Bro. William Okello's Testimony
There was a further test of faith to come later on in the year 1980. God had blessed us with a fine beautiful boy and we called him Moses, because I liked the name. In October 1980, he contracted measles and was hospitalised. As might be imagined, the medical services in the country were as bad as they could possibly get. But that was not all. The morale and morality of the medical staff had also generally collapsed due to the economic pressures. Corruption was now the norm rather than the exception. Doctors and nurses (not all of them of course) would make it clear they would not attend to a patient without monetary inducements. God only knows how many people lost their lives as a result.
But there were additional unpleasantries in this particular hospital where our baby was hospitalised. Some nurses had a habit of mocking dying patients. For, example should a doctor prescribe medicine to be administered at a specific hour, the nurses tended to ignore this. A reminder by a relative of the patient for the medicine to be administered would elicit cruel comments. One such comment was, “If your relative wants to gasp, let him/her gasp.” Gasp of course meant, “die.” The understanding was that the nurse did not want to be bothered.
These were the conditions under which our son passed away on 30th October 1980. To get a vehicle to transport the body to the village for burial was quite a problem. The believers, even though they were poor, managed to gather a collection that was enough for us to hire a pick up truck. We agreed a price with the owner-driver of the vehicle. When we reached the rural areas however, the man saw that the road was bad. Because of this, he demanded for extra money or else he would offload the coffin and all of us into the darkness, for it was now nighttime. We pleaded with him to accept the little extra money we had and to at least drop us within walking distance of home. Reluctantly he agreed to let us off at Joyce’s parents’ home which is by the main road and about three miles from our destination. We spent the night there and the following day, very early in the morning, we set off for our home on foot and carrying the coffin by hand. The news had reached home and a few relatives came over to help us carry the coffin. The journey involved having to cross the swamp that forms the border between my wife’s parent’s village and mine. A few believers accompanied us to the funeral and burial.
This was a very sad time for us as young parents. But just as God gave brother Branham the ultimate comfort at his wife’s burial, so He did for us. (You remember sister Hope appearing from the distance after her death and joining the prophet in lowering her own coffin into the grave, after which she vanished?). In our case, there were two such consolations. First, shortly before Moses passed away at the hospital, there were moments he kept gazing at the ceiling excitedly as though someone up there was holding his attention. It was later we came to believe these were the angels of God who had come to take him Home. Second, when we reached home, the coffin was opened for the relatives to view the body. We were desperate for some comfort and reassurance from God. A few believers went into the house to pray. One brother at that time occasionally saw visions. While we were standing around the coffin this brother suddenly screamed, “Moses is alive! Moses is alive!” Momentarily, I believed he had come back to life, but I soon realised he was indeed alive, but in God’s presence. It was then my wife recalled the boy’s excited gaze at the ceiling in the hospital.
When the burial was over, we finally returned to our flat in Kampala, but it was lifeless. Then God put it upon my heart to start a regular fellowship. This will be related in the next article.
(Next: Message Church Established in Kampala)