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Day Seven: Reclaiming the Slums



  • January 23, 2013
Vernon Brewer

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Katwe, Uganda | Evah Mugerwa, affectionately known as “Mama Evah,” is on a mission to reclaim one of Uganda’s most notorious slums.

The streets of Katwe are littered with garbage, raw sewage . . . and orphans—children who have either lost their parents to crime, AIDS, or have been abandoned by their distressed caretakers.

It’s a desperate situation. But Evah and her late husband, John Michael, looked beyond the crisis and saw an opportunity—the opportunity to serve and to be Jesus on the ground to thousands of children who would otherwise be forgotten.

Mama Evah

Evah has invested her life in building Destiny Children’s Home, a safe haven for 1,500 children—1,300 of whom have been orphaned or abandoned. In fact, 80 percent of Destiny’s children have been affected in some way by the AIDS crisis.

The remaining 200 live in the surrounding community, but come to Destiny daily to receive an education, a hot meal, and to hear about God’s love for them. The gift of sponsorship is transforming the lives of so many children, giving them a future to look forward to . . . a future full of hope and opportunity.

The campus of Destiny is expanding to accommodate the vision John Michael left behind for a better, more hopeful Uganda. Despite the loss of her dear husband and partner in ministry, Evah’s faith is strong, and her resolve to continue serving children is truly inspiring. Her passion to invest in Uganda’s next generation is reclaiming the slums of Katwe and restoring the future for hundreds.

Today, as we drove through the entrance to Destiny’s campus, we were welcomed by smiling children wearing fresh school uniforms instead of rags.

Here’s a video clip of their warm welcome:

Watch Welcome to Destiny on Vimeo.

We celebrated the opening of an on-campus medical clinic generously provided by World Help supporter Doris Wurzbach. The clinic is fully stocked with thousands of dollars of medical supplies funded by our donors—a great start for a facility that will literally save hundreds of lives every year through preventative medicine alone.

Dedicating medical clinic provided by Doris Wurzbach

Then we were introduced to 15 babies that Evah and her team rescued from the Katwe slums as a part of Operation Baby Rescue.

Extreme poverty and widespread hopelessness has forced many young mothers to abandon their newborn babies out of desperation. Evah often opens her door to find a small bundle that has been left during in the night.

With help from her dedicated staff, Evah saves lives every day. Shortly before we arrived, she had found a baby left to die on a sand pile by the side of the road. It was a sober reminder of just how great the needs are here.

New baby rescue center provided by Good Hope BC

Two buildings provided by Keith Vaughn and the congregation of Good Hope Baptist will serve the needs of the Destiny’s Baby Rescue Center . . . giving these young children a second chance at life.

Here’s a video clip of Evah and the babies of Destiny’s Operation Baby Rescue program.

Watch Operation Baby Rescue: Uganda on Vimeo.

Despite the overwhelming obstacles of poverty, Evah is a hero to thousands of children, the mother they never had.

I am convinced that God can change any life. I see it every day . . . even in the most desperate circumstances. Today, the forgotten orphans of Katwe’s slums are being given a new destiny—one of possibility and hope.

Thank you, Mama Evah.

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