On this Fourth of July weekend, I would like to share the story of my new friend, Wilson Agaba of Uganda, who has a green card and lives in Oregon.He has been in America for two years. He was born during the violent regime of Idi Amin. He was born into a society where hope and love were as rare as a snowflake on the equator in Africa.
So how do I know Wilson Agaba? Wilson visited my blog — The Village Smith — a couple of months ago. Out of curiosity, I visited his blog called “Storing Hope”. As sometimes happens, we became a mutual admiration society of two and became followers, and then friends, of each other.
The history of Uganda is written in blood, especially the blood of innocents. It is the story of families uprooted and pulled apart. It is the story of child soldiers, factions fighting and killing, and a government now under Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who has slowed down the violence to a point.. But life in Uganda has never been easy.
Wilson Agaba was two years old when Idi Amin was forced to flee into exile in 1979, leaving behind a collapsed economy and infrastructure, and a society reeling from eight years of violence and death.The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated by international observers and human rights groups to range from 100,000 to 500,000. (Wikipedia). The exact number will never be known. Idi Amin died in 2003.
But in spite of it all, let me share with you the extraordinary hope in the heart of one Ugandan individual who came to America — Wilson Agaba. The following is his story, in his own words, from his blog “Storing Hope”.
Wilson Agaba: from “Storing Hope”:
I was born in a poor family. When I reached five years old, my mother separated from my father and left me to live with him. My mother was a poor woman and she used to live in a small house! I used to cry with her, when I saw her living in such a poor house, I used to think that one day maybe the animals would come and grab her from that little house.
I faced many challenges during that time. Then I started living with my aunt, and my life was still hard because she used to treat me badly, but I had no option. So I decided to make the best of it by giving her love and taking care of her. Throughout my life I did that, I gave my love even when I was treated badly.
When I reached seven years old, I started visiting my mother, and she started teaching me how to love. She encouraged me to create more friends, she said that the friends will help me in future, and she taught me that love is the only solution in all. I promised my mother that I will teach people about love and I promised her I would create friends as she encouraged me to do.
When I grew up I started seeking for friends on websites, and I met some very good friends who taught a lot about love. One of them, David Truman, became my teacher and helped me so much.
I started teaching love in schools and communities in Uganda, because Uganda is a country which needs love. People are doing selfish things like kidnapping, fighting, stealing. Parents are not responsible to their families etc. If you love someone, that would stop you from being mean to someone.
I used to tell people that love heals; love brings joy, teamwork and compassion. We all need love and we all feel love. People were so happy because all people were thirsty for love. I saw people change because of love.
I always praise my mother for the wonderful work she did for me, to teach me the importance of love. And I am eternally grateful to David Truman for showing me what true love is, and how to love people well. I now live with good friends, and I am learning more about love everyday.
The name “Agaba” means “giver”:
When I was born my parents gave me only one name, Agaba. It means giver. My daddy named me Agaba, meaning “giver,” because both of [my parents] were not expecting to have another kid. So that it was a gift from God. When my daddy shared with me this story I cried tears.
Wilson singing with friemds at a community dinner in Brandon
How Wilson got his name:
When I was young, in my community we had an old man called Wilson who was kind and friendly to everyone. He had a garden of sugarcane and he was always allowing me to go and have the sugarcane I want from his garden.
He told me that whenever I want sugarcane do not hesitate to go in his garden and pick them.
He was so kind to each individual, I used to spend much time sharing with him about my problems, and he used to pay attention to me and gave me good advise how to be strong no matter how hard life is. And I was inspired to be like him, because he was a good man.
In Africa most of the people have one African name and one English name, but for me I had only an African name! When I reached eleven years old, I decided to have an English name. I went to the Church and asked the priest to baptize me with the name Wilson. I chose his name because he was an amazing man, and I loved his generosity and kindness. That’s the reason I decided Wilson to be my name.
Wilson Agaba – Serving on Thanksgiving Day this year in Brandon
I keep in touch with many people in Uganda on the phone and e-mail and they are really doing great. I have four schools and three communities to serve, and they are really doing a great work there. I spend a lot of time sharing with them about love and commitment. Also they are helping each other in may ways.
Wilson’s Attitude — America Could Learn a Lot from Him
Wilson’s attitude of love and forgiveness, even in adversity, could give our divided nation a new lease on life. The family of the victims in Charleston, SC, exhibited this Christ-like attitude, and have been a beacon of light to others. Wilson says most of the world’s problems comes from selfishness. And I so agree. Jesus demonstrated that His selfLESSness could heal a world of sin. Surely such an attitude of the heart can heal a nation.
Wilson’s Fourth of July: Email to me: