Miracles of Living Hope
Marilyn Uhl will be the first to tell you that establishing and running Living Hope High School in Bungoma, Kenya could not happen without God. She will also tell you that the longer she’s in Africa, the stronger her faith grows. Marilyn has seen God work things out in strange and powerful ways even when she didn’t believe He would. “I don’t know why we don’t have total faith because He never lets us down.” she reminds us. “He might not answer us the way we want or when we want, but He always has our good in mind.” The Living Hope journey continues with these true stories of the miraculous ways God is working in the lives of Marilyn and her students.
Murunga’s Miracles: The Secret Weapon
At times, Murunga still worried that he would wake up and the life he now knew would be nothing but a dream. No longer would he be a graduate of Living Hope High School or a Hospitality Major in college. Thinking back to where he was just a few years ago to where he was now, felt almost too good to be true.
But here he was, on his detachment (internship) at the museum. Murunga enjoyed the work and had so impressed the museum manager that he’d left Murunga in charge while he was away. Things were going smoothly until Murunga looked out the window. What he saw sent chills down his spine and put fear in his heart. FIRE! Smoke and flames rose from the grass down the hill from the museum and were headed his way. Not knowing what to do, he picked up the phone and called the only person he knew he could depend on.
Marilyn listened to Murunga’s panicked voice on the other end of the phone line. He quickly reported that he thought someone must have thrown a cigarette down and now the grass was ablaze. She heard a click on the other end and Murunga was gone.
Not five minutes later Marilyn’s phone rang again. The pitch of Murunga’s voice told her that the situation had worsened. Words spilled rapidly as Murunga described what he saw out the museum window. Not only had the fire grown but now the wind was whipping the flames in a path that led directly to him and the museum he’d grown to love. All he could think about were the ancient artifacts and precious pottery that would be lost, never to be replaced, if the fire reached the walls of the museum. Murunga needed a miracle and he needed it at that very moment!
Rushing outside, Marilyn found a large group of girls sitting together washing greens for supper. She recounted all Murunga had told her. They immediately put down the greens and with Marilyn, they began to pray together: some in English, some in Swahili, and still others in their own tongue. They prayed fervently in unison, their voices becoming louder and louder with each word.
The ringing of Marilyn’s phone sent a hush through the group. It was Murunga. In disbelief he announced that for no reason at all, the fire had died. He couldn’t understand why the flames that had been furiously consuming the dry, brittle grasses had suddenly gone out. His confusion didn’t last long however, as Marilyn explained that she knew why the fire had been extinquished; they had used a “secret weapon”…..prayer.
That day has significant importance for Murunga, Marilyn, and the students. Not just because God provided the miracle of extinguishing the fire, but also because it was the first time the “secret weapon” had been used. Oh, prayer is a regular part of the day on the Living Hope campus, but on this day there was nothing regular about that prayer! Those Spirit filled words lifted to Heaven-when everyone was praying for the same thing, at the same time, and determined not to stop until something happened-changed everyone. They gained a new understanding that together, their prayers are powerful!
The Secret Weapon is now a vital part of life at Living Hope High School. Murunga continues to learn much as he works in the once threatened museum. But the most important lesson he’s gained is the knowledge that God offers us great power in prayer; a power we don’t use often enough; a power that can put out a fire in a field and at the same time light one in the souls of those who accept it.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
copyright Living Hope High School, Bungoma, Kenya
For more information on Living Hope High School, go to www.livinghopehighschool.org