Have you ever heard of the saying, "It is more blessed to give than to receive?" Have you seen this to be true in your life? I want to introduce you to my friend, Emmanuel. I have not met Emmanuel face to face, but our church became acquainted with Emmanuel during the COVID lockdown period back in 2020, and since that time I have been in regular communication with Emmanuel. I have learned what life is like for Emmanuel living in the country of Uganda. I want to take a few moments to share with you Emmanuel's story.
Emmanuel is 23 years old and has the dream of one day having a business dealing in leather goods. He wants to set up his own workshop and help children who are uneducated learn the skill, and he also wants to share with them about God. This dream is birthed out of the life Emmanuel has lived.
From a very young age Emmanuel was orphaned. He knows very little about his mother's life and nothing about his father's life. At the age of two months, Emmanuel was taken in by his grandparents, who lived on the islands of Miszoni, on Lake Victoria. Their way of living would include would collecting firewood, farming, and fishing. His grandparents were both uneducated, and spoke only the language Luganda.
Sadly, Emmanuel's grandmother died in 2010, and a year later, his grandfather passed. His Aunt (a widow & mother of four) kindly took Emmanuel in and cared for him. Emmanuel had missed some years of education, so was forced back some years. Emmanuel's Aunt was and still is uneducated, but it was through her that he learned about God. His Aunt has been both father & mother to him and his four cousins, trusting God to help meet their needs by going to the market. Currently, they live in a single room, eating once a day, or twice if things have gone well that day.
Emmanuel has had to teach himself English, and he is still learning. He was able to complete his high school education in 2018, which is called Olevel. You need to have completed both Olevel and Alevel before attending University in Uganda. Emmanuel's plan after finishing his main schooling was to attend a trade school and take the course Leather Tanning & Production. He was able to save some through working during vacation of Form Four while still at school to go towards this. The course he planned to join was a two year course that started in January, 2020. He paid the tuition for the starting of his schooling and happily started his course, but as everyone knows, the world shutdown in March 2020 due to COVID.
Things after that time have become very difficult for Emmanuel and his family, and all of those living particularly in third world countries. These people live day to day, and even this way of life was taken from them and they couldn't sell their food in the markets. Our church was able to help Emmanuel take a driving course during this time, with the hope that he might be able to use that while everything was shut down as a way to earn money for his family, however, now the schools have re-opened and learning is a possibility again for Emmanuel (Emmanuel had to wait for this, due to not being a more senior student). Emmanuel wishes to continue his education, but previous fees paid for his first tuition haven't been carried over.
Please understand that Emmanuel has been working during this whole COVID time, but the amount that he earns is just enough to feed him and is not enough to cover his schooling, since he is not considered educated enough to earn or get jobs that an educated person would that could raise enough money for a long enough period of time. He also came down with COVID earlier this year which resulted in medical bills, and set him back some.
Our church has been able to help on several occasions with some of the needs of Emmanuel & his family, particularly during the worst part of the COVID times, but our church is small and the needs to get Emmanuel back to school are continuous and on-going until his course is complete.
The hope in doing this campaign is to collectively raise money by all those drawn to help Emmanuel so that he can attend trade school and complete this Leather Tanning & Production course. The amount given for this campaign covers a full year of school including tuition, exam fees, food, board, and a computer needed for online schooling (some lessons are online), and also allows a little for any unexpected costs that might arise.
Thank you for taking the time to read Emmanuel's story, and please consider giving to Emmanuel, an orphan. As it says in James 1:27 "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction...." Many of us have grown up in homes where our parents have been able to support us, and we have also lived in countries that have been able to better support people of low income and create opportunities for them, even if their parents were unable to help. I hope that this can be done for Emmanuel.
If all goes well with this campaign, I want to raise other ones for Emmanuel for the remaining years of his schooling (four years in total - there are two different courses, each one two years in length). If you have any questions that you would like to ask me before giving to this campaign, please go ahead and e-mail me at email@example.com and I will be happy to answer your questions. I can confirm that Emmanuel is genuine in his story, and I know a Christian brother from Uganda who I have met face to face in the United States. This Christian brother took the time to meet with Emmanuel in Uganda, and to learn about him and his present circumstances, and has relayed the authenticity of Emmanuel and his situation.
Matt. 25:40 "And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'