Orphan population continues to grow in Africa

Bishop Kasango reached out to those in need

By Jeff McCoy

Protestant Bishop Samuel Kasango has witnessed hardship and war, felt hunger and knows the pain of losing family members and loved ones. He grew up without a father and watched his mother struggle to keep him and his siblings safe and fed. It was a world of hopelessness and despair.

“It goes back to my mother, to see how she struggled to care for me and so that brought me to know that there are people who really cry for care. They cry for help. The war, and then we had that HIV, AIDS that struck every family. I lost five of my siblings, three sisters, and two brothers, and this left us with children to care for,” Bishop Kasango said.

He was determined to find a different way of life. “I became a Christian in 1986. I remember very well the day,” Bishop Kasango said. As he walked into the streets in Uganda with his new found faith he was overwhelmed with how much need there was.

“The country right now is in a very great need. We are an extended family in Africa, it’s about the community,” Bishop Kasango said. He had a two-room house and decided he would give what little he had to God.

“That’s when I began to preach the Gospel,” Bishop Kasango said. Homeless people, starving children, and those fleeing war and starvation began coming to hear his message of hope and salvation.

“So I ended up with seven people but then at the time of eating there would be like 60 because many would come in for meals and then go. We were mostly eating one kind of food and that was mostly corn, flour from corn. That was the cheapest to have around. We were living by miracles. We were able to survive,” Bishop Kasango said.

He started a church in an unfinished building. “We have buildings there helping single mothers to acquire (a trade)” Bishop Kasango said. The young women learned tailor work so they could find a job to get out of poverty. “We realized people want to have families but poverty is a problem.” His mission would continue to grow.

“Last year God touched me to become a father to the children that had been thrown away. So I said ‘okay, I’ll do that Lord’. I cried because I didn’t know how this could (work),” Bishop Kasango said. The mayor of the town asked if the bishop could help with the orphans that were coming into the town and searching for food at the trash dump. He did more than just have a meal and then send them back out into a very dangerous world.

“I want to be a father to them. I want them to have a father figure because I know how it was to struggle when you don’t have any father in your life because I lived through that process and I understood it,” Bishop Kasango said.

His father died when he was a young child.  “I can’t remember (when),” Bishop Kasango said. That loss would weigh heavy on him for his entire life.

“I had no relationship with a father. I began to pray that God would become my father and teach me to be a father. So when I say I want to be a father to these people that was God giving back and then today many people call me father, papa, papa,” Bishop Kasango said.

So he began bringing children in. “There are 20 children there,” Bishop Kasango said. Then more would come. One day, while he and the children were in church, the orphanage was robbed. They took everything including the mattresses that the children slept on.

 

 

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