Before Jonathan came to Youth for Christ, he was a school drop-out, had been on drugs and alcohol for many years, was poor, didn’t have any real friends and had no relationship with parents or family. He was often in prison. His life was, as he described it, “hopeless.” He deeply longed for acceptance and love, meaning and a sense of purpose. He felt something was missing. There was a void in his life that needed to be filled.

Jonathan started going to a local church and got involved in the prison’ ministry and outreach to street children. He longed to know God. Through these outreach programs, Jonathan came to know Youth With A Mission Uganda, where he applied and was accepted into the Discipleship Training School program. After the school however, Jonathan returned home and soon relapsed back into drugs and addiction. He became severely depressed, lost all interest in life, became suspicious, had delusions of persecution and was extremely bitter and angry. Jonathan also began to contemplate suicide as the easiest way out of this hopelessness. Everyone was convinced he was mentally ill. He write, “Something was eating me from the inside.” Despite this, or perhaps because of it, he continued to read the Bible and prayed every day.

Jonathan tells the rest of his story below:

One day as I walked, I read a signpost “Crisis Counseling.” It was Youth for Christ’s crisis pregnancy counseling center. I felt I needed to talk with someone, anyone. I was welcomed by Mrs. Sarah Kibowa, then a counselor at the center and Mrs. Vivian Kityo, then director and counselor of Youth for Christ in Uganda. They took me on as a “special case,” helped me to re-commit my life to Christ and introduced me to a fellowship of Christians. Youth for Christ offered to sponsor my education and in May, 1999, I rejoined school after seven years as a drop out. I sat for my UCE that same year and successfully passed my O Level examinations. In 2002, I completed my UACE/A Level examinations and was awarded a scholarship by the Government of Uganda to study a Bachelor’s Degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. I successfully completed my studies and graduated on the 23rd of February, 2007 with an honors degree.

Currently I am working at Balad Air Force Base in Iraq as a Security Guard. While here I am reading Youth for Christ University’s Christian course online. God has been gracious to me. I know that God loves me and has a purpose for my life. He will continue to guide me and perfect the work He began in me. Best of all I know that I live a new life and have hope in Him through Jesus Christ.