Francis Mugwanya

  • Oct. 29, 2009
  • #7174

Joni interviews Francis Mugwanya from Uganda who is paraplegic and has a wheelchair ministry called The Father's Heart Ministries.

I have a very special friend from Africa I want you to meet today...

Hi, I'm Joni and I love connecting people together, like... you and my friend, Francis Mugwanya, from the town of Gaba in Uganda.  Francis is a paraplegic and he has seen a very rough life of much poverty, but he's not the kind to sit around and feel sorry for himself.  After he got a wheelchair when he was a small boy, he was able to attend school - four years of education - and now, a young man who is engaged to be married soon, Francis has a wheelchair ministry in Uganda called The Father's Heart Ministries - in fact, when we distribute wheelchairs through Wheels for the World in Uganda, Francis is our go-to guy.  Francis... welcome to the program...

Francis:  Thank you very much.  It's a great privilege for me to be here today.

Joni:    Francis, tell us what it's like to be disabled in a country like Uganda...

Francis:  In Uganda we have a total of about 3 million people with disabilities according to the census that they carried out a few years ago.  Most of these people need wheelchairs and in Uganda the biggest cause of disability is either polio or the war occurring in the north.  Many people with disabilities feel they cannot afford wheelchairs or caretakers or their family do not care at all about them.  Often their belief that people with disabilities are a curse resulting from a wife cheating on her husband caused many breaks in relationships and marriages or the mother runs off with her child with a disability because the husband thought their family was too upright to give birth to a disabled child.  Also the people see those with disabilities as second class, useless people and nothing good can come out of them.  There are so many people in need of wheelchairs that cannot afford them and the disabled children can't even go to school because they don't have wheelchairs, and without an education they will not have any employment opportunities so they sit at home.  Some parents hide them away because they don't want people to know they have a curse in part of their family. 

Joni:  You know when I hear you describe the way things are I want to get on a plane and go do something.  How can our listening friends help?

Francis:  We need over 3 million wheelchairs in Uganda, so some of the best ways you can help are to: donate wheelchairs to Joni and Friends and learn more about what Joni and Friends does.  You can come on Wheels for the World trips that you make to Uganda so that we can partner together to just love these people.

Joni:  Francis, it would honor me if you would just close our time together in a prayer for the world's disabled.  Would you do that?

Francis:  Father, I just pray for each of the people with disabilities wherever they are that you will draw them closer to yourself.  And Father that they will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Thank you, Lord, for your love for us and your goodness always.  In Jesus name we pray.  Amen

Joni:  Amen!  Thank you, Francis.  Friends, please be in prayer for our Wheels for the World team heading to Cuba tomorrow and pray as we plan for a return trip to Uganda.

©  Joni and Friends  

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