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From Uganda to Texas: A Story of Survival and Faith

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
January 9, 2024 3:02 am

From Uganda to Texas: A Story of Survival and Faith

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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January 9, 2024 3:02 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, this is a story of how faith propelled Dr. Dennis Sempebwa from war-torn Uganda to America... and beyond.

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See att.com slash iPhone for details about the guarantee trade-in promo for new and existing customers available for a limited time. Terms and restrictions apply. This is Lee Habib and this is our American Stories. And we tell stories about everything here on this show.

But our favorite subject? Well, it's redemption stories. Stories of faith and hope and love. And my goodness, that's the story of so many Americans.

And faith, by the way, being a fundamental part of a large majority of the people of this country. And that's why we tell those stories. And up next, the story of Dr. Dennis Simebwe. Dennis, you were born on April 20th, 1967 in a small town in the African nation of Uganda.

Tell us about it. Uganda, Eastern Africa. Winston Churchill called it the pearl of Africa.

Perfect weather, they say. And happy people. But in the midst of that, anarchy because we had Idi Amin.

If you remember the famous Idi Amin. So life was tough. From my earliest memory, I'm clutching my baby sister's hand. We have to go to school and there's a dead body in the pathway. But we're too young to jump over the body. And so I remember the big debate, should I go home?

If I go home, I'm getting into trouble, but I can't really tell. So I remember getting to tell Sylvia, Sylvia, close your eyes as we get to the body. And then we counted one, two, three and jumped over.

And then it goes black from then. The army wasn't paid. So at night they would come to our villages and loot and steal, raping as young as three years old. In fact, at one point, my village, almost all the girls were pregnant by soldiers. And so that's life for me and not enough food. I didn't have shoes till I was six.

We'd climb mango trees for lunch, guava trees for breakfast. It was just tough, tough. How did Idi Amin come to power?

How does this happen in the country? Idi Amin was, it's almost like the same story repeated. You look at Saddam and some of these other big guys. He was a favorite of the British.

In fact, he was a colonel in the British army. So he comes on, he was a hero at first, but he turns, he turns on us and gets greedy and starts to, then tribalism. Then it's the same old story of Africa when the power, it's a power issue. And so he begins to get nervous when there's, it looks like there's a power struggle between him and the West, kind of like Gaddafi, it sounds like, because he's very he's very, he's too independent. He won't be a puppet. But with that comes the subjugation.

And he didn't go to school, so he thinks money can be printed. Then he's irritated by the Asians, the Indians, because they're running everything. So one day he decides, you know what, no more Indians. We want Uganda to be run by Ugandans. And he just exists three days. He expels all Indians for 72 hours to leave the country. And he literally takes Ugandans and gives them, I mean, I remember this picture.

I was young. I remember seeing him on TV, walking down the main street. We had one main street in Kampala and it was literally giving shops that belonged to Asians, is giving them to you, take that one. You take the shoe shop, you take, and of course what happened is here, these Africans who are now running things, but they were not trained to run.

So of course everything plummets, turmoil, inflation, and so poverty sets in. And what used to be the pearl of Africa, Uganda was the bread basket of his East African cradle before then. The best hospital was in Kampala. Now Idi Amin, initially, as he got nervous, he wanted to squelch rebellion.

Of course, it became heavier-handed. Then he decided to pivot to the Arab world. And so he wanted to turn Uganda into a Muslim nation with Sharia law. So it was illegal to wear many skirts and it was illegal. One day he woke up, he said, I don't want to see slippers, sandals, slippers. I don't want to see people's feet. And people were actually literally arrested for wearing slippers and sandals in town in Kampala.

They'd arrest you. So it was chaotic, chaotic. But so and so. And then it came, of course, then as he comes after church, after church, then he had to see, he didn't like any of the independent religions, expressions of religion, where Friday became a public holiday. So Friday was a public holiday for the Muslims.

Sunday was a public holiday for the, so we had like four days of work, you know? And of course all of this is plummeting the economy. If things are getting worse and worse and worse. And so persecution, then he began to outlaw all independent religions, or expressions of faith. And so thus began the persecution.

