There are certain happenings that are so faith based that you will always find a lot of difficulties trying to explain it a way otherwise. I live in Uganda, a country that has been at war for the last 20 odd years and there is no clear certainty that the end of this war is in sight, although there are the Juba peace talks going on right now in Southern Sudan to give peace a chance in Northern Uganda.
My country plunged into near anarchy in the mid 1980s when the present government, then a guerrilla movement, was engaged in a protracted struggle to grab power from an elected government of Milton Obote whom they perceived in their wisdom, was practicing bad governance. They went through all the huddles to get the state power they so badly wanted in 1986 and shifted the war theatre from central Uganda to the North where the majority of the national army of the deposed regime came from.
I was a young trainee High school teacher still at National Teachers College doing my last school practice. The new regime of President Yoweri Museveni exerted its political authority to the rest of the country then moved North cautiously well knowing that there would be resistance. Not long after occupying the whole of northern Uganda, the bulk of the defeated soldiers of Obote and Okello came out of their hiding places and started to fight the government troops who apparently approached the population brutishly and even had began killing young men suspecting them of being former soldiers.
That is when I found myself so helpless that I turned my faith to the guardian Angel for my security and to this day, I believe I am still alive because the Guardian Angel did not leave me alone all those bad days.
The first time I believed the Angel was with me was when the war with government troops had just begun. I was living in a school house not so far away from the main road. Then one fine morning while we were taking breakfast, gunfire erupted very close to our house. I moved to the back door to pry through the keyhole just to get a glimpse of what was happening around. I did not know that just a few meters from my house, a government soldier had taken position and was noticing my movements. Just I was looking around a barrage of bullets were fired directly at the door where I was standing. Luckily for me, there was a metallic barrier that deflected the bullets from getting directly to my chest. I scampered away to safety without injuries. I ran straight and hid under the bed and prayed to God, thanking him for saving my life.
The second incident was even more bizarre. The army came over to the school and rounded up the entire teaching staff including us the trainee teachers and made us to lie with our faces to the ground. We were accused of being rebel collaborators. In the bid to extract confession from us, the soldiers started butting us. I noted that I was putting on the T-shirt I had put on the last time I survived a bullet in the first incident at my house. I prayed to God to send me the Guardian Angel and I was indeed amazed. We were arrayed in a circle and then a young soldier was ordered to start torturing us with gun buts. The first soldier began hitting us systematically and one by one. He would beat every body but when he gets to me, he would skip my head and beat the next person after me. This went on for three rounds and at this point three teachers were unconscious while everybody else was bleeding profusely and I was the only bloodless person in the group. Just as the fourth round of beating was being ordered, the commander walked up to me and asked me to leave the group very fast. I left and was completely unscathed only to hear that every body I left was taken away to the barracks and that three teachers died from the injuries of the torture.
The third time that same month, still in my blessed T-shirt, I had gone to visit a friend within the school, when the army again attacked the school. I decided that I should go home but when I was about 200 meters from my house a group of rebels showed up in front of me and I hid in a nearby bush. When they were gone, it occurred to me that it wasn’t a good idea to go home so I returned and had a night with my friend. When I went back to my house the following day, I was informed by neighbors that an armed soldier spent a night at my verandah and left only a few minutes before I arrived home. I knew that it was none other than the Guardian Angel protecting me because that soldier could not have been waiting for me with good intentions, given that armed gunmen were killing people every day at the time!
From these three incidents, my faith grew in the Guardian Angel and I was less afraid of my security than my other friends and colleagues. I would put on the blessed T-Shirt everyday, washing it by night. Just to test my belief in the Guardian Angel to the limit, I rode a bicycle to town one week after the third incident above and the mood in town was so bad because many government troops were killed by rebels that same day. As approached town in my Magic T-shirt, I bumped into a road checkpoint manned by very angry looking soldiers. Every male approaching the road checkpoint was made to remove his shoes and asked to sit down for questioning. When I approached the road checkpoint and just as I was removing my shoes, a soldier came over to me and asked me to continue with my journey. We were four riders at the checkpoint but only me was asked to proceed and I wasn’t surprised because I knew the guardian Angel was at work, but many of the people at the road checkpoint were very shocked. As I left, one man was being seriously beaten for not having sat down fast enough.
I kept my belief in the Guardian Angel and most especially in the Magic T-shirt that I kept putting on almost day in day out believing with all my heart that the Guardian Angel dwelt in it!