A Young Man of Character & Strength

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Born in the slums of Kampala, Carlos has never had an easy life, but by the age of four, everything seemed to unravel. His mother, Grace, fell into a coma during childbirth and didn’t open her eyes for eighteen months. In the midst of all the uncertainty and chaos, Carlos’ father turned to alcohol and abandoned his family. Carlos and his younger brother were then taken to live with relatives in another part of the country. Carlos can still remember crying every day.

Carlos had turned six by the time his mom came out of the coma. When he finally got to see her, she didn’t know who he was, nor could she walk or talk. Yet, Carlos made a bold statement that day. He said that he would never leave his mother again . . . and by then, everyone knew that he was a boy with “responsible” stamped all over his head.

With no other options, this little family of three was taken to a church to live. They received the help of well-wishers along the way, but it was Carlos who cooked, fetched water and took care of his mother and brother’s daily needs. In time Grace began to crawl and slowly learned to talk. Carlos scrubbed her legs, cut her nails and helped her pronounce sounds. He will tell you, “I don’t know why I loved my mother so much but I did. And when I struggled, she would always encourage me to trust God and tell me nothing is ever permanent.”

By the time Carlos was eleven, he had been in and out of school. Education hadn’t been the top priority. Survival had been. It was then that we heard about this remarkable family and so our journey with them began. Both boys were put in school and their EWT social worker became like a father to them.

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Carlos recently told us that being selected for the Child Sponsorship Program was the turning point of their lives. It was when the dead ends that seemed so permanent finally came to an end.

As we talk to Carlos today, he has just graduated from high school. Looking back, he says that he could never get over all the opportunities he has had, or have enough gratitude for his sponsors for giving him the love and support that changed his life.

We are so proud of the strength and character in this young man, and thankful that he has discovered the potential that God put in him, Throughout his school years, he was always chosen to be the captain of his grade and during his senior year, he lead his school’s debate team. They placed second in the entire Northern Region of the country, opening up the opportunity for him to travel.

Today, he is serving as our intern as he awaits to begin to study social work at the university. While studying, he plans to do hospital ministry where his mother lay in a coma. He told us, “I want to give hope to those who have lost hope. I want to tell them ‘God is great! He can change things! I am a living testimony!’”

Betty McLelland