Tears were pouring from his eyes when I told Patrick we could add his son to our sponsorship program. My Ugandan staff said, “He is so overwhelmed with how Hope Africa has impacted his family. He is praising God that we helped in their time of need!”
This man had just been released after two years of prison, serving a sentence for which he was completely innocent. Before this time, he was a successful business owner in Kapchorwa, providing well for his family without many worries.
It all started when some squatters tried to take over property the family used for farming. When Patrick tried to force them to leave, they bribed the police claiming that he was guilty of murder and kidnapping. The police gave in to temptation and arrested him without any evidence supporting these claims.
Patrick was torn apart with anxiety over the welfare of his family. But then, two of his children, Enock and Naume were sponsored, bringing some relief to their financial strain. Both of these children became dynamic leaders for Hope Africa and at their schools, with Enock becoming the student body president of Kapchorwa Townview! Then, a sponsor took on Patrick’s son, Timothy, as well. Since then, Enock and Naume have graduated from Secondary School, with great hope for their future.
Timothy is thriving in school and is also a key student leader for Hope Africa!
Every day, this family prayed for justice for their father. I personally visited their home twice during this time, moved by their faith and trust in God’s provision in spite of their circumstances. They even had their 102 year old grandmother staying with them during this time, a woman who was so thankful for what the sponsors were doing for her grandchildren.
Finally, an attorney showed up at the prison, seeking to assist people who were wrongfully accused. After hearing Patrick’s story and examining the evidence, this attorney was convinced that he was innocent after all. While the family rejoiced in his homecoming, this man came back to a dire situation in Kapchorwa. The squatters had constructed buildings on his land, enabling them to have full control of the land. Since he was gone for two years, he also lost his business, leaving him without a means to provide for his family or the ability to fight for his land.
Yet in all of this, he was overcome with emotion, so thankful for sponsors who cared enough about his kids to sponsor them. Since his son graduated from the program, we told him we would take on another son, Emmanuel, so he could also have hope for a brighter future. We could tell that Patrick did not want to ask for anything, humbled by his situation. But watching his reaction of complete gratitude and joy reminded me that we are not just helping children. We are keeping families together with small acts of generosity, just when all hope seems lost!