The archbishop was arrested and killed. And so that was life under Idi Amin until he was ousted. And then what happened is all the, then the tribalism. And now those factions of military soldiers and then the anarchist setting, just like some of these other places like Gaddafi and Libya and Iraq, that's what happened. That's what happened in Uganda.

So we have factions all over, anarchy, rule of law, nothing, nothing. The army wasn't paid and they'd come every night to rape and steal and kill. And it was a disaster. So talk about your parents. What role did they play?

Talk about that. Mine was tragic. My dad was their provider, but he had other women. In fact, they were more like concubines, more open. We knew them. We knew them.

In fact, one of them was my, had been my mother's best friend who lived next door. So daddy would come back home and we would see him go to the neighbors. And I remember seeing mommy, you know, just dealing with, wow, wow.

And so that was confusing for me as a boy. And he'd come back drunk at night, 11 PM, usually beating mommy. But then every time I came out, I was the first born, every time I came out to their little room as he's beating her, he would stop. So that caused me to think, oh, oh, I can help here. I can help mommy. And, and over the next few months, every time I'd make sure to be awake, don't go to sleep because you need to rescue mommy. And she didn't know until recently that I barely slept because whenever they went to their room in my little brain, my little seven-year-old brain, I was thinking, what if he beats her and kills her?

So I'd sit right at their door all night and it made me a rescuer. And when we come back, more of this remarkable life story and how he ends up coming here to the United States and doing remarkable things with his life. More of the life story of Dr. Dennis Simebwe here on Our American Stories. Folks, if you love the great American stories we tell and love America like we do, we're asking you to become a part of the Our American Stories family. If you agree that America is a good and great country, please make a donation. A monthly gift of $17.76 is fast becoming a favorite option for supporters. Go to our americanstories.com now and go to the donate button and help us keep the great American stories coming.

That's our americanstories.com. Hello, it is Ryan and we could all use an extra bright spot in our day, couldn't we? Just to make up for things like sitting in traffic, doing the dishes, counting your steps, you know, all the mundane stuff. That is why I'm such a big fan of Chumba Casino. Chumba Casino has all your favorite social casino style games that you can play for free anytime, anywhere, with daily bonuses.

That should brighten your day a little, actually a lot. So sign up now at ChumbaCasino.com. That's ChumbaCasino.com. Hi, I'm Martine Hackett and I'm hosting the second season of Untold Stories, Life with a Severe Autoimmune Condition, a production from Ruby Studio in partnership with Argenix. Sharing real stories of MG, CIDP, and other autoimmune conditions, we hope to share inspiration and educate the larger community about these severe and often overlooked conditions. I can't fix this.

I can't cure this. And, you know, I'll take my treatment day by day, but I want to try to be engaged, be involved, or be as helpful as I feel I can with the limitations I have of working full time to children. So I participate in like market research to provide information to hopefully benefit others, because it's a small margin of people that have the myasthenia. But then to get pregnant, it's an even more narrow margin. You can never have too much information as an epidemiologist.

Yeah, exactly right. Listen to Untold Stories, Life with a Severe Autoimmune Condition on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. We navigate the tangled web of Hollywood's secret history of sex, money, and murder.

Subscribe now to Variety Confidential, wherever you get your podcasts. And we continue with our American stories and the life of Dr. Dennis Impebuoy. We just heard why seven-year-old Dennis wouldn't sleep at night, knowing that he was the only person around who could rescue his mom from being abused by his alcoholic father. Dennis, tell us the effects your family environment had on you.

I'm getting depressed. I'm learning about my history. I'm learning that that Noor Sempebuoy, that's my last name, had lived beyond age 40.

They were all womanizers and alcoholics, and they had died young. And so, but I strolled into an event, you know, one time, when mommy said, there's a crusade. This guy was coming from Nigeria, and he was going to talk about crusade God.

And so mom took me to this crusade, a big open-air event, and this guy was talking about peace and said, God can give you peace. And in my brain, I was thinking, yeah, but how? And then it's as though this man could hear me because all the questions I asked, he would scream out, don't you wonder how?

You don't need to. So I'm like, well, but I have to, how is he going to do it? You want to know how he's going to do it?

