Emmanuel didn’t do well at school, so he dropped out. He worked occasionally as a labourer on people’s farms, but couldn’t hold down any job for more than three months due to his problems with alcohol.
At one stage he joined a fish farming association. To begin with, he enjoyed working there because the salary was good; but he started getting sick due to the toxic chemicals he was working with. Whenever he became sick and missed work, they would cut his payment. “I had no choice but to keep working. I was the one supporting my family and my elderly mum.”
Even though he had health issues, he never stopped drinking and smoking. “Alcohol was the only way of escaping my pain and sorrow.”
After his mother passed away and he became seriously sick, he decided to quit. “They didn’t care that my mother had passed away. I’d asked for a loan for her funeral arrangements, and they refused to give me one because I had a huge unpaid debt.”
He didn’t know what else to do since he wasn’t skilled enough for other professions. His five years working on the fish farm had left him with serious health complications.
He had been bedridden for over two weeks when he started dreaming of people praying for him. The dreams occurred many times, even though Emmanuel was not a believer at the time.
GLO’s partner United Citizens for Change and Development (UCCD) organised an outreach. They would visit people in their homes and preach the Gospel. They visited Emmanuel at his house and prayed for his healing. They also led him to Christ.
He later decided to join the Friends Church, which advised him to join a microloans group, but he was hesitant due to his troubles with previous lenders. “I’d decided never to join a microloan group again,” said Emmanuel.
That was three years ago. He’s a member of the “Nter’iteka” (meaning: Let’s edify one another) microloan group. His group rents land and farm crops. It is now the harvest season; he is happy he has enough to feed his family. He was also able to profit from their monthly savings, which has allowed him to buy two goats.
“The most exciting thing is that I gained another family. They care for me and my well-being. We meet weekly for prayers,” shared Emmanuel.
With the help of UCCD, Emmanuel has experienced both spiritual and physical transformation. He thanks God for healing him and giving him a purpose to live.