Although James and George William did not know it, their chance meeting on the streets of Kenya was no random occurrence. It was an appointment Divinely scheduled.
Time and experience had taught George to be a careful steward of God’s resources so he proposed a first cautious test to James to see if he was serious in his desire to help his people and whether or not he would be faithful to the task. He told James to come back in a specified time with a proposal.
Quite frankly, when I learned this part of James’ story I understood the wisdom of George’s conscientious approach but I was also a bit flabbergasted. I could not imagine how a teenage boy who was living on the streets would conceivably have the wherewithal and responsibility to do what was asked of him.
James however, was no ordinary boy. He was a boy of conviction and courage but what truly set him apart was the fact that he was also a boy with God’s call on his life.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
James did not know it yet, nor did George, but God had a plan for the suffering people of Nyamlell and James was right in the center of it.
When James and George parted that day, George’s wallet was a few dollars lighter and as a result, James had the means to buy a bit of food. He also carried with him the hope his encounter with George had sown into his heart and from that hope grew a dream.
At the appointed time George found James standing on his doorstep, the dream for his people undiminished by the months of waiting. On the contrary, it had now blossomed into a plan to save some of them. He presented his proposal to George.
George listened to James’ plan and then began the process of taking small, well calculated steps to help him. He gave him some money from time to time for necessities and helped him get into secondary school so that he could finish his education. Occasionally, James would stay with the Willam’s family and he took odd jobs to help provide for himself while he finished his schooling.
Slowly, ever so slowly, James began his ascent out of despair and he did it one small step at a time. George walked along beside him on his journey and along the way, he began to tell James a story. He told him of One who understood what it was like to be despised and rejected. He told him that this Man was so intimately acquainted with suffering that he was once long ago called “A Man of Sorrows” (Isaiah 53:3). James learned that this Man too, wanted to save His people. As a matter of fact, it was the defining purpose of His life.
And when James met Jesus, he became a “lost boy” found.
Eventually, James went through Open Door’s two year Bible training school. Day by day, his relationship with Jesus Christ deepened and matured and as it did, he found himself more and more compelled to go back and help his people. He was deeply convicted to return to help the many children who had been orphaned by the ruthless genocide of the Janjuweed.
Once he completed his education he was in his early twenties. He had survived so much and come so far. Along the way, he had met a young Sudanese woman who had also fled for refuge to Kenya and they fell in love. He asked her to marry him and she accepted.
It seemed that James would have a family once again……
*James’ story continues in my next post.
*All Darfur photography is courtesy of Darlene Dyson.