have got, had we not passed through this tragedy.
“The purpose of this book is to encourage you in whatever situation you are, to realise that God is in control. He cares, about every details of your life because He has promised that He will never leave you, nor forsake you (Heb. 13:5).
“We have therefore tried to share part of our backgrounds, which the Lord used in preparing us to endure this trial, and to make the right decisions. The book also tells of how together we have discovered and experienced the Hand of God, even through the dark hours in life. May God reveal His glory to you, and lift you up as you read this book.
“‘I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and make them rejoice from their sorrow…and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, says the Lord.’ Jer. 31:13b, 14b)“
We are looking forward to learning more about this courageous couple.