“I could not leave my own children. How would our family legacy live on?”
In 2010 Alfonsio had a decision to make after his wife died due to complications at childbirth. Would he walk away, or would he commit to a life of loving and providing for his children?
Motivated by a desire to leave behind a legacy, for him the answer was easy. He would stay.
Alfonsio learned at a young age what it looks like to work hard to make ends meet. When he was younger and living in Kitgum (northern Uganda), he came down with an infection that took him out of school indefinitely. His grandfather taught him how to dig to help provide for the family, and little did Alfonsio know, this would be his life-long vocation. Even when you visit his home today, the first thing you see when you walk up is a bountiful maize garden.
But despite loving his work as a farmer, Alfonsio longed for a different life for his children. He works hard and has overcome many obstacles, even life-threatening situations, so that his children can have what he always dreamed of—an education.
When his third oldest child was just three years old, rebels invaded his home and held his son’s hand over a fire. This was done as a message to his father that they were coming for him next. Alfonsio didn’t need any other warnings and quickly relocated his family to Jinja. “When we came to Jinja, there were no longer sounds of gunshots in the distance. My only worries became food and school fees,” Alfonsio shares, relief written all over his face as real as the day they arrived to freedom.
He quickly began farming his land and trusted God for the outcome. While his yields were enough to put food on the table, they weren’t enough to cover school fees for his three children, Francis, Josephine, and Marvin. Around this time, Alfonsio’s family was introduced to the work of Amazima and the generosity of our partners.
“My children will represent me when my life comes to an end. I want them to have learned loyalty, hard work, and what faith in God looks like from me. Thanks to Amazima, I am able to work hard to provide for them and be a good father. I am not ashamed of not being able to pay their school fees anymore, I am grateful that God has blessed our family abundantly through miracles like Amazima.”
Because it’s not common for fathers to play such an active role in their children’s lives in Uganda, Alfonsio’s love for his family has caused a ripple effect throughout the community. “I talk to my children a lot about God. I open my bible with them. I pray with them. I have taught other families that live around us to do the same with their children.”
Today, Marvin, Josephine, and Francis are all prefects (leaders in the student body) in their classes. Not surprisingly, they lead with the same love their father has led them with their entire lives. “What I love most about my father is that he isn’t afraid of asking for forgiveness as well as forgiving others. He is constantly showing our family and others love and humility,” Josephine beams proudly.
Poverty could have told a different story about this family, but poverty doesn’t have the final say. God does. Not only will Alfonsio leave behind a legacy of love that points his family to an eternity with Christ, he will leave behind children who are educated, discipled, and equipped to live fully for God’s glory.
To fathers everywhere who have committed to love and provide for your families to the best of your ability, we salute you. May your legacy live on through riches money can’t buy.
Give a gift today that will allow more fathers in Uganda to see their children fed, educated, and discipled in the name of Christ.