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Uganda: once a slave, now a student

Joseph Mutabula's story bears more than a passing resemblance to his namesake in the Old Testament – and he now faces a future offering hope rather than fear.

Because the biblical account of Joseph is so much like his own life, Joseph Mutabula loves it. A special calling has overcome his mistreatment as a suffering child.

"We believe every person is made by God and for His purpose. Cruelty and slavery are evil," explains Siloam Christian Ministries UK Director Richard Norton.

"But seeing how just one abused orphan like Joseph can have his life turned around proves what our on-the-ground Childcare Worldwide (CCW) partners are achieving."

Genocide in Rwanda marred Joseph’s early life. His mother hid him and escaped with him to Uganda but soon died. As a seven-year old boy, he was enslaved by an uncle and forced to do heavy farm labour. Subjected to beatings since he did not convert to his uncle’s faith, Joseph ran away. His destination was a city where he lived in the street with other destitute orphans.

On the streets of Masaka, God reached out and changed Joseph’s life forever.

"Our team members found him and brought him to our children’s home," notes Dr Max Lange of CCW. "There he joined our Ugandan Kids’ Choir and his leadership skills soon became apparent."

Now Joseph has matured into a student who excels in his Social Work courses at Kampala University. His vision is to help the poor of Uganda.

"My favourite Bible story is Joseph! He lived in a foreign land without family, but God used him anyway," he says. "I only hope that I too can make a good impact."

While this encourages Christians to persevere, many children on the streets remain at risk of dying.

"That is why rescuing them becomes a matter of urgency," emphasises Richard Norton. "The CCW Ugandan Kids’ Choir blesses people in North America – and their support enables other children to turn their lives around."

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