God Opens Doors: Emmanuel’s Story

10/29/14

“I was more of a herdsman than a child,” Emmanuel says of his life before Children of the Nations (COTN). Orphaned at age six when his father succumbed to a month-long illness, Emmanuel was sent to live with his uncle and aunt in their village in Uganda

 
The young boy was given the task of caring for his uncle’s cows—a job that required rising at six o’clock in the morning and staying out late into the night. Fearing physical punishment, Emmanuel was often forced to skip meals to search for an animal that had gone missing—a problem that occurred almost daily. 
 
Before coming into COTN's child sponsorship program, Emmanuel spent his days in
Before coming into COTN's child sponsorship program, Emmanuel spent his days in the fields, tending his uncle's cattle.
 
For a friendly, outgoing boy like Emmanuel, it was lonely, thankless work, made even lonelier by the fact that his uncle and aunt encouraged him not to attend school or spend time playing with other children because animals would become lost in his absence. In order to clean himself, Emmanuel had to sneak into his sister’s house to take a piece of soap. No one checked on him when he missed meals, even if he was sick. “I looked almost like a mad child and there was no cause to laugh or smile,” Emmanuel remembers. 
 
Now, thanks to his generous sponsors, all that has changed. Emmanuel came into COTN’s child sponsorship program in 2009, after his father’s friend, who was on a COTN construction team, mentioned Emmanuel’s situation to the staff. Two months later, Emmanuel moved into our Uganda Children’s Homes
 
Now, thanks to his sponsors, Emmanuel goes to school each day instead of working
                 Now, thanks to his sponsors, Emmanuel goes to school each day instead of working in the fields.
 
At his home, Emmanuel has friends to play with and a house mother to care for him. The staff cares about his hygiene and pay attention to his academics—a marked improvement on his uncle’s disinterest. And rather than being insulted and punished for making a mistake, Emmanuel experiences loving rebukes that begin with prayer and kindness. Emmanuel is learning the importance of forgiveness and repentance, especially when it comes to being obedient—a trait he thinks is vital to his future.  
 
At COTN's Children's Home, Emmanuel has friends to play with and a house mother
               At COTN's Children's Home, Emmanuel has friends to play with and a house mother to care for him.
 
“I have learned that God opens doors where there seems to be no way,” Emmanuel states. School is one of these previously impossible areas for Emmanuel; before joining COTN, he thought about living on the streets, abandoning his education altogether for the sake of gaining a small amount of freedom. Now, he’s thinking of becoming an electrical engineer. His hope is to bring electricity to the rural areas of Uganda so that villagers as well as city dwellers can access power.
 
Help a child like Emmanuel achieve his dreams. Sponsor a child today!