ArticleField Stories

Building Bridges

The Lord used a bridge to bring medical supplies and the gospel of peace to a village split by hate.
Tim Hawes poses with locals after the completion of the wooden bridge.
Tim and Leandra Hawes targeted the village of Kapagu in the lower Bena Valley for their next church-planting initiative.

But crumbling road conditions and an impassable gully made the remote village virtually inaccessible by vehicle. Additionally, a tribal conflict divided the clan, making it even harder to reach with the good news. Tim decided to construct a bridge to cross the gully, but he encountered obstacle after obstacle with the project.

First, the chainsaw died. Then, the winch broke. To make matters worse, the log beams for the bridge fell into the gully, and the Land Cruiser’s power steering failed. Tim had no doubt they were fighting an invisible enemy. He and Leandra asked ministry partners in the U.S. to fast and pray for the village people, who wanted to use sorcery to retaliate and ward off these misfortunes.

They claimed that sorcery was more powerful than the Christian God. But when the prayer warriors in the U.S. began their work, construction progressed more smoothly. The bridge to Kapagu was completed in November, allowing the team to conduct a mobile medical clinic in the village, which was suffering from a typhoid epidemic that afflicted a third of the community.

Amidst the hatred caused by a longstanding war, Tim and Leandra witnessed the Holy Spirit construct a different kind of bridge—not one that ushers in supplies or materials, but instead the life-changing message of the gospel that brings true peace and hope with God and one another.

The Lord demonstrated his reconciliation around Christmastime, when the village reunited over a peace ceremony. The tribespeople played games and celebrated on the very same field that had been previously soaked with the blood of battling villagers. Jesus is truly the prince of peace.


Editor’s Note: You can watch the vehicle successfully crossing bridge for the first time after its completion.

About the Author

Loren Skinker serves as a communication specialist with ABWE and managing editor for Message Magazine. He graduated from Virginia Tech in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and English.

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