Uganda | Hope & Renewal

Motorcyclists zoomed past as the sound of traffic filled our ears. The smells of street food filled the morning air as we journeyed deep into the town of Kasangati. Here, this densely populated town was illuminated with hope thanks to Compassion International. The families we met had joy and ambition for their future. Their faith and pride in their accomplishments shone as they spoke about the rekindled hope that Compassion had given them.
Meet Nakibowa Madina | Business Student 
Nakibowa Madina, 20, has had her education supported by Compassion. She is enrolled at Makerere Business School. Since her mother is a diabetic and can’t work, Madina, in addition to attending school full time also works to support her family. She shared about how long her journey to school can be and about the struggles of balancing school and work. She works two jobs – one at a stationary shop and one making small donuts, a skill she learned from Compassion. These two jobs help her afford tuition as well as cover her family’s expenses. Madina is a strong young woman who lights up any room with her smile. Leader. Business student. Faithful daughter. Madina holds many titles and juggles them with such grace. 
Meet Sebuufu Frank | Testimony of Hope 
Frank, 14, was often teased about his house. It seemed that every day the walls were slowly closing in and the roof was sagging lower. At school they made fun of Frank and his house so much that he skipped extracurriculars to avoid the mockery. But the jokes weren’t entirely wrong – eventually the house did cave in, and Frank and his family had to live in the barn with the goats. Thankfully, Compassion came to the rescue and helped renovate his family’s home. Now, Frank’s new home is safe…but it shares a wall with the previous house that collapsed. In the photo below, you can see the contrast between the old home and their new house. Frank shoulders the burden of caring for his family. He loves his parents, but has to help provide for them since his father is paralyzed. Compassion has generously been working to fund surgery for his father and hopefully will raise the necessary money. Despite the many struggles he faces, with his new home, Frank can attend school and not have his friends make fun of him anymore for his collapsing house.
Onto the next journey in the Pearl of Africa!

Uganda | Women of Strength

Tucked in Uganda is the town of Kisoga. Like many Ugandan villages it is filled with beautiful people who have to struggle every day to survive. Whether it’s a grandmother caring for her sick grandson, a wife wearied by an abusive marriage, or a single father who can barely afford to keep his 4 children fed – these are the just a few of the gripping stories we heard today. Rise Again Productions and Lightify are partnering with organizations like International Justice Mission (IJM), Compassion, and Abide Family Center. Today we sat in a small sparse room and learned today about the lives of two strong Ugandan women. Their stories were not easy to listen to without wincing. And, even without understanding the language, you could see the depth of their hurts in their eyes and on their aged skin. Let me introduce you…
Meet Mutesi  Zam | Mother of Twins
 

Mutesi Zam is the mother of two twin girls, Peace and Grace. She had a difficult marriage. Her husband was often violent and abusive. At one point the abuse got so bad that she ran away from home. For days she slept outside and hid in bushes so her husband wouldn’t find her. However, amidst the violence Compassion connected with her. They brought her to their center and taught her valuable skills like tailoring and making bags to sell. They also convinced her husband to come to the center and began to work with him to overcome his abusive personality. Today, thanks to Compassion, she and her daughters and husband are able to better support themselves and have a healthier family life. Mutesi Zam is a strong woman who lives in a house smaller than most American kitchens, she has a story of transformation and hope that can inspire people way beyond her little known town.

Meet Ntale Anthony Grandma | Care Giver

A few doors down from Mutesi Zam is an elderly grandmother. Her bright, airy house is filled with photos of her family and plenty of chairs for guests. Her vibrant, Ugandan clothing contrasted against the pale adobe wall behind her. As the conversation unfolded she began to tell us about her grandson. When he was only 5 months old his mother died. His step mother took him – however, she showered this half son with abuse. As an infant she intentionally doused him with boiling water, disfiguring his genitals. The lingering, uncared for burns resulted in infections and serious damage to his kidneys. When the grandmother became aware of this she took him, caring for him like her own son. She shared about the challenges of raising a son at her age…especially a child who had weathered such immense abuse. Thankfully, she doesn’t have to do it on her own. Compassion has helped support her, assisting with Ntale’s ongoing medical needs and helping him attend school. Despite the challenges, Ntale’s grandmother was warm and welcoming – her grandmotherly compassion radiated to all who heard her story.
Tomorrow we continue our journey with Compassion and will be visiting a children’s camp. Excited for more stories and great photos!
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