Success cannot simply be defined in terms of wealth, achievement or fame.
The Oxford dictionary describes success as “The accomplishment of an aim or purpose.” This says to me that success can look differently to each individual person and for someone who grew up in abject poverty, any and all positives in life could be seen as success. Having food to eat and a roof over your head can be success. Having a family can be success, just waking up still breathing can be a success.
If simply living and breathing and having provision is success, then how much more is it if you not only gain those things for yourself but can you can be the catalyst in providing those things for others? I think that’s more than success, that’s profound victory!
Nankabirwa Tendo Kambugu, is a Mother, a Wife, a Minister of Religion and a Provider to many parentless children. Nankabirwa’s story is not all that uncommon in Ughanda, but for those of us in the Western world, it’s unthinkable.
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“Unlike many other Children” she tells us “I experienced a difficult start in my Life, I never had the opportunity of having the Love of a Mother or a Father. They abandoned me as a Child.” Nankabirwa was raised by her Grandmother, in a little mud house in a poor village called Mubende. Her grandmother’s generosity in taking her in, could not be matched with her ability to give her everything she needed, for she had very little to give, even the poor called her poor. “She struggled everyday to see that she could put food on the table for us.”
Her grandmother did the best she could to take care of her but without money, all she could provide were the bare necessities. Nankabirwa was never able to attend school because there was no money for books or even shoes to wear and healthcare was something they could only dream about. “When I was 14, my grandmother suffered pneumonia, not having or being able to afford proper medical care, she grew weaker and passed on. The only Person I knew was gone.”
A New Hope
Left alone to fend for herself, her only option was to go to the Capital City, Kampala in search of work as a house maid, but it was all in vain as she could not find anyone to take her on. “I went to Christ is the King healing Church to seek refuge, it’s there where I sank into the Gospel, learned more about Jesus’ love and my hope was restored.”
While she served the Lord, singing in the Choir, helping out as an Usher, sweeping and cleaning the Church and toilets, she met Pastor James Kambugu. “A great relationship was built between us that led to him proposing, asking for my hand in Marriage. I said yes, we got Married and then we together later started a Church.”
The Beginning Of Hope For Many
This new found life and love Nankabirwa found, made her feel very fortunate and it wasn’t just her life that was changed for the better. “My first adopted girl I got from one lady that I used to stay with before I met Pastor James. When that lady got sick she asked me that ‘if I die, please stay with my baby girl’ so I stayed with Winfred from 3 years old when that lady died.”
Growing up very poor and finding hope and help through church and Pastor James, made Nankabirwa feel great empathy for others in the same or similar situations. “When I met Pastor James, we went into the village to minister together but we found that in that village there where many kids who were not going to school. I asked my husband what we could do to help the kids in this village so we started to think about that.”
It was 2010 and at that time Nankabirwa’s husband had an American pastor that was donating $150 per month to them. They began using those funds to help kids from very poor families. There were 13 in total, 7 of them were orphans. “Today we run a Children’s Ministry that is reaching out to help Vulnerable, Orphaned and Destitute Children. Over the years we’ve seen many lives transformed and impacted. We haven’t been doing this alone though, it’s all been possible with the help of our Facebook Friends, Partners and Sponsors.”
Today they have 4 adopted children and 3 biological children of their own, along with 72 children in the ministry, ranging in ages from 4 years to 17 years. A lot of the children have poor single Mothers or their parents have died from various diseases, including AIDS or been killed due to persecution.
Nankabirwa and her husband Ps. James Kambugu run the childrens ministry with a handful of teachers, alongside their ministry ‘Kingdom Lighters Ministries’ which seeks to not only protect these children but provide the education that many of us in the western world take for granted.
Doing good can often be met with opposition from the darker elements of this harsh world we live in. Nankabirwa and her husband have had more than their fair share of persecution. All three of Nankabirwa’s pregnancies have been difficult, seeing her ending up in hospital all three times with high blood pressure and emergency c-sections. Another time she was poisoned by witch doctors in the area for providing spiritual healing to those who had visited with the witch doctors.
Last year, their ministry and orphanage was moved off the land they were leasing, forcing them to leave behind half-built amenities which they’d recently received funding for. They were given just 3 months to find an alternative and by a miracle they were able to purchase their own land, through the generous donations made by long term supporters of the ministry. Over the following 6 months or so, they were also able to finish the buildings they required to house the orphans and provide education.
How You Can Help
Whilst they were fortunate to be able to purchase land for their school building and some amenities, they are still trying to find funds to purchase land to plant and grow their own vegetables so they can have a regular supply of food to feed the children. Costs for the children’s care is an ongoing issue. The number of children needing a safe place to live and a chance at an education and a better life, grows every day and it’s only through the generous donations of people like you and I, that ministries like these can keep operating and making a difference in the world.
You can help Nankabirwa and Pastor James Kambugu change children’s lives in such a profound way by making a donation to their ministry. Every single cent is a blessing and helps to give a child hope. Hope in the future and in a better life than the one they have experienced so far. Even if all you have is $5, $10 or $20, it can make a massive impact on a little child’s life, giving them basic human needs and the education that can mean the difference between a continued life of poverty and a happy, healthy future for themselves and their families.
You can make a donation to Kingdom Lighters Ministries through this GoFundMe link https://www.gofundme.com/kingdom-lighters-ministry-uganda or directly through Paypal here http://bit.ly/Donate2KingDomLightersMiNiStries
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