As I walked into the home of Brian Cheptoek’s mother, my heart was heavy with the loss this dear family faced. Brian, deeply loved by the students of Hope Africa and the community of Kapchorwa, lost his life in a motorcycle accident in January 2021. The loss of such a dynamic, caring person shook us all to the core, but he left behind a legacy of faith.
His father passed away when he was four years old, leaving his mother to care for him and his brother, Emmanuel. They went to live with their grandparents who sold home-brewed beer to survive, but this business did not produce enough money to pay for any of their basic needs, especially not their school needs. Brian and Emmanuel felt hopelessly lost, giving into drinking beer as small children and believing they would face the same end as their father.
But then, Brian and Emmanuel were sponsored by Hope Africa and were able to attend Testimony School, a private Christian School. They were given the opportunity to dream for the future and found hope in a personal relationship with Jesus. Thinking about the future had never been a good thing for Brian because it was full of fear and despair. But now, he could look to the future with peace in his heart and hope for what God could do.
Brian graduated in 2014 and then started teaching math and physics at one of the local high schools to put himself through an engineering course. Brian’s heart was always to serve others and share about what God had done in his life. He worked to provide for his mother and to pay the school fees for his younger siblings, setting aside his own interests to care for his family. He had even paid to send his brother, Emmanuel, to medical school.
Brian’s mother shared a story of how he went to visit his grandparents and noticed a young boy wandering around, alone and hungry. After asking about the child, he learned that the boy was an orphan and completely neglected. Remembering his own struggles as a child, Brian asked his mother if they could care for the boy. Since that day, Brian supported this child so he could experience the same kind of hope.
As his mother reflected on the incredible gift her son was, she began to weep over the compassion showed to her family after Brian died. A donor paid for the last two semesters of Emmanuel’s medical school and Hope Africa was able to help with some of the school fees of his other siblings. She said, “When Brian died, I not only lost my beloved son, but also the family provider. We really thought that Emmanuel would have to drop out of school, but then we just couldn’t believe that someone offered to pay his fees. Thank you, Hope Africa, thank you.”
So many people loved Brian..He just had a warm, engaging personality. It was common for him to bring co-workers home to meet his mother and be part of his family. One of his coworkers remembered that her home was falling down and the roof was leaking. He and his friends pooled their money together to rebuild her home and buy her new furniture. She was overwhelmed by the love they showed her on behalf of Brian’s life.
Brian truly reflected the heart and passion of Hope Africa International as a young man living out his faith in Jesus as he poured out his life to help others. His sponsor may have thought they were just blessing one child, but really, they were impacting many people, a whole community who is forever changed by his life and character.
Sponsors, your gift of $39 a month might seem small, but the results and reach are far and wide. Thank you for investing in Uganda’s next generation.
Have you considering joining in a child’s journey through sponsorship? It is the best opportunity to personally watch a child grow and thrive with peace in their lives in this ever challenging world. Learn more today!