Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 17 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Mariana of Jesus
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

The Church in Uganda: “God saved me from alcoholism.”

UGANDA; AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED

AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED

Hope Mafaranga - published on 02/08/19

Catholic missionaries helped turn this mother of five's life around.

54-year old Jessica Nansubuga, a Ugandan mother of five, lives with her family in Katanga, one of the biggest slums in Uganda’s capital of Kampala. For years, she struggled with her addiction to alcohol.

Today, she credits the Church with her sobriety. She told her story to Aid to the Church in Need:

I was so addicted to alcohol that I would neglect my children; I also engaged in risky sexual behavior. I could hardly fall sleep without gin; I sold everything we had so I could buy more alcohol; my husband left me because of my addiction.

Living in a slum only made my situation worse and my family more vulnerable. My children dropped out of school and started working as porters. I didn’t care about whether or not they had eaten; all I cared about was drinking. I even had sex in exchange for alcohol; most of the time, I was drunk and didn’t know who I was sleeping with. Nothing else mattered.

In August of 2016, I became sick and lost weight rapidly. I assumed that it was a result of overdrinking and a poor diet, but I had actually contracted HIV/AIDS. I hated myself, and at one point I considered suicide.

That is when local health workers urged me to stop drinking and referred me to the Serenity Center, a rehabilitation clinic that was started by Catholic missionaries to treat alcohol and drug abuse in the community.

There, before I began my antiretroviral treatment to treat HIV/AIDS, I was counseled by a Catholic priest named Father Richard Kyazze. Brother Emmanuel Mubangizi, the Center’s executive director, encourages all HIV-positive addicts to return to Christ and pray for the Virgin Mary’s intervention.

We struggled to stop drinking, but the Church was on our side and helped bring about our full recovery. Most Center employees are Catholic, and they educated us about living in harmony with spiritual principles, even as they respected our own views. We also learned about the many dangers of alcohol, including domestic violence, liver disease, cancer, and an increased risk of HIV exposure.

I continue to benefit from the Center programs—like regular counseling and psychiatric evaluation, family education, detoxification, and post-treatment programs—which have reunited me with my family.

What’s more, some of us have been trained to become a tailor, cook, or how to work with computers so that we can support ourselves and more easily rejoin society.

Thanks to the Church’s intervention, my life has been restored, and I am able to fix what went wrong at home as a result of my drinking.

***

In 2017, Aid to the Church in Need supported the Church in Uganda with programs totaling some $1.3M. To help their mission visit ACN’s website here.

Tags:
AfricaChristians in Africa
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
2
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
3
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
4
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
6
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for strength
7
COUPLE
Cerith Gardiner
7 Joys to be had from a lengthy marriage
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.