Threatened with Death
It was Easter Sunday, 1973. Uganda groaned under the terror of Idi Amin. Still fresh in young Pastor Kefa Sempangi’s memory was a face burned beyond recognition, the sight of soldiers cruelly beating a man, and the horrible sound of boots crushing bones—all for the crime of being a Christian. But Easter of 1973 Pastor Sempangi bravely and openly preached on the risen Lord in his town’s football stadium to over 7,000 people. After the service, five of Idi Amin’s Secret Police followed Sempangi back to his church and closed the door behind them. Five rifles pointed at Sempangi’s face. “We are going to kill you for disobeying Amin’s orders,” said the captian. “If you have something to say, say it before you die.” Sempangi, thinking of his beautiful wife and lovely little girl, began to shake. But the risen Lord living in his heart gave him the courage to speak. “Do what you must,” he said. “The Word of God says that in Christ I am already dead, and that my real life is hidden with Him in God. It is not my life that is in danger, but yours. I am alive in the risen Lord but you are still dead in your sins. May He spare you from eternal destruction.”
The leader looked at Sempangi for a long time. Then he lowered his gun and said, “Will you pray for us?” Sempangi did, and those five officers, were converted through the witness of Sempangi’s bravery. They also became his protectors rather than his aggressors.