Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Out of the Black Shadows

Out of the Black Shadows is a biography of a man named Stephen Lungu.  He and two of his siblings were orphaned when they were less than 10 yrs old.  Their father had already left their family and their mother had decided that she would rather lead a life of drugs rather than raise children.  So, she took the three to the local market and told them she would be right back.  She never returned.  The children stood in the busy market place for hours until they finally realized that they didn't know where she was and that they didn't know how to get home.  Stephen Lungu and his two siblings were now orphans.

They became street children and learned how to survive on their own.  Later Stephen would be separated from his siblings.  At a later point in his childhood, he found his way home and found his mother.  She was very upset that he returned home.  She told him that he could stay there, but that he had to sleep in the chicken coop. 

In his teen years he joined a street gang named the Black Shadows.  The gang taught him how to survive in the streets through violence.  It was a very unstable, racially charged time in Zimbabwe in the 1960's.  One night, his gang approached an Evangelistic tent meeting where they learned there were thousands of Christians inside.  He hated Christians.  He hated God.  They decided that they would bomb the tent to kill as many Christians as possible.  They entered the tent and heard the preaching and soon Stephen Lungu knew that God was speaking to him.  The irresistible grace of God penetrated his stone-cold heart and he responded by surrendering his life.  Stephen immediately began sharing his story of salvation in the streets.  He shared Christ whenever and wherever he could.  He could not stop telling people what God had done for him and what God could do for them.

Over the next 40 years, Stephen Lungu became one of the greatest evangelists in Africa, speaking throughout the continent.  He also traveled throughout much of the world on various speaking engagements.  He shared his story and watched God saved thousands of lost souls through his ministry.

How can someone who is called worthless by his own parents, purposefully abandoned by his mother, have a life that results in seeing thousands upon thousands of lives changed by the Gospel?  It can only happen by the transformational power of the immeasurable grace of God.  The gospel is our only hope.  The gospel is what can heal the heart of an orphan from Africa named Stephen Lungu.  The gospel is what can heal the heart of a girl from Africa named Peaches.

1 comment:

  1. Amen and Amen! The miracle of healing in the lives of orphans is one of the most amazing demonstrations of God's power at work. But it is not reserved for orphans. He wants to heal them... and you and me. The only question is, what will it take for us to realize our need for His healing and turn to Him? It takes His grace to lay down our pride and turn to Him. Grace that comes as a free gift from Him. Thanks for sharing this powerful demonstration of His healing grace.