The Christian Broadcasting Network

Browse Videos

Share Email

A Remarkable Battle for Freedom

An American lawyer defends an African teen wrongfully accused of murder. Read Transcript

Well, joining me now for more on this story

is Jim Gash and Henry.

And thanks for both of you for being here.

Our pleasure, Gordon.

Thank you.

How in the world do you go from being a lawyer--

you're teaching laws.

That's the-- the sort of-- the cream of the crop, if you will.


How do to go from that to this kind of work that you're doing?

Well, initially, it was quite reluctantly.

I felt that was for other people.

And so they were helping.

And our students were leading the way.

They'd gone to Uganda for-- for a little while

with a guy named Bob Goff and then started going over

regularly for the summer.

And I was dean of students.

And finally, I felt like, OK, Lord.

Here am I. Send me.

So I went for the first time in 2010 to a juvenile prison

where I met Henry.

And Henry, you were charged not just with one count of murder--

with two counts.

You got charged twice.

How did that happen?

Actually, when I was in prison for the first murder,

another juvenile was brought and he was sick.

He was having a terrible asthma attack.

So he also died in the prison.

And during the situation, I was also

convicted of the second murder along with my [INAUDIBLE].

What-- what went through your mind when you got convicted?

Actually, all along, I had been praying, fasting,

and waiting God to help me out.

But things were just going in a negative direction.


So I was really depressed.

GORDON ROBERTSON: Because things got bad

and then they got worse.

I mean, it just-- did you ever just sort of give up?

You know, you ever ask, why me?

Yeah, I asked that.

And I was about to lose hope.

I was like, God, why is all this happening to me?

All right, well, what happened to you

when Jim came into the picture?

Actually, I was very happy.

I was very happy.

I can't really explain verbally how I was feeling.

But I was full of joy.

And there is something which came into my mind.

Because my mom used to tell me nothing lasts forever, Henry,

except the word of god.

So when Jim came, I actually saw hope.

Hope was like coming to my mind.

I was like, yeah, God, you have answered my prayers.

Because it was really something showing up after my prayers

and fasting.

So, Jim, how did you find him?

So this guy named Bob Goff was the keynote speaker

at the National Christian Legal Society conference.

And he had said, there's these kids

in juvenile prison in Uganda.

And ultimately, me and a couple other lawyers went over there.

And when we found this prison, I walked in there.

And there he is.

Two kids spoke English.

So Henry and his brother Joseph became our interpreter.

And the two of them had been charged initially in conjunct

with the mob killing of the herdsman who

used to work for their family.

He'd stolen the money from their house.

And then the mob found him and killed him and dropped him

on the doorstep.

Instead of investigating first, they

arrested Henry, his brother, and his father.

And so they were waiting for a year and a half

before I finally met him.

One month before that, as Henry said, a juvenile in the prison

had died while trying to escape of an asthma attack.

And since he was the prime minister

in charge of the juvenile government prison--

it's a bizarre situation-- he and the matron

were charged with the second count of murder.

So when I met him, he had been charged with two murders,

languishing in this prison for coming up on two years.

So the prisoners are in charge of the prison?

Yes, actually, there's a matron who is the cook.

But there is a prison government.

And he was what's called the [NON-ENGLISH] or the prime


So he was responsible for the care and feeding and discipline

of the kids there.

So what-- what inspired you about Henry?

Why did you-- why would you say, OK, I'll take it,

I'll take your case?

JIM GASH: Yeah, well, first of all,

it was just the fact that he was innocent,

the fact that he had-- he had the ability

to do something further with his life.

He was very, very smart and very committed to his faith.

And I thought, OK, Lord.

There-- there's something wrong here

that I can probably do something about with the training

that I have as a lawyer.

And we'd gotten to know the prison--

the judicial officials there.

And they had allowed us to help these kids.

And so it just sort of moved forward

from there as I got to know the judges and lawyers there

and started to try and get involved

more structurally with the system as well.


