This is a long story that is worth every second of your time!
Allow me to share brief testimony how Parental Care Ministries began,
In Jeremiah 1:4-5
"4 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
My name is Pastor Emmanuel Nyanzi, but everyone calls me Pastor Emmy and I have accepted that. I was born in 1968 to a polygamous father at Kalisizo Village, Rakai District in Uganda. My mum couldn’t bear much of the pain that came with a polygamous husband and separated while I was just about 8years old.
This left me hopping in the care of one step mother to another. At the time I was the oldest child at my home, and as an African child, this came along with responsibilities. At the age of 14, I had the duty to deliver food for the family and to that food I had to ride on a manual bicycle a distance of 56miles. My father had grown old, unable to ride a bicycle and the nearby land we cultivated had gone barren and unable to produce a good yield to sustain the family – which was a large family!
I needed to ride with a large chunk of food; usually in a sack, enough to sustain our large family for a number of days. I rode uphill and downhill and along those journeys, the bicycle I used would sometimes flip over with the large weight that was overbearing. I remember sitting down and crying occasionally when this would happen until I was chanced with a passerby who was merciful enough to see my plight and help me lift up my large chunk of food that was often in sacks, there with help, I would get back on the road and riding further but not without listening continuously to the complaints from bystanders who lamented about how I was being overly loaded. Nevertheless, all the laments did not translate into a solution, my home needed food, and there was utterly nothing to do since my father was quite old and could barely get himself around on a bicycle let alone ferry more than 50 kilograms (110 lbs) of food. I had to endure a lot of pain but God kept me alive.
I had to go to bushes to fetch firewood as we used open fire to prepare meals. It was never an easy task to collect firewood and also do the many other domestic chores. I did all these complaining and i knew for a fact that I had become to my family the donkey of the home, they piled chores on my back because they did not love me. I often cried relentlessly and complained a lot. However, when I look back and see what the Lord is doing through us it amazes me so much. My wife Sarah went through similar escapade like mine and that immediately made a bond out of us, we became great friends knowing the similarities of our stories despite our different backgrounds.
Because of the hard labor I was subjected to at home, and with no opportunity to rest I perceived it in at an early stage of my life that i was not loved by my parents and it prompted me to escape from my father's home where I left to come to Kampala City, the capital of Uganda. Many Children in Africa - just like me; have wondered on streets not because they do not have homes where they come but rather because they are trying to escape torture and exploitation.
While in Kampala, I got a job to work in someone's home as a house help. My duties involved cleaning the house, washing dishes, ironing my masters clothes, cooking and many other domestic jobs. Now, here is the irony; I was running home because of the burden of work but when I got the job as a house help my tasks were doubled. I was just about 15yrs by that time.
Eventually life at my new job became difficult as the Lady of the house maltreated me. It was much enough maltreatment that in the same way; I decided to leave her home and went to my cousin sister and started working with her husband who was a builder. I was carrying gravel, fetching water from the well which was also in a longer distance to the building site. We worked from morning to dawn without a window of rest. This was equally becoming too much for me and it is then that it occurred to me I cannot ran away from responsibility. Many Children that suffer today suffer because their Parents abandoned their responsibilities leaving the burden to the children. It is important to note that not all the children we are taking care of in Parental Care Ministries are orphans; some simply have very sad stories that include abandonment by parents and many other negative aspects they have had to encounter.
Remember that I run from my Father's house while i was in Primary 7 and that was my academic qualification. After some years doing construction work, I encountered a friend who took me into a school and there I was taught education. I got a job and started to teach in a school in I988, that is where I met my wife Sarah who also taught there and we suddenly became close friends on learning the similarities of our past. In January 1989 we got married, but still we did not know the purpose of God in our lives. We had very fragile hearts because of our past experience; we knew that we were not loved and for that we hardly trusted anyone easily.
I hardly thought our marriage could last this far and doubt we could make it this far without Jesus in our lives. We had been blessed that the year we got married was the same year we gave our lives to Jesus Christ. At this turning point of our life, I was filled with a burning desire to serve God. I ministered under my Pastor in various ministries doing door to door evangelism, hospital and prison visits. My passion for Christ continued growing and I felt the urge to go to my home village and preach to my family members and friends about Jesus. My family members were all religious but were never serious with their faith. There we were; - we established the first Church and continued with the evangelism, this has always reminded me of Zechariah 4:10 "For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.” It is in fact from that humble beginning; that we are amazed to see what God has done now because we are now oversee 87 Churches.
As we kept at preaching the gospel of Jesus to the community and planting Churches, we kept meeting children suffering and mistreated, this kept inflicting pain to our hearts, we kept praying to God to help them. To cut the long story short, let’s start in Mbarara! When I and Sarah were living in a single rented room; with four (4) of our biological Children, we had had the grace to plant the first church but also had the misfortune to meet children that were maltreated! Realistically, the experience these children were undergoing touched our hearts and I decided to pray for them that God may touch someone to help them. As i was on my knees praying for the children, i felt a voice whisper inside me saying - "Faith without actions is dead." This bothered me incessantly that my heart became restless. I felt that because i was living in a single rented room with four (4) children along with my wife, it wasn’t my place to help these children, I told myself that I had less space to accommodate these children as it was barely enough for my own and to top it up; I had no income, i lived everyday by faith that somehow the Lord would provide but for just my family, I told myself that I have enough reason to convince God that it couldn’t be me to take up the plight of these children and own it.
The Holy Spirit spoke to me and reminded me in sort of a question –
“When you went through the same dilemma, did you also used to cry like those children?”
However, I decoded the questions as –
"For what reason did you cry, when you experienced the same plight?"
At this point is when I started to self-question; ‘Did I cry out of the lack for shoes? Was it out of the lack for fine clothes?’ Well, I had the answer, and that answer was an absolute No! I was then reminded that i cried because i simply ‘needed’ parental love. I did not ‘want’ anything material – just love! In the same manner, i realized that in that moment the children needed no material item except the intangible parental love from someone, anyone! We then discussed it with my wife and agreed to bring four (4) children into our tiny single room. That was it - we started living, 10 people in a tiny single room all together. We made a decision to simply live just as Peter told the lame man in Acts 3:6.
- Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
We started showing these children a real intangible parental love. We spoke into their lives daily encouraging words like "You’re very special to God and to us." You’re a gift from God and He has great plans for you." etc. These children stopped crying and in short while they regained their hope, courage, esteem and we started seeing smiles on their faces which grew bigger and larger every passing day. This was a big inspiration to us and that nurtured an even greater passion within us to take care of more children. We didn’t hesitate to bring in more children and the number grew from eight (8) to twelve (12) children. Then the Lord provided us a three (3) bedroom house. When we entered this house we added more Children the number kept growing until we lived with 46 Children in this three (3) bed roomed house.
At this point, we got to realize that we were living with multiple children illegally, we were never registered as a charity organization, we were simply a family of 48 people. We did not even know how to register a charity, we thought that everyone including the government should be happy that we have the children well cared for, luckily; a friend helped me to get someone who helped me to register the Ministry. He came and asked me what the name of the registered Ministry should be and honestly, at the time, I was clueless on a name for the Ministry. I asked him for time so I could think over it as we discussed it with my wife. In our dialogues with Sarah, I remember telling her - "But we are just giving parental love to the children why don't we call this Ministry Parental Care Ministries.” This is how we came up with this Ministry name.
The other great challenge came as we needed to get the children to school, they were such a number and we could hardly afford to pay all their school dues. There we were, with no home schooling and no school we had enrolled the children at, we started to look into our options, and that is when the idea to start our first school was born – out of misfortune we found an angle, nevertheless; we still had the challenge to segment the learning and lessons as the children were of variant ages.
It is one thing desiring to start a school, and another thing to actually have the means to start up the school! We had resolved to startup a school, but had no money to do just that. Again we looked into our options, but this time our option was a big bargain, it was utter gambling; we had to sell off our only asset as a family – Our House! We retreated to a rented home and utilized the proceeds from the sale of the house to build the first PCM school; it was a truly humble beginning. We continued to add on the number of children until we had 270 children. Am humbled every day to let you know that from that humble beginning we have helped over 2000 children to get an education. To date, we have five (5) primary schools and one (1) high school, a baby’s home which we call Omwana House, a medical clinic called Kate Clinic and A farm.
This is PCM today, it has been a journey of small things, a journey of faith, a journey with Christ Jesus, and you too can join this endless journey today, your support to PCM keeps us going from milestone upon milestone.
Thank you for reading our long story.
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