A Covenant Mercies Story: Mercy AmanyaOrphans+Uganda+Education+Sponsorship+Testimonies+Mapalo Scholarship Fund Doug Hayes
I will never forget Gladys, a woman I met on my very first visit to Uganda in 2002. She had lost her husband to AIDS, and was left to care for two small children though she was stricken with AIDS herself. My visits to Uganda would become frequent from this point forward, but I only got to see Gladys one more time in 2003 before she passed away, leaving her children in the care of her mother.
Gladys’ daughter, Mercy Amanya, was six years old at the time of her mother’s passing. As she was taken in by her grandmother, we were preparing to launch our Orphan Sponsorship Program in her community. By God’s grace, Mercy was among the 248 children who were sponsored as our program began in early 2003.
As Mercy grew up under the care of her grandmother, receiving an education that few grandmothers in such circumstances would be able to provide, the Lord blessed her efforts. When she graduated from Secondary School at the end of 2016, we had recently established our Mapalo Scholarship Fund to assist Sponsorship Program graduates with their higher-education pursuits. She applied and became one of our first Mapalo scholars. In the summer of 2022, Mercy made us all proud by graduating from Uganda Christian University with a degree in law.
Here are Mercy’s words, reflecting on her life:
By the time I started understanding, I was staying with my mother at home and she was sickly, I didn’t know she was living HIV positive. Life became [harder] each and every day, I stayed in a family of many people and sometimes we could go without food.
Unfortunately, she passed on in 2003 and a big gap in my life was created, leaving me and my brother to stay with [our grandmother]. When I got into the program I was in primary 2, and that’s how my new life started. I continued to stay with my grandmother because it was nearer to the [program] offices, to get immediate medical attention because I was sickly all the time, and getting severe asthma attacks. I stayed with her until I completed my primary level.
When joining my secondary level, I was admitted into one of the best schools in Tororo. This was something so great that had never happened in my life. I never stopped working hard, I never forgot about God, because my late mother introduced me, and made me know who God is, and the great things God can do. And he did that by bringing [Covenant Mercies]. I never stopped saying thank you God, because I knew it was Him since day one.
[I can testify that] he never forsakes His children. He answers prayers. His words are promises He keeps. He has been so good to me right from the early years of my life. I believe it was the timing of God because until now, I am still witnessing his goodness.
Isn’t it amazing to read Mercy’s words testifying to the goodness of God in her life? By any standard, her life has not been easy “right from the early years.” On the contrary, it’s been quite hard. However, what marks her outlook is not the hardship she has had to endure, but the merciful hand of God intervening to turn her mourning into dancing. Just as we hoped and expectantly prayed when we launched this ministry 20 years ago, we are now seeing tragedies turned into triumphs, and a generation of young people rising up to sing of God’s goodness. Here’s to the next 20 years!