I'm like, I'm thinking he can read my mind what's going on. But then eventually he said, if you want this peace, come. And I was the first said, mommy, let's go, I want peace.

I want peace. And we prayed a prayer. And as I was going home that night, because it was five o'clock, and five o'clock was scary for me because the sun was going to set. And was that the night I'd see my sisters raped, my mother raped?

Was I going to die? Was I going to spend the night outside? Because sometimes it was too dangerous to sleep in the house.

So we'd run around all night during these military raids, looking for places to hide. But this particular night, January 12th, 1980, there was peace. And I was thinking, ooh, I'm not scared. I got home, my sister asks me, Dennis, what are you happy? What are you giddy about?

I said, I don't know. I just, I think God's given me peace. And she looked at me, rolled her eyes, and says, go to sleep, you're tired. Next morning I woke up and ping, I still have peace. I still have peace. And I couldn't wait to go to school. Now mornings were terrible in class because every empty seat meant they were either killed or their mothers were raped or whatever, they were displaced. So, but this morning, January 13th, 1980, I'm like a little smiles.

My friends are looking at me, what's wrong with you, Dennis? I was a class captain. I said, I don't know, guys. I just know that yesterday I prayed a prayer and I asked God to be part of my life.

And I think he did. And after a while they wanted me to explain why I was happy. And I started to say, you know what, I give my life to God. Cause he said, what do you mean God?

I said, I don't know. God loves us, that he cares that what he's done for me, he can do for you. And I became an instant evangelist, in fact, because after 30 days, after the first month, I had like 50 of my friends all coming to church with me. And we were all, then we had a happy corner and they knew it as that's the happy corner. Dennis said it's happy corner. And people were curious, but I began to see, to have this, this idea that God gave me peace that transcended my environment.

Something that was, that blew my mind that I still can't explain to this day, but it's as real because I've lived it. And this would be why dictators hate God. Yeah.

Yeah. Because they couldn't, in fact, the peace came from inside. It didn't matter. In fact, it got worse.

My, my environment, this is where I have a problem with the simplistic perspective on God fixing. And so even though Amin was ousted and there was other very turbulent dictators that came around that actually killed en masse, but I mean, would have a barrier almost every week of a friend or, but, but I was giddy and happy. Not, not giddy, giddy, but I had joy. The Bible talks about it as, as joy unspeakable, joy unspeakable. I was peaceful, had shalom, Jews call it shalom, the peace that transcends circumstances. That's what I got. And I could share it with, I've shared it over 80 countries now, 40 for 40 years.

It's the same, whether it's a prostitute in Amsterdam and a beggar in India, it doesn't matter, or a multimillionaire in Beverly Hills. There's this peace that God gives that is unmatched. I was ready to pour out what I had inside of me.

So excited that, that a path was created for me. We began with, we formed a singing group, began singing. And as we were singing, all the schools wanted to hear us. All of a sudden, we're the biggest thing in, in town. We started to, then we started to, we had, we had a church service, we go to church, but we started to, we told, I told the pastor, Hey, can we just come play music a whole hour before the church starts? He said, okay. And so we just started playing, we would play music and six, 7,000 kids would just come listen.

They were mesmerized. And, and of course I wasn't promising, which is cool is I wasn't saying, God's going to come fix your world, but have God in your life and your world will make sense, but not be fixed. Makes sense. You'll have a reason to wake up the spring in your, in your feet. And he can do that. He can do that.

I've seen him do that. And so that began to change. My father would die of AIDS, which was like, okay, cause he was a womanizer and all that. And then my, then for a while we're thinking mommy's going to die too.

But, and that the miracle happened, you know, mommy isn't dying. And so a lot of people now after Amin leaves, all the anarchy, now we had AIDS, AIDS epidemic. Entire villages had just kids running around with their parents dead, rotting in their homes. Cause remember those anarchy. So all the services are, there's no services.

