When God Gives Us His Spirit, It Is Recognizable

Anne was one of those children at Bugolobi Child Development Center who gave their lives to Jesus Christ every day after the altar call at the center. She had done this for the three years she was part of our Child Sponsorship Program.

As a Child Development Officer at the center then, I did not know whether Anne and the other children took salvation seriously or, better still, whether they understood what salvation was. It was not until Anne turned 10 that I understood that God honors a child’s commitment to Christ, and He gives such a child His Spirit, too.

person pointing to a scripture in the Bible

I remember that it was an ordinary Saturday. Because Anne was 10 years old, her mother, a police constable, deemed Anne old enough to come to the center and return home on her own.

After attending the center program with a host of other children on that Saturday, Anne boarded a 14-seat commuter taxi that evening for Kitintale, the suburb where she lived with her mother.

My colleagues and I were stunned when at dusk Anne’s mother appeared at the center premises concerned that her daughter had not returned. We immediately reported the matter to the Bugolobi police.

We put announcements on radio describing the little girl and asking if anyone knew her whereabouts. We did not get any response from the public.

After five days, Anne’s mother called the center informing us that Anne was at the Jinja police station. The kidnappers had abandoned her in Bujagali. Bujagali is located about 100 kilometers (80 miles) east of Kampala near Jinja town; it is a lonely spot famous for the whitewater rapids of the River Nile.

Eventually we did meet the little princess and she narrated her ordeal. Anne said that when she entered the taxi, she assumed that the two women were passengers going home after a busy day.

“They were friendly. They gave me a book with pictures to read.”

Anne did not remember what happened next except that it was morning and there was a loud sound of gushing water coming from the neighborhood. She saw a big river that she recognized. We had once taken all the children at the center to see the Bujagali rapids.

Anne continued to share with us in tears, wiping her eyes all through,

“I was taken to a small hut. The man inside the hut saw me and told the women that his spirits did not like the Holy Spirit inside me. He said that the women should go and bring another child to sacrifice.”

The two women ushered her out of the witch doctor’s shrine and ordered her to walk ahead of them. That was the last Anne saw of the women; they disappeared into the bushes lining the footpath.

In Uganda, most footpaths reconnect to the main road. Anne trekked until she reached the Kampala Highway. It was the most tormenting journey of her tender life!

At the highway, she asked for the nearest police station. A Good Samaritan took her to Jinja police station whereupon the police made connection with the Bugolobi police.

When we got Anne back, we took her for trauma counseling. She found strength to testify before fellow children at the center. Her testimony moved the one hundred and fifty plus children in attendance that Saturday to commit their lives to Jesus Christ and ask God to give them His Spirit.

Anne reiterated to the fellow children that when children give their lives to Jesus, God gives them His Spirit!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gerald Kateu served as a child development officer with the Bugolobi Child Development Center for seven years before joining our Uganda field office as Sponsor and Donor Services Associate in July 2008.

11 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Diana Gleaton January 24, 2012

    Belinda – our child is Nkinzi Joyce, however her mother married another man and then moved to Jinja, leaving Joyce behind with her hrandparents. So I’m not sure what family name Joyce’s mother would be using. Joyce is now 8….

  2. Diana Gleaton January 23, 2012

    Jinja is where our sponsor child’s mother lives. I had always heard to pray for our Joyces’s
    Spiritual and physical safety, but this helps me understand better how to pray. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Belinda January 24, 2012

      Diana, what is your Joyce’s last name? My husband and I were in Jinja last year, and met the mother of a Compassion sponsored child whose name was Joyce. She sold goods at the market, and we bout from her for our sponsored child. I have been trying to search for her sponsor ever since!

  3. Diana Gleaton January 23, 2012

    Jinks is where my sponsor child’s mother lives. I had always heard to pray for spiritual and physical safety for our Joyce – this is very helpful to know how I can better pray. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Christin January 23, 2012

    *GASP*!!!!! That’s what I did when I read what this witch doctor said about the Holy Spirit and again about the sacrifice!

    PRAISE YOU JESUS for your Holy Spirit and protection on this precious life!!! *Thank you* for sharing this story and revealing the glory of God and His work over there. A-mazing!

  5. Ruth January 23, 2012

    Praise God for the Holy Spirit inside this precious girl which saved her from a terrible fate! Thank God that he led her back to safety through other dangers that could have been lurking!

    I wrote in another post that one of my sponsor girls in Uganda (from another Christian sponsor organization) went ‘missing’ last May and they never found her. She was only 14 and a new Christian convert. I pray for her every day but I have a very bad feeling about her disappearance.

    It’s not that this only happens in Uganda but I’ve become recently aware and horrified about how many young women (and men) just disappear in North America. Their families keep hoping and grieving for years without any news. I am praying for some of the missing but they are so numerous to keep count. God protect all young children and youth because I sense Satan has them in his crosshairs…

  6. Tishia January 23, 2012


  7. Kim January 23, 2012

    Praise be to God, our maker defender and friend! It is His Spirit that lives within each of us. So thankful he was faithful to deliver his little princess Anne, and so grateful to hear of her story. The enemy is defeated by the blood of the lamb and by the word of our testimony. Praise be to God! Praise His Holy Name! He is Almighty!

  8. Juli Jarvis January 23, 2012

    Powerful and true!

  9. Christine January 23, 2012

    Absolutely incredible story. God is so magnificent! Thank you for recounting this amazing work of God, Gerald!

  10. Lori Mills January 23, 2012

    Oh the Power and Salvation of the Holy Spirit!
    “Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day!” – Psalm 96:2

    This will definitely be a story relayed to the youth on Missions night. Praise the Lord for His undying love and protection for His children!

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