A Reason For Hope
When my wife Joy and I first visited Uganda some four (4) years ago now, one of our most memorable moments was meeting a young man named Emmanuel Ndawula. We met Emmanuel at Hope Primary School in the village of Rakai and found him to be quite a precocious and interesting young man.
Emmanuel had an unusual testimony in that he was an actual graduate of Hope Primary School. In fact, we were told that he was the first teacher who actually came to Hope as a young boy, to then go through the program, go off to college and then come back to actually become a teacher at Hope. In recounting his story, he came as a challenged youth at around 5 years old. With not much of a family background, he was reared at Hope. He learned life skills that would serve him well as a young man at Hope. He learned to read and write and was taught English at Hope - which is important in the Ugandan economy - as English is the language of commerce. It would be hard to get a good job without being able to speak English well. Throughout his tutelage at Hope, he learned the Holy Scriptures and was introduced to a relationship with The Lord, which of course, is the most paramount of all these accomplishments and objectives.
I remember speaking to him about his future. He had initially thought he would emigrate to the United States - as this is the thing to do growing up in that culture. Coming to the United States was a symbol that, "you have really made it!" I can recall challenging that assumption. I informed him that many prophets were raised up by God to serve their indigenous constituents: from Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Elijah and Elisha to name a few, to our more modern context of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the likes of Mahatma Gandhi. Sometimes God wants to use his people as a symbol of success to an indigenous audience that perhaps - only they can reach. He informed me that he had never thought of things that way. In fact, I remember him stating that he would really meditate upon that thought; that this had given him renewed hope and encouragement that he may be best suited to serve right here in Uganda and even at Hope in Rakai. I'm now informed that Emmanuel is the head of the Child Sponsorship Program at Hope Primary School...Beloved, how appropriate !!
So that is what I would like to impress upon our readers. What is hope? What is hope to you? And what is hope for someone like Emmanuel or for one of his contemporaries growing up like him? I would say that it is a matter of perspective. And the perspective of hope that we provide for people like Emmanuel - who because of our donations and support of Hope Primary School - serves to develop an audacity of hope in what would have otherwise been elusive and unattainable. As such, I want to encourage us to continue to support Hope Primary School so that we can serve the Lord to raise up countless more children like Emmanuel - who will be ready to teach and pave the way for other indigenous children in kind. As the Apostle Paul reminds us:
"You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others also..." (NLT) - II Timothy 2:2
Beloved, let us therefore continue to serve God through Hope Primary School and be a part of this growing success story in sponsoring children who can grow up to be the next Emmanuel.
Blessings & Peace,
Rohan & Joy Hepkins