There's no, there's one doctor to 50 to 70,000 people. So, so, so again, more chaos. In fact, that's when the British media said to say, Uganda is cursed after Amin, after all is now AIDS. So, so this again, in the midst of that, we kept preaching, singing, joy, transcendent in the midst of death. And, and some group came from England, heard us sing, they invited us to England. We went and sang in this one church, that church happened to have the editor of voice magazine and the black Britain and BBC. And they were all going to this iconic church called Kensington temple. And when we sang, they all like next day, we're on radio, we're all over, they called it the African group from Africa.

That's taking England by storm. And that year we won the award for best British new artist. We're not even English, we're not even British, but, but, but again, the same message. I remember when we recorded, then we recorded one song that became a club hit in London, all the nightclubs praying, playing this song, it's called, it's called don't pass me by, Lord, don't pass me by, but they loved it. Again, the message transcending culture. And here we are now in nightclubs, the, the, the biggest nightclubs in Europe. I remember seeing Muhammad Ali and all these guys, and, you know, just the, there we were the group, a gospel group in the midst of like, some of us had never even been to a club, but, but we were featured. So, so the music opening doors, the message transcending received an invitation to America, Chicago, same thing happened before we know it, where all this and all these places get a five album deal. And, and that opens up a global, a global ministry of, of music that took us to 40 countries and same song, same, same message.

Peace is peace. So how does the singer become a doctor? I, I bumped into this, this gentleman who had a distance learning program. And, and so at record time, bachelor's, master's, PhD, all still singing. As soon as I was done doing that, a church approached me and said, can you start a college for us? I said, I'm a singer.

I said, no, but you're a singer with a PhD. So we founded a college called the International College of Excellence. And that, that got me into academics and started 22 campuses in eight countries and then formed an organization called Eagles Wings International. And, and, and, and just going to just, we're good hubs now in 26 countries again, you know, the message, same message. God's amazing. God's amazing, simple words, words he absorbed, and then words, well, that drove the rest of his life and his core message.

When we come back to this remarkable story and a remarkable immigrant story, an American dreamer story, like almost none other we've told here on this show, the story of Dr. Dennis Zimbabwe here on Our American Stories. Bets for betting $5 on the championship game. Download the app now and use code BobbySports. New customers can score 150 instantly in bonus bets for betting just five bucks on college football. Only on DraftKings Sportsbook with code BobbySports.

The crown is yours. Gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit www.1-800-GAMBLER.net. In New York, call 877-8HOPE-NY or text HOPE-NY 467369. In Connecticut, help is available for problem gambling. Call 888-789-7777 or visit ccpg.org.

Please play responsibly. On behalf of Boot Hill Casino and Resort in Kansas, 21 plus, age varies by jurisdiction. Void in Ontario. Bonus bets expire 168 hours after issuance.

See dkng.com slash football for eligibility and deposit restrictions, terms, and responsible gaming resources. Hi, I'm Martine Hackett, and I'm hosting the second season of Untold Stories, Life with a Severe Autoimmune Condition, a production from Ruby Studio in partnership with Argenix. Sharing real stories of MG, CIDP, and other autoimmune conditions, we hope to share inspiration and educate the larger community about these severe and often overlooked conditions. I can't fix this, I can't cure this, and you know, I'll take my treatment day by day, but I want to try to be engaged, be involved, or be as helpful as I feel I can with the limitations I have of working full time to children. So I participate in like market research to provide information to hopefully benefit others, because it's a small margin of people that have the Mycenia, but then to get pregnant, it's an even more narrow margin. And you can never have too much information as an epidemiologist.

Yeah, exactly right. Listen to Untold Stories, Life with a Severe Autoimmune Condition on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Abusers in Hollywood are as old as the Hollywood sign itself. Underneath it lies a shroud of mystery. From Variety, Hollywood's number one entertainment news source and iHeart podcast, comes Variety Confidential. I'm your host, Tracey Patton, and in season one, we'll focus on the secret history of the casting couch. So join us as we navigate the tangled web of Hollywood's secret history of sex, money, and murder.

Subscribe now to Variety Confidential wherever you get your podcasts. And we continue with our American stories and Dr. Dennis Simpebuoy's story. Dennis, your band's success took you to the heights of music in Africa. You took Europe by storm, and then you were invited to America. Tell us about it.

