The man on the left is Emma. He is 25 years old. Emma went to school to be a nurse and then began his career at a local hospital. While at work he encountered many women who would plead with him to perform abortions or ask where they could go for an abortion. Although abortion is illegal in Uganda it still happens–often unsafely and for monetary gain. Unfortunately, women who become pregnant out of wedlock in this country do not have a lot of options…they can no longer attend school, their boyfriends usually reject them, and their families often disown them. Even the women who are raped and become pregnant are not supported by their families. Feeling burdened and overwhelmed by this problem, Emma decided to do something about it. Being newly married and trying to get his own career going, he took a huge leap of faith and opened a pregnancy clinic for unwed mothers.
He and his wife provide all types of care for these women–physical, emotional, and spiritual. Emma sees to all their pre-natal needs and even delivers many of their babies right there in his small clinic. He also offers other medical services to the community such as family planning, AIDS testing and counseling, and gynecological care. Because many of their patients have nowhere else to go they end up living with Emma and his wife in their small 2 room home. Emma now works two jobs in order to help keep the clinic financially afloat. He and his wife currently have 7 women living in their home…this includes 3 teenage girls they took off the streets.
Emma even continues to minister to the women after their children are born, holding bible studies for them and providing them with ongoing medical care. He assists them in getting back in school or finding alternate means to support themselves. There are times when Emma and his wife go without their own basic necessities in order to help fund the clinic and help women in need. This is a man who is truly living out Matthew 16:24. “If anyone would come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” If you were to ask Emma he would tell you it’s not about him, but about God working through him. He is a compassionate, hardworking, humble servant.
A few months ago a woman under Emma’s care went into early labor with twins and required an emergency c-section. Because Emma did not have the money at his disposal he immediately contacted Yvonne, my assistant principal, here in the States. She sent out an email and some text messages and had the money rounded up quickly and wired it to Emma. It was about $500 American dollars. Not much in the grand scheme of things but it saved this woman’s life and the lives of her sons.
The thing that impacted me the most is that Emma is just one young man but look at the lasting effct he is having on his community. He has chosen a life of hardship in order to invest fully into others around him. He is seeking out the hopeless and offering them hope. And help. Very real help. If you are interested in helping this clinic, feel free to ask me about it…I am happy to tell you more. If you want to go ahead and make a financial contribution, please visit www.engagehope.org to make a donation. Make sure you specifically note that you would like your gift to go toward the Pregnancy Center in Uganda.
Thanks for reading!