Spotlight on Staff: Thomas Ojok (COTN–Uganda)

09/24/08

Thomas Ojok, better known as “Uncle Thomas,” lives in a Children of the Nations’ orphanage in Lira, Uganda with twenty-nine orphaned children. Thomas is there nearly all hours of the day, every day of the week. “They can come to me with any need,” he explains with a proud smile. His position as “Uncle” (a live-in houseparent) is one of great influence, and he serves as a parent and friend to the children.

Thomas was born in Dokolo District in 1984 as the youngest of ten children. He moved to Lira in 2001 to attend secondary school. After finishing only two years, though, his elder brother that had been assisting him with his education expenses could no longer do so. Unfortunately, Thomas’ family did not share his philosophy on the importance of education.

As an Uncle with COTN, Thomas has been able to continue his pursuit of higher education. He recently achieved a certificate in Project Planning & Management, and plans to next obtain a certificate in Strategy Procurement & Logistic Management.

Most of all, though, Thomas believes that Children of the Nations is a God-given ministry, and he is thankful that doing God’s work has helped develop his spiritual talents. “Before COTN, I could not implement my dream of showing God’s love to others,” Thomas recounts. Now, though, he expresses God’s love on a daily basis to twenty-nine orphans affected by Uganda’s brutal civil war. In desperate need of love, these children allow Thomas to finally fulfill his dream.

Working for COTN was not Thomas’ idea, however. While volunteering for the organization, the COTN staff and counselors saw his unique characteristics and his compassion for children and asked him to join their staff. He officially joined the COTN–Uganda staff in November of 2007, and has served as an Uncle since that time. Thomas realizes that COTN doesn’t just provide the children with good care. “It has brought them hope and leadership skills, so that they might be leaders of tomorrow.”

Thomas loves being an Uncle with COTN, but God has placed an even greater desire in his heart. When God calls him, Thomas will embark to share the love of Christ on a much grander scale. “I will embrace as many nations as God will lead me to,” he vows. “This is my dream.”
Until that day comes, though, Uncle Thomas will continue to demonstrate God’s love to his twenty-nine nieces and nephews—no doubt leaving a living legacy that will spread Christ’s love to more people than one man could ever hope to touch.