I stumbled to Chicago, first 1993. Came and sang in this little Romanian church. You know, we're like, hey, put your hands together.

Yeah. And they were like, looking at us like we were the first black people to ever grace that stage. They almost fell over. And they were like, these Africans.

So they almost patronizingly, then I found out the Baptists don't clap hands. And I'm like, okay, okay. But we just, you know what? And so the next, tomorrow, you're going to sing again tomorrow, but could you not have the music? Because they didn't like the tracks.

They didn't like guitars and all that. So we said, okay. So we decided to sing a cappella. And so my wife was in there, she said, we loved you. And I'm like, are you sure? Yeah, with the church?

It was a little tough for them, but I don't think they're going to have you back. But she and her friend took us to the next church. And there, that was a black church. It was like, I wouldn't go crazy. They had never seen Africans like us doing.

We were just wearing all African hats and we just went outrageous on them. And they just loved it. And she almost fainted because it was now it was too loud.

She's from Romania. So she shared a similar story of Ceausescu while she was sharing about waking up at 5 AM, lining up for groceries. I said, yeah, we did too. We had no gas. Yeah, we did too. If you had a car, you just like, yeah, we did too.

The blackouts, yeah. So that connected us and very different stories. My dictator's worse than your dictator.

Yes, exactly. Your dictator was more dignified. When he was deposed, he had heads of his enemies in his refrigerator.

It was terrible. He believed the witch doctors had told him, keep them. You need to eat their brains. It was actually a true story. But we connected and got married. Very difficult because I'm the heir of the family and I had to maintain the integrity of my bloodline.

And there I was going to contaminate it with white blood. So that was a major tribal issue. But they got over it and it became a story.

I was the couple of the year in Uganda at the time. How did her Romanian family feel about you? That was different because, again, she was the only daughter. Her dad, an ex-navy officer who had migrated from religious persecution to come to Chicago, they were okay.

It was interesting. They were okay. They would have black people come to their house. They were okay until one of the black people wanted to marry their only daughter. And so Ingrid was saying, but my dad is not racist. I'm like, I know, I know. I said, you know, if I was your dad and all I saw on television was black people from the south side of Chicago involved in gangs and hip hop and, you know, I'd be scared.

I would be concerned. Your dad's, and this is worse than those black people. I'm from Africa.

He doesn't even know where, he doesn't. And then I had this funny hair. I had half a head shaved. So I said, I understand your dad. And she's like, you do? You don't?

I said, no, it's not. It's a tribal thing. He's used to white. He's used to, which is for me, it helps me also understand that some of the, because I've been all over the world and I don't think people are always racist like that.

I think it's an affinity issue. When a white person sees another white person, there's a natural affinity to white. When you see black, you're like, okay, black. Because I've been to certain countries where I'm the only black person for like a week. And so, like somewhere we went to Siberia once and I didn't see anybody until one Nigerian girl. And the minute I saw her, I was like, who? Because it was like, oh, my kind. That's my kind. He's here.

He's here. So there's a lot of that that's in play many times when we get overly simplistic about race. In fact, he got on the phone one time and said, I don't want you to marry my daughter. I don't want mixed kids, he told me. And she was like, so like, dad, you can't say that you're a God-fearing man. But the challenge that had come to his home and he had to decide, can I love this guy who's different than me? Can my faith, the faith that I've, because it's one thing talking about it and singing about it, but now it was in your home.

Is this my brother? It didn't matter that I was a Christian just like him. I was a different color and I didn't know what to do with that. Eventually, though, they reluctantly, and we said, you know, we're not going to get married until they're OK, which took another three years. My whole country became OK, but her family had a problem until they said, OK, I guess we got married today.

Of course, we're, you know, I'm the favorite son-in-law and we're so tight and we've given him and them five grandkids. And it's just a beautiful story. I've heard you talk about the simplicity of faith, but talk about simplicity of faith and wrapping your head around faith intellectually. See, when we were brought, when faith came to us, it wasn't, it didn't make sense. In fact, I remember the first time I had to sit down, sit my friends down when they cornered me and I said, explain why you're happy.

There's death all around. Why are you happy? I said, OK, sit down. So I said, OK, in 2000 years ago, God loved the world.

