When I was an eight-year-old boy growing up in Kampala, Uganda, I was one of those kids you could see at any given time, walking bare-footed and looking dirty with no decent clothes to wear. In the small village where I was raised, I belonged to one of those families that struggled to meet even the very basic physical needs of their children. I was raised by a single mother who worked on a small farm for only a little monthly pay. This pay was used to keep me in school, put clothes on my body, feed me and my grandma and also take care of any other needs that we had at home. It’s humbling writing this story today, as I look back on how far I have come, share some of my life’s misfortune and struggles, and ponder God’s unconditional faithfulness in my life.
I am the last born of nine children. There were 5 boys and 4 girls in total, but one of the boys passed away. My mom and dad separated when I was about two years old. She and I then moved in with my grandma who passed seven years later.
Life soon became very challenging for both of us (mom and I). For me, those years without a father to meet my physical and emotional needs were the hardest (at least that’s what I cared for most as a child). Mom couldn’t find a decent job because she was unqualified for a lot of office jobs or other general jobs that could give a sensible pay. Because of this, it was challenging for her to both take care of the home and meet my physical needs such as: clothes, shoes, school fees and other expenses associated with going to school. Because I couldn’t afford even a pair of shoes, I remember walking barefooted over seven miles to and from school every day, at least five days every week, for over 5 years of my early education. I would have to do this on rainy days, in the mud, on cold mornings or steaming hot afternoons, all on long graveled roads.
Over time, I became so used to my pain that I found myself content with the way life presented itself and not bothered as much about its unfairness. It is amazingly beautiful, thinking about what God does with seemingly hopeless situations if we fully surrender to His will and purpose for our lives. My struggles growing up have today become my story of hope and the very points that have helped me to acknowledge God’s purpose for my life.
Today I am married and God has surrounded my wife and me with a multitude of children who share the same story of life. Right at the center of these children’s stories of lack, brokenness and hopelessness lies the heart of this ministry. We are so privileged to do life with them. God has graciously honored us with great opportunities to minister to their differing needs.
On the 8th of July, 2018, God placed on our hearts a ministry called MATT. At that time, my wife served with a missionary group at one of the churches in Entebbe (one of the districts in Uganda). She mostly dedicated her time and devotion to providing amazing kid’s programing in the Sunday school ministry. I also served at that church, but with the worship ministry. One Saturday afternoon as I walked off the church property, right after my regular Saturday choir practices, a bunch of kids walked in for their Saturday kid’s club activities. As I gave way for them to walk through something about them captured my attention for the first time in all those years that I had served with this church. Most of these kids wore no shoes and others just didn’t have a decent pair. I was overwhelmed with sadness and in that moment, I had a flash-back to what life was like for me growing up.
I later shared with my wife, who I was l dating at that time, about what I had seen and what I felt I was being led to do. We desired to help these kids and began thinking of how we could be of help. We didn’t recognize that day that God was beginning to open our eyes to something. Something that would later become the most eternally impactful and exciting adventure in our life. We found that God led us to read Matthew 25:36-40. The more that we read and prayed about it, the more God begun to shape the vision of the ministry in our hearts and minds.
MATT MINISTRIES derives its name from the book of Matthew in the bible. My wife and I are dedicated to reaching out to children around the world through giving and with the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that who so ever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16)
Jesus is the hope of the world and our desire is to see many children reached and come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.