You-- you took it a step further, though.

You didn't just take his case.

You-- you said, I'm leaving California

and I'm going to Uganda.

I'm going to live there.


That-- that's another step.

It was a big step.

And my wife asked the same question.



What's going on here?

Did you have to argue with her?

We had to pray together.

I wouldn't say-- we argued with God a little bit.

But what happened was after I'd visited Henry

after he was convicted, I flew out there the next day

and-- and stayed with him.

I met senior members of the judiciary.

And they said, we want to make some structural change.

Can you help us?

And so they came out to the US for a week of training.

And while they were there, they said,

we're going to make these changes.

But would you consider moving to Uganda to help us?

And I said what I said to everybody

who asks me to do something I don't want to do.

I'll pray about it.

And as we prayed about it--

GORDON ROBERTSON: Best way to say no.

Yes, it's the best way to say no.

But God had other plans.

And so two years later in January of '12,

we moved out there and spent six months

assisting them as they redesigned

the structure of their criminal justice system

in moving cases from arrest to trial.

What has been the-- the end effect for you personally?

It's been a huge transformation on my ability

to trust control of my life to God.

And that was the toughest thing for me is just saying,

I'm going to surrender to you.

I've been writing my story for the last 42 years.

I was the author of my story and God was a supporting actor.

And he was playing his role well.

When I finally said, OK, Lord, you write this story,

then everything changed.

And that's how we ended up in Uganda.

I think that's a big transition for a lot of people.

It was huge for me.

No longer my career or my dream or my pursuit--

JIM GASH: Right.

But Lord, what plan do you have for me?


How is your wife now?

Is she-- is she on board?

She is.

She is.

She's been back as well.

My kids, we had three kids-- 15, 13, and 11.

Moved to Uganda, transformed it for them as well.

My oldest daughters is now studying

to be a doctor based upon the experiences

she had in Uganda working a mobile medical clinic.

And things--

So she wants to learn in order to come back?

She does, she does.

It changed their-- their world is so much bigger than mine.

When I grew up, it was Sally Struthers saying,

here's the call to action.

Send money.


This generation says, send me.


And so they're-- they're going.

And-- and just see the world through my kids eyes is--

And all along, that's what God wants.

JIM GASH: Amen, amen.

He wants us.

Took me longer to learn that.

He wants us.


What do you think?

OK, I'll just send money.


He wants us.

JIM GASH: He wants us.

He wants us all in.


Henry, what's next for you?

OK, I'm in medical school.



My second year-- half of my second year, medical school.




But I'm trying to condense it.


GORDON ROBERTSON: What's the dream?

Once you get the degree, once you start practicing,

what do you want to do?

Yeah, my future prospect is to become a cardiologist.


That's a big dream.


That is a big dream.



Does that give you hope?

It does, it does it.

It was one of those-- when we met,

he decided to become a doctor while he

was in prison because he saw the challenges

that the local population was facing

when they went to the doctor.

And he said, I can do something about this.

And so the opportunity to assist him

in getting from prison to medical school

into the practice of medicine is quite-- quite

heartening for-- for me and my family.


All right, wonderful story.

If you've been inspired and if you've

had a yearning that, is there more to life,

is there-- is there-- can I do something more?

Can I have a life of significance?

Listen to that still small voice and let it guide you.

He will guide you.

And he will show you the great things

that he's created for you to walk

into-- all these wonderful, good things that you can do.

And if you want to hear more about this story and about Jim

and Henry's story, "The Divine Collision-- an African Boy,

an American Lawyer, and Their Remarkable Battle

for Freedom"-- it's now available nationwide wherever

books are sold.

And thanks again for being here.

This is wonderful.

My pleasure, Gordon.

Thank you.

God bless you.

God bless you.

God bless.

God bless you.


Related Podcasts | Do You Know Jesus? | Privacy Notice | Prayer Requests | Support CBN | Contact Us | Feedback
© 2012 Christian Broadcasting Network