The Accident: How Painful Suffering Strengthened My Christian Faith


Harold Acemah.

[Aluta Continua!]

As I prepared to write this Opinion piece, I was reminded of the opening remarks of the Apostle Paul’s Second Letter to the Church at Corinth which reads as follows: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.” (2 Corinthians 1 v 3-5 (NIV)

The fact that I am alive today and able to share with our esteemed readers my experience and bear witness to the risen Jesus Christ is because of the compassion, grace, mercy and love of God which our heavenly Father has showered generously upon me since I was born, but especially 20 years ago this month. If it were not by the power, grace and love of God, I would have died long ago. Praise be to God for His blessings, compassion, love and mercy.

On August 10, 2001, at around 6 pm in the evening, I was involved in a terrible motor vehicle accident in Kampala which almost cost my life. The accident happened at the intersection of Jinja Road and Lugogo bypass, near Game Shopping Mall. I wrote about that tragic accident in two Opinion pieces published in Uganda’s Sunday Monitor newspaper of August 10, 2014 and March 15, 2015. 

It was a painful and traumatic experience for me and my family. I would like to express deep appreciation to all persons who assisted me during that difficult and trying time, especially doctors, nurses, friends and relatives who supported and attended to me at Mulago Hospital where I was admitted for about one month in August and September 2001. I would like to single out for mention, Dr. William Obote (RIP), Dr. William Worodria, Dr. Sam Oola, Dr. Geoffrey Buwa, Dr. Ben Khingi, Dr. John Omagino, Mr. Seale Anguma, Mr. Richard Embati and Sister Florence Drijaru. May God bless and reward all of them abundantly.

The Lugogo accident reminded me of what King David wrote in Psalm 39 titled, “The Confession of a Suffering Man” in which the psalmist bemoans his own suffering and exclaims: “Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.”

I realized that life is short, full of sorrow and unpredictable, but as a believer I have learnt to put my trust in God and in this regard I agree with David who said in Psalm 39 that, “My hope is in the LORD.” Suffering is a necessary aspect of Christian witness. I believe that the agony and suffering I endured for almost two years after the accident has strengthened my faith in God and Jesus Christ and has made me a better person than before. One hopes the light of God shines through yours truly, but inwardly I am renewed and cleansed daily by the power of the Holy Spirit working in me.

When I recall and survey in my quiet moments what has happened to me and what has happened in Uganda, Africa and the world in the last 20 years, I wonder and appreciate the saying that God works in mysterious ways which reminds me of a popular hymn by William Cowper whose first stanza is as follows:

“God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.”

Thanks be to God for His blessings, grace, love and mercy.   

Arua City, Uganda.

July 31, 2021

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *