Finally, Brian Returns Home

As you may or may not know, a few months ago, when the Covid pandemic had just hit, street children became more at risk to exposure of the virus. Since the nature of their lives made them more at risk, the government collected many of the kids and distributed them to different homes. We were gladly able to take in 11 boys when they asked us.

My first time to meet the boys at our village, I was able to quickly identify them from the kids that had been at Mercy for a long time. These boys were dressed in rags, they spoke vulgar language, and many were recovering from drugs.

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One kid that stood out to be the roughest, was Brian. As I observed him, I noticed that he fought with his friends on various occasions and that he had been on drugs. I was drawn to getting to know more about him and I was able to learn that he is a good chess player; we were able to play several games together.

Brian shared his story of how he got to the streets. He explained that after hearing stories of life in the city, he stole his brother’s phone and embarked on a journey to Kampala. When he got there, he was moved and impressed. For the first time in his life, he was able to see large buildings and many cars, as these are not common in the villages.

While in the city, Brian spent all of his money and didn’t have an idea of what to do next. He met street kids, and they oriented him to street life and taught him drugs; this became his new lifestyle.

While on the streets, he was approached by a Muslim cleric, who converted him to Islam. He loved the fact that on Fridays, he was able to get free food outside the Mosque.

When the government distributed the kids they collected, Brian was a part of the eleven that was brought to Mercy. While at Mercy, we have shared the gospel with him, and he gave his life to Jesus. The past few months have been life-transforming for him.

He has blessed me in a special way and we have developed a special bond. His dream is to become a farmer or mechanic, and I was able to take him to our farm. He became interested in taking care of pigs; we brought one pig home with us and he has been taking care of it. Later on, I bought 3 goats that he has also enjoyed taking care of each day.

On Friday, I was woken up by his voice saying, “it is me Brian, I have come to say goodbye!” Filled with emotion, I had to come and say farewell to him. Our social workers were able to locate his family, and they were going to reunite him.

I got him a little goat that he could go along with and some money, so he could buy a pig when he gets to the village to help carry on his farming dream.

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Mercy will continue to support him like all of our non-residential kids. We are going to find him a nearby garage where he will apprentice and learn mechanics while also taking care of animals at the same. We will check on him regularly.

I can’t wait to visit him and see how God is going to use him to transform his community. Your prayers are needed; I miss him and so does the staff and friends who have been with him. He changed in a very short time and everyone liked him amazingly.

How you can be praying:

  • Pray that he finds a healthy church family that will help him grow in his faith and be a witness to his family.
  • Pray that he is able to adjust to life in the village.
  • Pray that our social workers are able to find the families of these kids and that they are able to start the reunification process.
  • Pray for our social workers and their safety as they have to travel long distances in their search, to find these kids’ families.

Thank you for all your prayers and support.

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New Year Celebration in Uganda

End of year service

When I was a child, I always tried to stay awake until midnight to celebrate as we would usher in the new year. At midnight, we would bring out our Christmas tree and burn it. People would start hitting drums and cans to make a lot of noise; those who had guns would shoot up, and people would run on streets burning used car tires. People would drink and feast at night, but it was also a time when some people would be violent and break into homes and do all kind of things.

The trend has changed since 2000. Churches started having End-of-Year night services, so that people can enter the new year in prayer.

New Year Celebration is the most attended service in Uganda, more than Easter and Christmas.

At Mercy Church and the Worship House, we held our third End-of Year service. We had fireworks, as we ushered in the new year. At Mercy, we had over 1,000 people in attendance, and at the Worship House, over 20,000 people attended. The venue was so full that security had to stop people from coming in.

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This service gave us an opportunity to share the gospel. We had a time for prayer, and we prayed for people. Several people came to me drunk, and they wanted to give their lives to Christ and they wanted to stop drinking in the new year.

Pray for them that they will grow in their faith.

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Thank you for your prayers. I came back from a wonderful family vacation in Jinja; it was good to spend time with family and rest.

It has stopped raining in the past few days and construction work has continued to move on fast, and I know we will be able to be done before school starts.

Happy new year!!