I lost them right away, Lee, because all five of them, one was Muslim, one was a traditionalist, had no witch, he had all this talisman from the gods. So he was old, like ready to just kill me, you know, because I was going to explain why I was happy, why God, faith made sense. So I said, 2000 years ago, the Bible says, what do you mean the Bible?

I'm like, oh, I'm in trouble. Yeah, this book, it said, it said, God sent his son. First of all, it said, God loved the, when I said, God loved the world, they just like, ah, Dennis, because gods don't love. In our culture, gods are mean, they restrict the rain, so you have to sacrifice to them so the rain can come and crops can grow and they take away your fertility, you have to, so that's, that's what they're used to. So God and love was like, I said, wait, you want to know why I'm happy? Sit down. So I carry the story and says, he sent, he sent his only son to die for you and me.

Ah, I lost them again. Because in my tribe, in fact, one of them said, what sort of God is that? What sort of, he's a weak God, he said, because in my tribe, you don't give your only son for nothing because your son is your future.

How could God give his son for people he doesn't even know? So I said, shh, just keep quiet now. Now I'm noticing, I'm in trouble already because the story is going to get more ridiculous. So I'm thinking, oh God. And they told us, Dennis, if you can't explain, we're going to beat you.

It was, it was like, were they going to beat me up or whatever? So, so I said, I said, okay, he gave his son, his son died. They said, uh-huh. Then I said, then he rose again.

Ah, I lost them again. Cause, cause they were saying, how can he rise again? I said, okay, okay. He rose again.

Okay. And then I, and then I said, then I said, ah, I said, I'm going to be in trouble. So I said, and you know what? He's, he's here right now. And they're like, what do you mean he's here?

I thought you said 2000. He said, well, he's, his presence is here. And I said, now keep quiet.

Um, and he wants to be part of your life. And I said, if you, if you believe this ridiculous story, you can have what I have. If you believe this ridiculous story, you can have what I have.

When we come back, this remarkable American story continues here on Our American Stories. College football fans. The championship is here and DraftKings Sportsbook is making sure you can throw down on the Epic showdown for a shot at big bucks. New customers can score 150 instantly in bonus bets for betting $5 on the championship game. Download the app now and use code Bobby sports. New customers can score 150 instantly in bonus bets for betting just five bucks on college football. Only on DraftKings Sportsbook with code Bobby sports.

The crown is yours. Gambling problem call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit www.1-800-GAMBLER.net. In New York, call 877-8HOPE-NY or text HOPE-NY, 467-369. In Connecticut, help is available for problem gambling. Call 888-789-7777 or visit ccpg.org.

Please play responsibly. On behalf of Boot Hill Casino and Resort in Kansas, 21 plus, age varies by jurisdiction. Void in Ontario. Bonus bets expire 168 hours after issuance.

See dkng.com slash football for eligibility and deposit restrictions, terms, and responsible gaming resources. Hi, I'm Martine Hackett and I'm hosting the second season of Untold Stories, Life with a Severe Autoimmune Condition, a production from Ruby Studio in partnership with Argenix. Sharing real stories of MG, CIDP, and other autoimmune conditions, we hope to share inspiration and educate the larger community about these severe and often overlooked conditions. I can't fix this.

I can't cure this. And you know, I'll take my treatment day by day, but I want to try to be engaged, be involved, or be as helpful as I feel I can with the limitations I have of working full time to children. So I participate in like market research to provide information to hopefully benefit others because it's a small margin of people that have the myasthenia. But then to get pregnant, it's an even more narrow margin. And you can never have too much information as an epidemiologist.

Yeah, exactly right. Listen to Untold Stories, Life with a Severe Autoimmune Condition on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Abusers in Hollywood are as old as the Hollywood sign itself. Underneath it lies a shroud of mystery. From Variety, Hollywood's number one entertainment news source and iHeart podcast, comes Variety Confidential.

I'm your host, Tracy Patton. And in season one, we'll focus on the secret history of the casting couch. So join us as we navigate the tangled web of Hollywood's secret history of sex, money and murder.

