Innocent’s life was going well: he finished high-school, started his degree at Makerere University – one of the best in Uganda – and his father had agreed to help pay his tuition fees. Innocent even started a small business on the side, to make himself a bit of extra money.
Everything was working in his favor. But then, Innocent’s step-mother started taking his tuition money for herself. Innocent was faced with a decision. He couldn’t confront her, and he could not afford the fees on his own, so he dropped out of school.
“I was getting fairly good money from my small businesses but not enough for the tuition fees. I did not see the need to stay in school,” he said.
He got himself a girlfriend, and it wasn’t long before they started living together. Money became even tighter.
“Since she was now living with me, I had to fend for both her and me,” Innocent said.
Life became more and more frustrating and it wasn’t long before he turned to drinking.
“I became so dependent on alcohol that I could not function without it,” Innocent admits.
He soon became addicted. His girlfriend left him, his friends started distancing themselves from him, and his business soon fell to pieces. In a panic, his father tried to convince him to join the army instead of wasting his life. But Innocent wouldn’t listen.
“My life was going on a downward spiral and I did not know how to stop it,” he said. “I felt trapped and I needed an escape.”
It was in this state of despair that Innocent met a group of African Enterprise’s evangelists. It was the first day of the mission, early in the morning and Innocent was already drunk at a local pub. “His eyes were red and he looked scary,” one of the evangelists recalled. “We preached the Gospel to him and his friends and two of them accepted Christ!” “That was the day I felt hope in my heart again,” Innocent said.
As with the Disciples of old, Innocent dropped everything and followed the team as they visited and preached to others throughout the day. At the end of the week the change in Innocent’s life was so evident that the pub owner was calling on other evangelists to come minister at his pub!
The mission team helped Innocent reconnect with his father who was thrilled to hear that his prodigal son had come home.
Innocent is currently being discipled in a local church and they are assisting him in restarting University.
“I am positive that God will do a new thing in my life,” Innocent said. “I know he will help me completely overcome alcoholism and even restore the relationships I lost due to my addiction.
“Thank you AE for allowing God to use you in my life!”