Amuja is from Uganda, In this story he tells what happened to him many years ago.
1 July 1990 was a very special day for me. Let me tell you why. In those days, a group of rebels called the Lord's Resistance Army were capturing and killing many people in Northern Uganda. One night, on June 26, the rebels came to our grass-roof house. They came while I was asleep and captured me. They tied my hands and waist with rope. Then they pulled me along as though I were an animal.
Three days walking
The rebels took me into the bush. I had to walk for three days, still tied with the rope. They gave me no food all that time. When they stopped to eat or sleep, they sat in a circle around me. On the fourth day I was taken with four men to fetch water from the river. They had to untie me first. They gave me a big can to dip into the river and get the water. While I was collecting water, the men went into the river to wash themselves. I realised that they could not open their eyes because they were using soap to wash their faces. I quietly climbed into the river and used the can to help me swim away.
They saw at once what was happening and shouted to the other rebels to help them chase me. "Let's kill him, let's kill him!" they screamed. I swam down the river and was able to fnd a safe place by the river to sleep. Next morning, I listened for any sound of them, but all was quiet. I started walking away from the river and followed the same path that the rebels had pulled me with the rope. I reached our home on July 1.
The village prayed
I saw that many people from our village were at my house. They were praying together, asking God to rescue me from the rebels. Their eyes were closed while they prayed. I arrived at that very moment. I stood quietly a few metres away, for about five minutes. Then one person saw me. He shouted, "Thank you, God." Everybody opened their eyes and saw me too. They ran to me and welcomed me back home. We all knew that it was God who had rescued me from the rebels. Many people from my village began to follow Jesus that day. They could see what wonderful things God does.
God rescued Amuja from the rebels. He wants to rescue us too. We are 'captives' – tied up like Amuja, but not with rope. It is our wrong doings, and feelings of shame, that tie us up. These things stop us following Jesus and knowing him as our friend. Jesus wants to forgive us and set us free for all our wrong doings. Have you asked him to forgive you? Is he your friend now and for ever?