Subscribe now to Variety Confidential, wherever you get your podcasts. And we continue with our American stories and Dr. Dennis Zimbabwe's story. Dennis, we left off with you sharing your faith in Christ with your African friends. You ended with these words, if you believe this ridiculous story, you can have what I have. What happened next? And they looked at me like, what happened next? And they looked at me like, what happened next?

You can have what I have. What happened next? And they looked at me like, and I said, you know, I might as well go for it.

I said, you know what, you know what I did to get this? I prayed this prayer, pray with this prayer with me. And they looked at me like, I said, pray, pray, pray, pray this prayer. I said, God, thank you for sending your son to die for me.

I believe this, this amazing, crazy, crazy story come into my life. And they looked at me like, and then Lee, I saw one of them was shedding a tear. He had shed a tear, the meanest one. And, but he was being macho. Of course, he's like, so the meeting ended and next day, yeah, you know that story?

I think it's real. I said, it is? Yeah. Cause he said, yeah. Cause I, I feel the peace, the peace you talked about. The peace you talked about.

I want to know, take me to church. And I was like, then I am, I'm, I'm like, whoa, it's, it's powerful. It's not just a nice little story.

The story has power. And that there was my beginning. And I've gone around the world that I lived in England for a while. And I had a option to live in Sweden and Australia at a certain point. And I've been to 80 of them, 82. In fact, there's no place like America. There's no place, there's no place like this.

In fact, I have friends who even are in leadership in those countries wanting to come. I remember, I remember sitting with this Malaysian billionaire. He had actually rented out the whole theater.

One of the Transformers movies was coming out. He says, I hate America. He said, he said, but it's good that America is good though. I will like America. It's good America is America. Something was happening here. The intellectual said, Americans, don't be stupid. Why are you tearing your country apart? I hate that you're on top, but I want kind of like it that you're on top.

It was, it was interesting to hear him say that. My friends call me, especially with all the race things, racial, you know, you know, they call and say, oh, Dennis is praying for you. You must be running for your life. You must be, you must be, you're hunted, right? I'm like, what do you mean hunted? Yeah, because they're hunting black people. I said, oh, wait, wait, wait, wait.

What do you mean hunted? I said, no, no, no. I said, no, no, no, no. I'm okay.

This is beautiful country. See, see, I don't have, and I, and I talked, I've got tons of black friends, of course. And sometimes they, I remember getting this one award and some, some, some we'll get this, I'll get this award. And, and my name was read last and my friend calls me, do you know what your name was read last? Cause you're black.

I'm like, no, cause I'm S, my last name is S. So alphabetically, I'm going to be, I said, no, no. I said, because I don't have the, the history of that, that some of my friends do, but it's a, but it's not an experienced history. It's a, it's a borrowed history. There's no black man here who's, who's ever been a slave, you know? So, so, and there's no white man who's ever owned slaves that is alive here today, but yet in Africa, we still own slaves. We still have slaves.

Slavery is not an American invention. And, and, and so, and so for me here, this is a beautiful country. And, and the freedoms when I'm stopped by the police, yes, I, sometimes I walk into the grocery, into a jewelry store with my wife. She's white. Of course, sometimes they look at her more in, they think she's the one going to buy and, and maybe I shouldn't be there. I've had that, but I don't go like, so, so she goes and picks this stone and she likes to do this. She says, and because they don't think that we arrived together and she'll say, honey, should I get this one? Then all of a sudden they look at me like, oh, he's paying. But I don't go like, yeah, you see, it's me.

No, I'm like, I understand because based on the conditioning, based on the conditioning, this, this again, exposure. So, so is this, is this a racist country? Absolutely not. Is there historic racism? Yes, of course.

The books. Yes. When a cop stops me, I'm not thinking racism. I'm like, oh, I probably fit a profile, a profile of, and then when he comes and is nervous around me, it's because there's numbers that show that people like me could do more. He doesn't know. So I don't go like, I, I, I, well, here's my, cause I want to get home. I want to go home, go home.

So, so here's my license. He's, are you okay? How are you doing officer? I'm pleasant.

And I have never had problems. I drive a nicer car. And so I, if I'm watched, I understand.

