UGANDA — After Waswa’s* mother was poisoned by relatives because of her decision to follow Jesus, Waswa and his siblings became orphans. But after receiving care and support from local Open Doors partners, Waswa now runs an orphanage in Uganda, caring for many isolated children in his community and sharing his faith with them.
When Waswa’s mother converted to Christ, his father, a respected Muslim leader in their community in Uganda, reacted angrily.
Waswa* – Uganda:
My father and the other Muslims were not happy at all. They chased us from our home, they destroyed my mother’s business, and they wanted to kill us. We escaped to safety in another area where we are now. We were six children, two girls and four boys. In that new location, we didn’t have anything to eat or anywhere to sleep. They had confiscated my mother’s property at home, including her land. We did not have money for school fees, and we suffered a lot and depended on begging. Because we were living in unfinished buildings, my mother was raped, and she became pregnant with another child. I lost hope. I wanted to commit suicide with all my siblings, so that we could at least escape from this world.
Waswa and his siblings were still Muslims, but their mother’s faith encouraged them too to follow Jesus.
On the streets we would pray, and every time we prayed somehow a visitor would come and give us food, which encouraged us to start trusting in God.
After some time, a pastor came across the family and helped to arrange housing for them. But more trouble came after Waswa’s mother shared the gospel with Muslims in their community.
My mother preached to 80 Muslims who converted to Christianity. After convincing those 80 Muslims to convert, the Muslims bribed one of my mother’s friends, who gave her poisoned juice and cake. Eventually she died.
When Waswa’s mother died in 2010, the children became orphans and were split up and sent to different families. Open Door’s local partners helped Waswa with food, clothing, counselling and support for his education. Now 29, he runs an orphanage that gives hope and a future to children who are on the streets, just as he once was.
I know the pain they are going through, so I wanted firstly to teach them the word of God, secondly to restore their hope, and thirdly to raise them as God-fearing children. We are also accommodating and feeding them. Presently, we have 21 orphans we are caring for. I also want to expand my school so that I will be able to care for more children. I thank everybody who has been standing with me in prayer, because it is through these prayers that I have been able to achieve what I have. You have been praying and encouraging me in whatever I was doing. I ask that you keep praying for me, especially in this children’s ministry. That my vision should continue forever.
*Name changed for security reasons
About Open Doors UK
For over 60 years, Open Doors UK has worked in the world’s most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Open Doors equips persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through programs like Bible & Gospel Development, Women & Children Advancement, and Christian Community Restoration.