Anyone who has stayed with us at the Arise compound in Kampala Uganda will know our security guard and caretaker January. January is a valued and trusted team member who looks after and secures the compound.
January is Congolese but has lived and worked in Uganda for more than a decade. He goes home to his family once or twice a year for a short stay but spends the rest of his time with us. This year when he went to visit his family, he ended up staying in the Congo for a few months because the COVID closed the Uganda borders.
January returned to work safely after a number of months and after he returned he learned from his wife Clementina that she was pregnant (the result of too much time off). This baby would be their 8th child and came as somewhat of a surprise to them.
As January and Clementina grew closer to the event, they realized there were some risks that needed to be considered. There are no clinics in their Congo village, not even a nurse. In fact, there are still no roads that go into this location and medical help is a 3 hour journey. At 44 years old, Clementina traveled to doctors early in the pregnancy to have a checkup. While everything looked normal, the Dr. advised that she should travel to the hospital a few weeks before the due date to be sure all the risks were covered. After some discussion, it agreed that January should bring Clementina to Kampala to be close to the hospital and January.
Clementina spent Christmas with January in Kampala and to everyone’s surprise went into labour on the 3rd (almost 2 weeks early). Thankfully, baby Gladys was born without any complications the next day.
As elections in Uganda are nearing and unrest is expected, January took Clementina and Gladys home today. What a pleasure it was to be a part of this family adventure. Mother, father and babe were packed onto two small motorbikes (bodas) today with all the baby luggage and they are on their way. It will be tomorrow before they arrive safely home in the Congo. Then January will have 1 day with his family before coming home to Kampala and resuming his duties here for Arise.
This sort of life is not unusual here in Africa, many fathers live at some distance from home where they can find work and January have very stable employment which is not prevalent. We are so glad that January is part of the Arise family here in Uganda, and we loved being part of his family story too.
Children Arise Ministries
6021 West Saanich RD,