I don't go into, because I have lived an experience that is far worse. And so I, I, I, I appreciate the wealth of America. I see what this country, there's no country like this, Lee.

I know that for a fact. There's no country that offers these unsurpassed, unmatched freedoms and opportunities like this country does. And let's talk last about what, what you hope and pray for America and some of the things you worry about for, for the country that adopted you and that you call home.

I worry about the loss of, of some of the things that made this country amazing. In fact, when we talk with my in-laws, my, my, my Ingrid's parents are still alive and they're from Romania and, and they, they run away from that. So we, we talk almost commiserating. You're like, oh my God, this is how, cause they talked. He says, he says, they said, Dennis, I remember when they told us, cause it's Romania. I remember when they first said, they came to my mother and my father-in-law said, they came to my mom and they said, you have the shop. We have to, we have to get, we have, the government has to take over your shop because it's the biggest and we need to make sure there's equal distribution of wealth. So they took it. He said, I remember that.

I remember when they offered us free healthcare, we were so excited. He said, but that created this, this craziness where few people had the power. And, and, and, and they said, and, and they, and so we're terrifyingly listen to some of the news and we watched the news and we're like, this is what we're running away from.

We run away from, we fled our countries to come here to experience certain freedoms, which are fleeting. We are forgetting about the, the, the, I worry about God, even God, the place for God, the place, cause if there's no absolute truth, see in my tribe, I've written a book called Timeless Truths and Africa, the richest proverb, richest cultures were preserved by these sayings, these proverbs. And it's at the fireplaces that we learned what a man does, a woman does, men, they care, they, they protect, they treat their wives. We learned these things. That's, that's lost.

It's getting lost here because there's, everything is subjective. I want to be this kind of man. I don't want to work. Really? Yeah. Cause I don't want to work.

Sorry. So, so, so it, so that, that is now becoming mainstreamed. I've got a son who's in college.

He just finished college actually. And my daughter said, daddy, the things we're learning, that America is not great. That our history is, you know, every country has history, has every country, like slavery has been in every culture.

Africans own slaves, like I said. So, so yes, we have a path that's gone here, but there's no country, 200 years. Look what America has done in 200 years.

It's an incredible experiment. So we worry that, that we are borrowing too much of, we're idealizing what other countries have and we're losing what's made us great. There's no country as benevolent as this. We're good people here. There is no country quite like this.

And I don't see any on the horizon because, because it's getting crazier out there. I think right now, the values that made us, oh yeah. If there's ever been a time for us to trumpet these values, it's now America, the free, the brave, the brave and the free.

Hallelujah. And you've been listening to Dr. Dennis and Pabway and what a storyteller and what a story to tell. And what a perspective to see America, the lens with which he views this country as an immigrant from someplace like Uganda, or his bride coming from a communist block country and having to deal with the false promises of the regime that took over her country. And for those who have faith, oh my goodness, Dr. Dennis in the end was happy in Uganda, in Uganda, in Uganda. And by the way, to learn more about Dr. Dennis, who now has PhDs, has co-founded an international college in Chicago, which quickly grew to 22 extension campuses in eight countries. And he's also founded a global missionary organization and started one of the largest and fastest growing fully accredited ministry training institutions in the world.

And this is what he's managed to do with his life in this country. Dr. Dennis and Pabway's story here on Our American Stories. I'm your host, Tracy Patton. And in season one, we'll focus on the secret history of the casting couch.

So join us as we navigate the tangled web of Hollywood's secret history of sex, money and murder. Subscribe now to Variety Confidential wherever you get your podcasts. Congratulations to the city of Bellevue, Washington, first place award winner for Innovation in Community at the 2023 Unconventional Awards presented by T-Mobile for Business. The city of Bellevue has revolutionized public safety as a leader in technological innovation to decrease road-related fatalities and injuries. In collaboration with T-Mobile 5G Solutions, Bellevue has improved the Vision Zero program, increasing real-time communications between cars, pedestrians, cyclists and traffic infrastructure to provide early warnings on dangerous road interactions.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-09 04:39:13 / 2024-01-09 04:58:07 / 19

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