Revelation Life has been working in slum communities in and around Kampala for over 5 years now, and during this time we have met literally hundreds of amazing men, women and children. However, most of you will have have only ever heard second hand accounts about these truly incredible people. As such, we wanted to give some of our friends the chance to tell their stories to a wider audience first hand. Every story like this one that we publish will be with the expressed permission of the people you meet.
The first is a man called Davidson, a 45 year-old civil engineer with a brilliant testimony who lives in Kasubi with his wife and 5 children.
I am Davidson Oyo. I am married to Margaret and we have five children called Daniel, William, Davidson, Silivia and Veronica. I am a professional civil engineer, working in building construction and road construction. I was born on April 24th 1969 into an army barracks in Mbuya. My father was a sergeant stationed in Israel during Idi Amin’s reign. When the regime was overthrown in 1979 we moved to our family town of Tororo.
As a young boy I was very cheeky, often stealing food from my friends and siblings’ plates at dinner, and then pretending not to be hurt when my mother would discipline me. My friends and I used to play regularly in the banana plantation that grew nearby and enjoyed trapping white ants (termites) to cook and eat. One night we were returning home from a successful hunt when someone approached us and unexpectedly threw a live cat at us! We did not know what it was, so dropped our ants and ran away scared. The next day one of our friend confessed to what he had done, and returned the ants to us while laughing and re-enacting our actions from the night before.
When I was still quite young my mother died, and I was sent to live with my grandmother as my stepmother mistreated me. As a result of this mistreatment I decided that I would endeavour to help other people whenever possible. In recent years, my stepmother has been ill and when she has called me for help, I have obliged wherever I could.
I first remember seeing a Mzungu (white man) at the age of 13. His name was Father John and my own father worked as a carpenter for him. At the time I was studying in primary school and I remember he bought me some books and pencils to work with. Some children used to fear white people, and some babies in Uganda do even today but I was not scared and he was very kind to me.
In 1985 I went to study at the technical institute, where I became a qualified civil engineer. Since then I have worked with several firms in different capacities. However, on the second of February 2013 my life took a turn for the worse when I had a stroke while at work, which left me paralyzed on my left side. At that time I was working along the Mbarara-Kampala road in southwest Uganda as a road foreman in charge of bridges and culverts. I was taken for a medical checkup in Mengo Hospital where they conducted many tests, all of which came back negative. So I was referred to Mulago Hospital for a brain scan – it was normal. Later they discovered that I had had an Ischemic stroke, which had broken the nerves. I was referred to a clinic for further management, but the problem intensified before I could start. Later, due to the severity of my situation and the fact that I could no longer work, I was evicted from the house I was renting.
The report of my eviction spread and reached the ears of Revelation Life, who really wanted to know more about my condition and the events that had taken place. That was at the end of January 2014. Some brothers, including a gentleman called Ronnie, came to visit me in the church where I had taken refuge, and together we prayed for encouragement for my family and I. Shortly afterwards, Revelation Life helped me with medication, house rent and food; that kept my family and I alive. Later they introduced me to Reach Out Health Centre for ART (Antiretroviral Treatment) and TB treatment. Revelation Life still continues to assist me by paying for my transport to medical centres and my medical tests. I am undergoing treatment at a clinic and continue to grow stronger. Revelation Life gives me medical advice, and we have built up a concrete relationship that has strengthened my family so much that we are able to live in hope again.
I remember one evening the local church was having a night of worship, which I could hear from my bed. God told me very clearly that I was forgiven, and that I would be healed. He said I should go to the pastor who would pray for me. When I arrived he prayed for me and spoke the words of Psalm 35 over me (praising God despite difficult circumstances). As God had promised, my leg was healed and since then I have been able to stand and walk, though my arm is still paralyzed. I know that once I am fully healed, I want to build a church so that I can help more people.
I like to help people and my wife and I both grew up in families that liked to help people. We co-operate with our neighbours and share what we have though we feel like we should do more to help. There are many people around where we live that need help, though some refuse it, and some don’t even realize they are in need of help, turning instead to witchcraft.
I mentioned earlier that despite my stepmother treating me badly, I helped her when she needed it. Well since I was sick, she began to call me and ask after me, encouraging me as I regain strength. It has been wonderful to see how her heart has changed towards me through the kindness I showed her.
I’m so grateful to have a relationship with Revelation Life and thankful for the members who stand alongside my family. Thanks a lot.