My name is Okello Emmanuel, l am a resident of Adekwok sub county, Boke parish, Opwakere village in lira district and l am married to one Christian wife with 9 children (4 boys and 5 girls). As I look back over the past years of my life, I realize what an amazing amount of transformation I’ve experienced. I wanted to share my story with you in hopes that at least one person out there would read it and nd the encouragement and inspiration they need in order to become the person they were truly meant to be. Here’s my story:
After years of being a boda boda cyclist (bicycle rider), I was able to save some money which l used to construct my first house and marry my wife traditionally. In 2000, my bicycle got a mechanical problem which was beyond repair and l couldn’t continue with the business, taking care of my family became a challenge since l had nothing to do that could earn me money. I decided to try my hand at farming but soon I realized that even though I deeply loved to farm, the food I harvested was not enough for my entire family. With a family of 11 members that is 9 children, my wife and I, I realized l had lost myself somewhere in between. I no longer had an identity. Who was I? Did I have a purpose outside being a father? I felt completely drained, used up and hopeless.
Whenever l could see other children going to school, my depression would become deeper. I felt terribly disappointed and angry at the way life was unfair to me.My emotions had begun to manifest themselves physically. I would get angry at any little thing and would decide to keep quiet for days without talking to anyone in my family.
Then one Sunday my wife asked me to accompany her to church so that l could seek refuge in the lord, l was not interested but l just accepted to make her happy. She was sure I needed some time with God.
During the service, the pastor kept talking about a training that was going to be conducted at church in the nearby future and he urged all church members to attend because the training was going to teach us how to get out of poverty.
After arriving back home, I ignored what the pastor had said and continued with my day to day activities, my situation became worse, l got desperate and started selling part of the land that l had. I became a laughing stock amongst the community members.
During this trying moment, the words the pastor had said in church kept ringing in my head, l was compelled to run to the pastor for emotional assistance. He welcomed me and encouraged me keep coming to church to fellowship with others and to attend the Church and Community Transformation Training.
A few days later l attended the training and I finally found what I had been searching for, a greater purpose in life, an identity, a creative outlet to express my true self, a way to spread a message of hope and love to humanity. I left like l had attracted what I was ready to receive. My depression was no more and this was my healing. During the training, our pastor asked us to come up with work plans indicating clearly what each one of us was going to do to transform economically. I decided that l would start making bricks for sale and use part of them to construct a permanent house. I have made a lot of money from selling bricks which has enabled me to construct a permanent house, take back my children to school, buy two pigs and two bulls and a plough which helps at the farm.
One of my daughters also attended the training and from the knowledge she got she has been able to make bricks and construct a permanent house for herself though she is not married. Finally l would like to thank our pastor, PAG and the CCT facilitators for having given us a second chance to live a good life.
God bless you all!