Book Overview

By john
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Chapter 1: The Israeli Raid on Entebbe Airport

The chapter opens with the story of the hijacking of Air France Flight 139 shortly after leaving Athens. The plane is diverted to Libya, then to Uganda. President Idi Amin welcomes his visitors and the hostages are moved into the old terminal building. Non-Jewish hostages are freed. The terrorists’ deadline is July 4, and the situation is tense on July 3 as William hands over air control duties to the afternoon shift. Shortly after midnight a fleet of Israeli planes arrive, rescuing the hostages and blowing up President Amin’s fighter jets.

Chapter 2: Grisly Murders by Amin’s Death Squad and My Miraculous Escape

Early in the morning Idi Amin’s death squad starts rounding up senior employees of the Directorate of Civil Aviation, including William’s next door neighbors. Those rounded up meet their deaths with savage brutality. William is called in for a terrifying interrogation by the secret police, but survives. Amin sends soldiers to the airport to prevent future Israeli invasions, resulting in dangerous chaos. A lieutenant who authorizes the hijacked Airbus to leave is seized by Amin. Amin does other strange and funny things.

Chapter 3: My Early Life, Education and Marriage

William is educated in Catholic schools, excels at mathematics, wins scholarships, and qualifies for medical studies at Makerere University. Studies are disrupted by Idi Amin’s military coup. William wins one of only seven places to study air traffic controlling in Kenya. William learns to fly. William’s siblings. The childhood of William’s wife, Grace. William and Grace meet and get married

Chapter 4: Pilot Training, Suicides, Accidents and Corruption

William obtains secondment to the East African Civil Aviation Academy in Soroti, eastern Uganda. He is sent to Belgium for a crash course in pilot training. He returns to Soroti and becomes chief ground instructor. A student trying to impress his girlfriend crashes and dies. A student with venereal disease commits suicide. A former student who is imprisoned for flying offences is released from jail because he is required to fly a plane to the US for servicing. The students go on strike. A failed student fakes his results and crashes a plane, killing several UN staff. A corruption ring is exposed.

Chapter 5: Soroti Becomes a Town of Bloodshed and Salvation

Insecurity in Eastern Uganda is caused by Karamojong cattle raiders and anti-government rebels. After Idi Amin is driven out by the Tanzanians, insecurity becomes even worse. The mob takes its revenge on Amin’s escaping soldiers. William and Grace narrowly escape a military coup in Kenya. Grace has a personal encounter with Jesus. William’s direction in life is radically changed. The new believer becomes a pastor.

Chapter 6: Living One Day at a Time During War

The War in the Bush takes its toll on Soroti. William and Grace lose their babies’ clothes when fleeing a military lorry. Blind panic in the night during a rebel invasion. Savages slaughter William’s father and drink his blood. The rebels release the prisoners from jail and give them guns; the prisoners surrender the guns to the bishop. Prisoners are forced to eat human flesh. The military come looking for William. The soldiers set up a slaughter yard behind William’s house. William and his sons hide in the bush for three weeks, eating wild roots.

Chapter 7: Escape to Kenya

God sends three signs that it is time to leave Uganda. William and Grace narrowly escape across the closed border. William gains refugee status without paying bribes. William gets a new job. The family finds a new home. A chance meeting with a destitute woman changes William’s life.

Chapter 8: Our Calling to the Slums of Nairobi

Too many people join William’s home group. William has a strange start to seminary. William and Grace start the Dagoretti Corner Baptist Church in a borrowed tent. Soon after, they start their first primary school. William loses one job and gets another. Back in Uganda, the bizarre story of the Holy Spirit Mobile Forces and its successor movement the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Chapter 9: The Early Days of the Church in the Slums of Dagoretti Corner

William finds land for the church’s first building. The tent disintegrates and the new building is built very quickly. Understanding the extent of the poverty in Nairobi’s slums. The church encounters moral failures and conflicts. Some people try to get the school shut down. A former prisoner becomes a pastor.

Chapter 10: Some Unlikely Servants of God

A rebel fighter becomes a pastor. William becomes the top student at seminary. A jobless carpenter becomes a pastor. William loses another job and finds a new source of income through the Kenya School of Flying.

Chapter 11: The Mysterious Missing Millions

William receives a job offer that did not come from God. A very unfortunate misunderstanding arises with some members of the Baptist Convention. A rumor arises that William has received 6 million shillings to distribute but is hanging on to it. Some people want to stone William. The church receives a strange visit from a prophetess. Corrupt police give William some trouble.

Chapter 12: Crooked Cops, Chiefs and Missionaries

Two gunmen try to shoot William. The police come in search of a stolen plane engine. William is interrogated at police headquarters for seven hours, because of his landlord’s political affiliations. The appalling conditions in jail. The local chief tries to extort some money from the church. A missionary creates mischief. A wanted man becomes a pastor.

Chapter 13: An Easter Adventure and a Stolen Car

The local nightclub gets closed down. A drunken prostitute bursts in and causes a very smelly Easter. The mob takes swift and brutal vengeance on thieves. William’s daughters suffer a very poor education. William’s car is stolen by a participant in the ex-prisoner scheme. The thief’s twin brother is arrested and the thief goes free.

Chapter 14: Major Factors That Cause Poverty in Africa

There are numerous environmental factors which work together to prevent impoverished Africans rising from poverty. It is not possible to “cure” the symptoms of poverty on a sustainable long-term basis without addressing the factors which are causing poverty in the first place. These factors include: corruption, inefficient work practices, brain drain, war, theft, dumping, foreign debt, lack of standards, poor infrastructure, aid dependency, lack of teachability, witchcraft, family ties, selfish accumulation, disease, natural disasters, lack of accountability and inadequate education.

Chapter 15: Our Attempts to Solve Poverty

The battle against poverty is a long, difficult and immensely frustrating one. It is important to channel the available resources into projects that provide the most effective results and avoid wasting resources on projects that have net negative effects. Description of the results of the following projects: prisoner rehabilitation, poultry raising, microenterprise seed funding, tailoring and handicraft, carpentry, motor mechanics, schools, unemployment research, and short term missions.

Chapter 16: Mounting Challenges from Outside

The church faces battles over its ownership of the church land. A young man comes looking for love. A former student breaks into the President’s house.

Chapter 17: More Adventures with Broken People

An elderly man employed in the carpentry project decides he cannot stop stealing, then loses everything when his possessions are stolen. A plot to murder a neighboring pastor is thwarted. A car thief becomes an evangelist but dies of AIDS.

Chapter 18: Rigged Elections and Ethnic Violence

The lead-up to election day in 2007 is tense, and there is much politicking along ethnic lines. Funny business happens as the votes are counted. A bloodbath of inter-ethnic conflict erupts when an unexpected victor is announced. People are burnt to death in a church. We do our best to help the homeless. Local businessmen hire young men to protect the area. The situation keeps getting worse and we decide to evacuate. A costly and fragile peace is negotiated.

Chapter 19: Hope for the Future

We have witnessed failure and tragedy in many lives, but we have also witnessed remarkable transformation in the community around our church. Whenever we show love in the name of Jesus to someone that nobody else loves, we strike a blow against the forces of evil that keep people living in poverty. Solving poverty means changing the system. It also means changing the culture of people into whom poverty has become a deeply ingrained attitude. Our vision for the next ten years. Since God became my employer my life has been difficult and dangerous, but I would never work for anyone else.

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