Bringing people home is the reason that Pastor Andrew Wakabi gets up every morning. A loving husband, father of young children, graduate student and pastor of a growing church in Jin-ja, Uganda, Andrew has enough items on his plate to keep most men heads spin. But Andrew has a much larger vision for his life’s work…bringing people “home” to Christ Jesus.
In 2006, Andrew founded the Home Again Ministry. He discovered a need in the poverty stricken community of Masese on the outskirts of Jin-Ja, near his church. Masese is a close-knit community made of up society’s castaways. The population is mostly widows, single mothers, the destitute, the diseased and those without any perceived value to the world. These people gather and live in this community to avoid the heartache and ridicule that they experience in the surrounding neighborhoods.
As with most poor communities, there are few resources and opportunities to support a growing family. Unfortunately, it is common to see women with 4, 6 and sometimes 8 children in their home due to the profitability of prostitution. This community needed God’s love in the worst way.
In the beginning, Andrew’s ministry was difficult. Changing the hearts and minds of these proud, but uneducated people was no easy task. After a few years, he began to make headway and was able to establish several groups of women who met periodically to share God’s word and support each other.
In 2011, the inaugural Man Up team paid a visit to Pastor Andrew and the Home Again Ministry. The team spent a short time with the local women, sharing God’s love and the love of a Godly, earthly man. During this visit, an impactful bond was formed between Man Up and the Home Again Ministry.
During that time, Andrew shared his vision of opening a school for the children of Masese. His vision was to break the cycle of poverty and destructive life choices by introducing Christ’s love and a quality education at a young age. Up until this point, most of the children had never attended school because they couldn’t afford the school fees. If they could go to an area school, they were ridiculed or mocked because of their tribal affiliation.
A little more than a year later, with the help of Man Up, the Bethel Junior School became more than a vision by opening its doors to 60 bright, smiling nursery and preschool age children. The school was an instant success, except that it still only housed 20% of the school age children that were living in the area.
After several years of planning, teaching and growing, the Bethel Junior School now clothes, feeds, educates and loves 115 children ages 3-9. Every year another grade is added to keep the original class of children progressing in school. The partnership between Man Up and Home Again Ministry continues to be life changing for a large number of people, and we are excited about what God has planned for its future.