Today, we hear a story of hope in the midst of adversity from Uganda. This story is shared with us by Bright Hope World, a Christian-based humanitarian organisation, which has a vision to see the poorest of the poor become spiritually and physically self-sustaining.
Angela* lived in Uganda and had a good life. Her husband was a lawyer, they had three children, they owned two properties and she employed someone to help her with the housework.
Carol* lived on the neighbouring property, in a small shed with her husband who was drunk all the time. They had six young children and Carol was HIV positive. She barely eked out a living selling charcoal. Her husband died, leaving Carol to care for the children.
From time to time, Angela would help Carol with food and clothes, and would buy charcoal from her. One day Angela noticed Carol coming home with a large cardboard box. Her children were carrying smaller boxes; they were happy and smiling. They went into the shed and, after some time, strange noises began to emerge.
Curious about this new development, Angela visited a few days later; she found Carol sitting at a knitting machine making pullovers, with a large pile of completed products in the corner. As her hands flew back and forth skilfully, Carol told Angela that she had been trained to use this type of machine some years ago. She had joined a women’s loan programme and had bought the machine. Carol managed to find a job making pullovers for school uniforms, knitting three or four each day and receiving a reasonable payment for them.
Angela was fascinated by this arrangement and visited the group’s leader, wondering how she could help. She was invited to the next meeting and came away stunned by the positivity, encouragement and love she experienced among these Christian women. However, she did not qualify: she was too rich and not a widow.
Sadly, a week later, Angela’s husband dropped dead at work. Within a couple of days, the husband’s family came to her house and took everything. Her assets were frozen, and she was told she had to pay rent or move out of her own home. Overnight, Angela was destitute. All the accounts were in her husband’s name, which she could no longer access.
A month later, Angela was living in a shed about the same size as Carol’s. She now qualified to join the loan group and quickly did so. This group saved Angela’s life. It gave her hope and a way out of her situation. Three years later, she still does not know if she will get to keep the houses or get any of the money from the banks. The case remains bogged down in the local courts while the assets are locked up in red tape and corruption.
She…came away stunned by the positivity, encouragement and love she experienced among these Christian women
Due to the love and influence of the loan group, Angela has found God. She now has more genuine friends and family than she ever had before. Life is very tough, but she will survive.
*names changed to protect identities
Read the full article: Mission Through Microloans
- for Carol and Angela and others like them, trapped in poverty, to find empowerment through self-help groups and discover for themselves the God who loves them
- for the many Ugandans who don’t own the Scriptures in their own language, and for translators and broadcasters as they work on producing written and audio versions of the Bible
- for continuing peace in Uganda, after many troubled years, and for them to offer support refugees from places like South Sudan.