Patrick Komakech, who in his own words grew from ‘a boy without hope’ into a responsible adult who is working to change the lives of others, tells us his story.
Glen and Wendy Lund were EI missionaries when they met Patrick.
Patrick with his wife and his mentor, Rev Martin Lam, in 2021
My reason for writing this story
This story I write in appreciation to Emmanuel International and Glen and Wendy Lund, whose effort is the reason for who I am today. It has been in my heart for long that I need to write my story and share it upwards with the EI team in Uganda and HQ.
I am Komakech Patrick, male, 35 years old. I live in Uganda, Agago District, Lira-Palwo Sub-county. My guardians are Rev Walter Lagen and Christine Aceng. All live in Uganda Agago District as well. Rev Walter Lagen is currently a parish priest in Odum Church of Uganda Kitgum Diocese.
I was born in 1986 to the late Lalam Rose and husband, whose name has not been revealed to me up to now, but from the story I have heard my father was a peasant farmer who was killed by Karamojong warriors when I was only 5 month in the womb. My mother gave birth to me and later, in 1995, she was killed by the Lord Resistance Army. From the time my mother died, I have lived with my uncle, Walter Lagen, who was by then a Catechist with the protestant church under Kitgum Diocese.
“The death of both my parents when I was young made me to lose parental love and care, stay without a home where I confidently call it ‘our home’ and no hope for having a successful life.”
But all these didn’t come to my mind when I was in primary school. Since I was young, all I could think about was playing all the time and I had no picture of what the future would look like for a young boy with no biological parents.
How Glen and Wendy Lund got in contact with me
In 1995 Glen and Wendy Lund were sent by Emmanuel International to come and work in Agago District with the EI office in Patongo. They came as missionary people: they were very loving, caring, did a lot community work, and went for pastoral visits to sub-parishes within the Archdeaconry. They also used to grow vegetables and keep livestock such as goats to supplement their income.
My uncle told me that him being transferred to Patongo Parish was a blessing to his family. By that time he was taking care of 2 orphans (myself and Ocen Robert) plus the rest of his biological children – we were 8 in number. Being a Catechist in Church of Uganda, you don’t earn a salary. Therefore having a large family like his would be a great problem in terms of feeding, medical expenses and paying school fees. I would see how my uncle struggled to look for what to eat and pay PTA fees for all of us in primary. Some time we would even sleep hungry. One time Glen and Wendy invited my uncle to their family so that they can chat with one another. Later on my uncle also invited the Lund family to his house. He introduced all his family members, including us two orphans. Glen and Wendy were touched by the size of the family he is having, above all by taking care of two orphans. They requested him to allow them to support one of them, and he then proposed me, Komakech Patrick.
(The Lund family supported Patrick as their own personal outreach while they were missionaries with EI in Uganda.)
How my life changed
To begin with, honestly I don’t know how my life would have turned out without the support of the Lund family.
Staying with the family was really very important because they nurtured me spiritually by taking me with them for pastoral visits to other sub-parishes, morally by guiding me when I have done something wrong, economically by assigning me tasks in the vegetable garden and taking care of the livestock, especially the goats, and finally and most importantly, academically by paying my school fees at all levels of education. With their support, I have managed to successfully complete my Bachelor of Arts in Education from Gulu University.
Where I am now
Currently I am well qualified and I work as Monitoring and Evaluation Officer with GOAL Relief and Development Organization.
I am married to Monica Auma and have a family of 10 people: 3 orphans (Okidi Stewart, Odong Ivan and Okot Richard), 2 children of our own (Gideon Kimara and Lamunu Clare), 2 of my uncle’s children (Glen Nelson and Okema Walter), a maid and then me and my wife.
Outside the organization work, I am a youth leader in the church and I like doing a lot of community work such as training people on income generating activity, training youth on life skills and preaching the word of God.
I have also started my own community based organization called Agency for Skill Development (A4SD), still a young organization. Its main vision is to “Empower the disadvantaged youth, children and elderly people in Northern Uganda with skills and knowledge through formal and non-formal vocational training inorder to make them live a descent life”.
With the educational level and exposures I have acquired, I am now self-reliant, have hope for a better living and I aspire to change the lives of orphans and other vulnerable youth in Northern Uganda.
My ambition in life
I wish to grow my community-based organization, continue supporting orphans and other vulnerable people in Northern Uganda to have a decent life, but most importantly used all the opportunities I have to interact with all kind of people to preach the good news about Jesus Christ.
I am highly indebted to Glen and Wendy Lund for mentoring me and paying my school fees. Right now I am a better person, living independently but also doing activities that change the life of others and promotes God’s Kingdom.
I do really appreciate Emmanuel International’s Glen and Wendy Lund for showing me love. I promise to pass the same love to other needy people in Northern Uganda and other parts of the world.
We gladly share Patrick’s story. We are proud of him and what he has become, though Emmanuel International was not directly involved in his change of fortune.