Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A Call to Bring Atala Hope

Apac, Uganda — I (Mike Rutter, Bright Hope staff) met an incredible woman today. Her name is Atala Tericania. She is a handicapped widow whose husband died in 1990, but she is an amazing example of God's love and faithfulness.

Atala has been unable to walk for a number of years, but because she has been an active member of her church, Atala and her family of four children and one orphan have been taken care of by well-wishers in her church. Even with this support, her life has been very hard because the church members themselves are very poor.

Two years ago, the members of her church thought so much of Atala that they gave her access to a 50,000 Ugandian shilling ($20 USD) loan, even though she had no work history and we unable to walk. Atala took this money and started a small resale business along the main dirt road. She would buy gasoline, flour, beans, and ground nuts in bulk, then resell them in smaller quantities and capture the profit. It was a small business, but she had a good location and many people knew her. Her business did well and she was able to repay the loan and expand her business. Because of her faithfulness in repayment, she was again given a loan this year.

A few days ago, Atala's business (which was also her home) burned down. She was cooking dinner for her family when one of the gasoline cans from her business fell over and started her house's roof on fire. She crawled out, but her house and many of her belongings were destroyed. Members of her church found her a temporary home down the road a bit, and I met her sitting next to her burned down house selling flour, beans and groundnuts only two days after her house burned down.

I am so proud of Atala, her church, and her incredible will to persevere. I would like the Bright Hope family to come alongside of her and give her a new brick house with four rooms. Two rooms in the front, one to run her business, and the other she can rent for additional income. Her family will live in the back two rooms. The house is located in such a great location in the town; it will be a awesome testimony of God's love for the extreme poor. I would also like to get her a wheelchair – her current wheel chair was received four years ago and is in bad shape.

Please consider a gift to help Atala and her family. The Rutter Family is starting the giving with a $100 gift. Any gifts in excess of the estimated $5,000 required for Atala will be used to support other microloan recipients in the area where Atala lives.