It was one of those rainy mid-week mornings when I saw him at the entrance of the New taxi park, Abdu Rukamuhena, inaudibly screaming, using up what was left of his voice to remind us all of the Second Coming and to “Come unto him all who are weary.” He was old but sturdy with about five teeth left in his mouth. He spoke fervently and theatrically demonstrated every word from his huge black Bible which made it all a spectacle. He had amassed the undivided attention of all seven people. He wore a black suit that had over the years, turned linen, transparent, like it had lost most of its weight from repeated washing and years or service coupled with an orange shirt. He firmly held a flap over envelop bag under his left arm which he would later open to show me his National I.D documentation, marriage and baptism certificates.
“Aren’t you afraid your important documents will get misplaced or stolen if you move with them?” I would ask, astonished.
“These are my documents. I have to have them with me at all times.” He will say.
Soon, he noticed me too and after pleasantries were exchanged, I asked if I could speak with him in a less noisy place. He didn’t hesitate. We walked over to the nearest restaurant where we had a lengthy chat on preaching, evangelism and self-sacrifice for God. He denied all my offers for a cup of tea.
Murodoccai, an adaption of Mordecai I assumed, was born in Tanzania to two Muslim parents who had emigrated from Rubanda. “Kabale became too small, so my parents had to move.” He married a Tanzanian woman and had three children before they separated and he moved to Uganda. Initially, his decision to get Born again estranged him from his wife and family, “but they later accepted me. God softened their hearts and now they love me. My wife and I sat down and talked about it and she understood but we separated. I got baptized in 2012 and changed my name from Abdu.”
A passionate and confident man, Murodoccai tells me of the goodness of the Lord who has kept him alive and well, all sixty three years, and of his vision in which he had seen me approaching him. That is why he wasn’t shy about speaking with me.
“God is using you. You will write about me and it will be for the Glory of his name,” he says.
If I felt nervous at the thought of appearing in a total strangers dreams, I did not acknowledge it as we dived right into my curiosity.
“I was called by God, Is all I can say,” he began. “When I got saved, I wasn’t settled because I kept getting these visions and dreams that doing nothing about them haunted me. God was telling me to come and serve him by preaching his word to people. I know people look at me like I am mad. I understand because even me before I got saved, I always ridiculed Balokole. I thought they were all crazy.”
He spoke about this directive from God with such passion and purpose like it is the only thing he lived for. Nothing else matters. Everything else the rest of us mere mortals fuss about is for naught. Anything that does not draw us closer to the Kingdom of God is a total and complete waste of time.
At this point, he opens his Bible and quotes scripture on the love of God and the mission of Christ. He cites verses for me to read and insists I note them to read later.
He has been back to Uganda for 8 years now. He smiles as he tells me about his new bride, a Munyoro from Hoima, with whom he is living happily in Holy Matrimony.
God provides for my every need.
“I do not work. I did all sorts of work even when I was in Tanzania, I carried shoes for traders, worked as a porter, digging, anything I did it and even made some good money, but since I started preaching, I do not work but I have never gone hungry or naked.”
“How do you survive then? How do you support your wife and four kids?” I do not think I was able to hide my bafflement.
“My wife works. She is a musubuzi. She has a shop there… “ he points south to the New Park, Or Owino market, I am not sure, but I did not press, instead I asked what he does when he is not preaching.
“When I am not out preaching, I am at home praying and interceding for all my brothers and sisters and the government of Uganda. Sometimes I sit with my wife as she’s working but when I am praying and preaching.”
I ask him about hobbies and pass times, a wasted question as he only repeats what he had just said.
“How do you measure your results? How do you know that your word is getting out there if you are only speaking to passersby who may not hear anything?’ I ask.
“My assignment is to preach the Good News. I do not really care if only one person hears me or no one hears. That is what I am doing in fact, now I am going to Shoprite to preach there.” he responds as he searches his Bible for anther scripture to perfect his words.
He does not consider constant ridicule and insults and attacks from people calling him a false prophet and a muyaye.
“I am comforted by God. All the insults and ridicule fall on deaf ears. Jesus was beaten and scorned and a crown of thrones was put on his head. And he was the son of God. All the negativity is to be expected. Although right now I would like to buy a microphone but they are expensive. That is all.”
Faith Without Borders
“What I would like now, by the Grace of God is to have a house, a car and a microphone.”
The cynic in me couldn’t let it go. I asked him how he hoped to achieve all three if he didn’t have a source of income.
“God knows what I want and he will give it to me. As a child, even in your mother’s womb, he formed you and protected you. As a baby he kept you from all harm and even all those people who did not wish your mother well were not able to harm you. If God can do all that, protect and feed me and mine up to this day, He will give me all these things. I will not steal them. By faith I will get them.”
“I don’t ask for money. It would be a shame to God. I see people bringing a lot of money to pastors to bless it but no one should ask you for money in order to bless you.”
The drizzles have now stopped and he has started preaching to me, imploring me to denounce all my sins, forget my past and look to the cross. The News headline miraculously spins our conversation over to our present constitutional situation. Has he has had any visions of our precarious future?
“The people in parliament are acting without God. The hate and divisions and bickering in government is all for nothing. Everyone is greedy and power hungry, but these things are for the world. Where is Gadaffi now? And Sadam?”
A brief pause.
“It is upon us to pray for our country. God’s hand is not short. But it is not my job to debate politics. Mine is to preach.”