Staff Spotlight – Jimmy Mao, COTN–Uganda Chief Driver

08/22/08

Jimmy Mao is fluent in nine different languages. He has thirteen years of civil engineering experience. He has adopted thirteen children. While impressive, these numbers only begin to tell the inspirational story of Jimmy Mao, the Chief Driver for Children of the Nations (COTN) in Lira, Uganda. Through years of civil war in his country and LRA terrorist attacks on his home and his family, Jimmy has learned that his survival and livelihood have always been in God’s hands.

As members of the Lango tribe, Jimmy and his extended family have experienced some dark times during the civil war in Uganda. Fifteen of his uncles were murdered by the blades of LRA terrorists. Four of his brothers have also been killed. Jimmy knows that his protection is not a guarantee. A few years ago he was working as Chief Supervisor of road inspectors in the West Nile region of Uganda. Unfortunately, this area was rampant with rebel activity and Jimmy’s immediate family in Nebi experienced seven attacks by LRA terrorists. To protect his family, Jimmy decided that they should move back to his home town of Lira.

While in Lira, Jimmy and his family began attending Truth Evangelistic Fountain (TEF). Jimmy felt moved to volunteer to drive vehicles for the JESUS film ministry of the church. At his newborn son’s baptism at TEF in April 2007, Jimmy began to feel very sick. He remembered watching the JESUS film and wondered, “Why don’t I get saved? I see the way that Jesus has suffered and died for me.” On that day he and his family confessed Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jimmy knows that it was only through God’s power that his family survived the rebel attacks in Nebi. He draws inspiration from Psalm 89:18-19, which says, “Indeed our shield belongs to the Lord, our king to the Holy One of Israel. Once you spoke in a vision, to your faithful people you said: ‘I have bestowed strength on a warrior; I have exalted a young man from among the people.’”

After he was saved, Jimmy began working as the Chief Driver at COTN. He is in charge of all vehicles and the safety of visitors, staff, and children as they travel throughout Uganda. Everyone feels safe when Jimmy is at the wheel, and in Uganda that is quite an accomplishment. His passengers are wise to trust him with their protection because, after all, the Lord is his shield.