A CHRISTMAS PRAYER IN JULY

{A True African-American Love Story}

The other day, my fiancé told me that our seventeen-year-old son thinks that I can do anything. I was amazed because life is filled with so many obstacles and challenges, until at times I feel that I am falling behind and failing many of life’s tests. If I am able to accomplish any amazing task, it is because God is faithful to His Word and is a true miracle worker!

I have been blessed with two beautiful boys, one 17 and the other 4 years old. Admittedly, at times I struggle as a parent trying to provide for them, especially since we live on two different continents but I never fail to give them my love because that is the one thing I am certain that they need most.

Regretfully, my fiancé and children live in the most homophobic, corrupt nation in the world and at times this presents unbelievable challenges because we are constantly battling homophobia in the most extreme expressions. To make matters even worse; recently, Uganda was ranked as the leading African country in corruption [replacing notorious Nigeria for the top spot]. Earlier this year, Uganda also emerged as Africa’s leading country in regards to alcoholism and alcohol consumption (escalating crime rates), a title it has held for the past three years.

Often, I find myself on my knees praying for my family’s safely and well-being and petitioning God for their divine protection. Because I live in America and my fiancé and children live in Africa, what gets us through is the fact that we are truly unified as a family and agree in prayer daily, about everything — and I do mean everything!

The simple things that most families are able to do together publically, we could never do in Uganda because it would place my fiancé and the children in extreme jeopardy. But in spite of all of these challenges, the love that we share is immeasurable.

Because we are separated from one another, we desperately long for the simple things in life that most families take for granted, like sitting down to eat dinner together or the pleasure of just having a conversation together in the same room. What we desire most however, is to all be together this Christmas; not to merely exchange gifts but to celebrate each other and bask in the wonderful gift God has given us by making us into a true family unit.

There isn’t a day that goes by in Africa that someone does not threaten in some way to completely wipe same-gender-loving families (like ours) off the planet, as if somehow the reality that we are a family threatens their family’s well-being.

This is one of the reasons why the recent DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and Prop. 8, decision handed down by the Supreme Court was so vitally important to us and to families like ours, despite the fact that the GOP removed the LGBT provision from the recently proposed immigration legislation.

The thought of my family remaining in Uganda is inconceivable to me, knowing that our children cannot ever freely disclose anything to their teachers, school administrators or classmates about our family. One innocent slip of the tongue or naïve heartfelt disclosure could mean that my fiancé and children would have to flee our home in Uganda like fugitives on the run just because two male same-gender-loving parents head the household and parent them.

These fears were amplified when my phone rang off the hook this morning at 4am. When I glanced over to look at the phone and saw that it was a long distance call from Uganda, I immediately assumed that my fiancé was phoning me. Enthusiastically, I picked up the phone expecting to hear my soul mate’s usual greeting, but instead it was the voice of an LGBT activist whom the police had kidnapped from his home a week ago, horribly beaten, and thrown in the local jail just because he opposed the current “Kill the Gays Bill” and harsh homophobic treatment of other openly gay activists like himself. My heart broke as he cried out to me, “Bishop, Bishop please help me!” A cry I hear frequently from LGBT youth in Uganda daily. I did everything to comfort him and promised to make phone calls to other influential friends in America and Uganda to try to get him released before they either tortured him to death or illegally incarcerated him for life, of which they were already in the process of doing.

Even through all of these trials seem to constantly sweep over me like a tumultuous sea, still, I am strengthened by the resolve that though the mills of justice grind slowly and the arc of the universe is long, ultimately, it bends toward justice.

Additionally, I am encouraged by my children’s fortitude and I am humbled each time they express how proud of me they are. But the truth is that I am extremely proud of them and thankful to God for blessing them to endure and become achievers, despite insurmountable circumstances. I do not know how I am going to get them out of harm’s way and to America (by Christmas) but I will not rest until we are under the same roof and living without the fear of being wiped off the planet just because we love each other and choose to live as a family.

Friends, you may not be able to contribute a dime to help me do this and that is not the reason I penned this piece, but prayer does not cost a thing, yet it is the most powerful force in the universe. I therefore, earnestly ask your prayers as I seek God’s wisdom, divine favor, and direction as to how to bring this miracle to pass.

Bishop Angel Mason/Global Author/Activist
Author Contact: terryangelmason@yahoo.com

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