On Thursday, I sat with a young man from Maama Catherine’s and heard his story. John and I go to church together and I've known him for four years. When he is not away at boarding school, he is at Maama’s or helping around the church, playing the trumpet, drums or guitar during the worship service. He always has a smile on his face!
John was born in Karamoja (Northern Uganda) on July 2, 1999. Life was hard in Karamoja, so when John was around a year old, his mother brought him to Kampala. She got a job in the market downtown and John spent his days just playing in the market. One day he got lost and could not find his mother anywhere. He thinks he was around three. He started living on the streets trying to find food so he wouldn’t starve. One day the local government did a street round up and grabbed John and threw him in a truck. They took him to a government run orphanage. At the time there were around 400 children in the orphanage.
Three years later his mother found him at the orphanage. He was attending school and was in P1 (1st grade). She would come periodically to visit him, but then one day his mother’s friend came and told John his mother had been in an accident and died.
The people from the orphanage took all of the Karamojong children back to Karamoja to try to find their relatives. Many of the children were reunited with their loved ones, but there was no one for John.
While he was in the orphanage he met Pastor Ernest and Maama Catherine when they came to the orphanage to share Christ with the children. John was going to school and one day when he came home, he was told that the people from CJI (60 Feet) had been watching him and knew he was a good student and a good boy. CJI asked Maama and Pastor if John could come and live with them and they said, yes.
In 2012 John went to live with Maama and Pastor. He finally had a mother a father and 12 brothers and sisters! He was loved and adored by his new family and in 2013 John gave his life to Christ! He was put in boarding school because there were no schools near Maama and Pastor’s home. He would come back home for holidays. He graduated from high school last year and is now entering nursing school.
John got the biggest surprise of his life last month. He was on holiday so was again helping Pastor. He was painting the school. Someone ran and told John that Pastor needed to see him right away. He ran home and Pastor told him to shower and get cleaned up because he was going to Kampala. The orphanage where John had lived said a man showed up claiming to be John’s father. John went to the orphanage and talked with the people in charge. They took him into a room and John’s father, his uncle and his aunt (his mother’s sister) were waiting for him. With tears in his eyes John told me how his father ran to him and picked him up and hugged him. His father had been looking everywhere for his son and now they were together. John also found out that he has a brother and two sisters. He has since talked to his brother on the phone, but they have yet to meet.
Thank you for supporting children like John! Please pray for him as he starts this new chapter in his life.