TROY’S MIRACLE AT ENTEBBE AIRPORT
I’m not scared of a whole lot of things. Let’s see, I’m scared of heights, really loud noises, women with guns – you know, things that are logical. But the thought of being somewhere without access to food truly terrifies me. This is what I was dealing with on our first mission trip to Uganda, East Africa.
I had no idea the food would be so plentiful and good. All I knew was I had never seen a fat man from Uganda so I had better go prepared. And preparation meant mama. You see, my mom had always wanted to go to Africa, so I took her too. I figured between her and Leanna, there was no way I would go hungry.
Mom and I prepared for our two weeks in Uganda by loading two suitcases with beef jerky, tuna and cracker kits and SPAM – lots of SPAM. If we were going to suffer for Jesus, it would not be for lack of food.
So imagine my horror and surprise going through customs in Entebbe Airport – a room filled with armed guards, mostly women, and huge signs that said “IT IS A CRIME TO SMUGGLE ANY KIND OF MEAT INTO UGANDA PUNISHABLE BY IMPRISONMENT.”
“Excuse me?” I thought, panicking inside. We didn’t just have meat. We were practically representatives of Hormel with two cases of contraband SPAM!
My eyes darted around the room and I saw how the armed soldiers tolerated things in Uganda. They didn’t. They tore through each and every suitcase. My immediate thought was that I didn’t plan for my ministry in Uganda to be a prison ministry.
I whispered to mom and pointed to the sign. The blood drained from her face. It was a good time to “who-ka-ma-shie” and “shun-die.” I didn’t know it, but I was attracting the attention of a woman with an automatic weapon trained to spot people who are unusually nervous.
“Excuse me sir. Is there a problem?” said a deep female voice behind me.
I wanted to explain that we’d never been to Uganda and we didn’t know until right now that it is illegal to bring meat into the country. Instead, I opened my mouth and said, “Hi’dy!”
As soon as I said it, I knew that Johnson County, Texas had taken over. I just stood there stupidly and smiled.
“Hi’dy. What is Hi’dy?” she asked, gun uncomfortably close to my midsection.
I said, “You know, hi, how are you doing, good to see you – it’s short for howdy.”
“From where is your dialect?” she demanded.
Thinking of the suitcase of food I thought she asked, “What is your diet?” so I told her I eat just about anything.
“No, where are you from?” she said, impatiently.
“Oh, I’m from Texas and hi’dy is a common greeting there.”
All of a sudden, she lit up like a Christmas tree. “You are from Texas, where the Cowboys live?”
To cut to the chase, she and her best friend were college students and they had to write a paper on Texas. Instead of searching our suitcases, she escorted us out of customs and to her friend where we talked for nearly an hour in our most hick accents and told them all about Texas.
When we finally left and met our friends, they were shocked. It was a miracle! Nobody, and they said NOBODY, gets through Entebbe Airport without their bags being thoroughly ransacked. The Lord hid us from our enemies and we were in plain sight!
I believe he does that for all of His children. He hides us from our troubles and terrors. When the child molester comes to your neighborhood, let him not see your children. When the virus invades your work, let it not be able to find your lungs. When the thief looks for an easy mark, may you be invisible to him.
“For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.” – Psalms 27:5
From my book: Miracles with a Message