I remember my mother carrying me with her wherever she went. She carried me to and from school each day. This made me feel different and embarrassed. I understood that I needed help because I couldn’t walk or do anything vigorous for more than a minute. My heart was sick; it had two holes that could only be fixed through an open-heart surgery.
I always longed to play, eat well, and attend school just like any other child of my age. With each year that went by, my situation got worse. My heart rate was fast, and I would run out of breath, which caused much chest pain.
I wanted to get healed, but we had tried everything and failed. A doctor advised my mother to poison me to put me out of my misery. All hope was lost. So I decided to take each day as it came.
In 2004, when I was 11 years old and less than 50 pounds, the Lord blessed me with an opportunity to have lifesaving heart surgery through Children’s Heart Project in North America at no cost. At a point in life when I had completely lost hope, Christ Jesus picked me up and gave me a chance through Samaritan’s Purse.
I traveled to North America with my mother and an interpreter, Ms. Rian, in April 2004. It was one of the best times of my life.
The first night at my host’s home, Ms. Rian shared with me about Jesus. I had grown up Muslim, but after hearing many wonderful things about the son of God and how He loved me and died on the cross for my sins, I realized that Jesus loves me. At this point, I let Him take charge of both my physical and spiritual life by accepting Him as my Lord and Savior.
After that moment, I was a confident child of God. In fact, I knew that He would be with me and even see me through the surgery. However, even if I didn’t make it through, I was confident that I would meet my Jesus in heaven.
After my surgery, I was finally able to play, eat, and even attend boarding school. I didn’t have to worry about taking medication or about finding a way to and from school. I felt free and alive. This was a new chapter of my life.
By the grace of God, I finished secondary school and am now attending college at Uganda Christian University. Through the financial support of my host family, who have continued to provide school fees and encourage me through this new journey, this August I will be completing my degree in Human Resource Management.
Besides attending school, I have an opportunity to minister and serve as a facilitator and teacher in Watoto children’s church, a home that takes in children who are orphans or whose parents can’t care for them. I do this because I love children and because this is my way of showing gratitude to God for what He has done for me.