Rev. Obadiah Batali fled civil war in South Sudan and currently lives in the Bidibidi refugee settlement in Yumbe district in northern Uganda. Obadiah lost his wife in 2014 and takes care of his five daughters and one son alone. Upon being settled in Bidibidi, he encouraged his friends and other people in the village to construct a church out of temporary materials in the village. Obadiah was chosen to be a leader of that church in the settlement.
Calamity befell Obadiah when his only son was infected with Hepatitis B within six months of settling in Bidibidi. Obadiah nursed his son for five months, but in June of this year his son died, leaving Obadiah’s two grandchildren fatherless. With a widowed daughter-in-law and grandchildren now entirely under his care, Obadiah started asking God why all this tragedy has befallen him at such a time in his life. Traditionally in Uganda, a son means a lot for a parent’s future; now the son in whom Obadiah’s hopes had been invested was gone. Deeply depressed, he left his leadership in the church, isolated himself from the church, and stopped participating in village activities. “I found it useless to live,” says Obadiah, “and contemplated suicide so as to join the dead.” Obadiah had given up on life.
But Obadiah’s community did not give up on him. When trauma and healing workshops were planned in the community, Rev. Obadiah was identified as one of the elders and trainees for the trauma healing because of his position as a church leader who had an unaddressed burden in the heart.
And what a blessing that training was! During the five day trauma healing and peace building training, Rev. Obadiah surrendered his depression and the challenges of taking care of more people to God. Today his story is different and this is what he has to say: “For the rest of the journey of my life, I leave it to God who designs and leads accordingly. I felt relieved and now restored back to the ministry. I had lost hope as a result of the loss of my son, but now I can move forward with my hope restored”.
Pray for Uganda
We are thankful for:
- the emergency response support for South Sudanese refugees in Bidibidi settlement.
- rains that came to alleviate the water shortage in the settlement and provide hope for good crop growth.
- safety on the roads as we travel
- for restoration of peace in South Sudan
- for enhanced security against armed robbery and killings in West Nile.
- that God will continue to shower his grace, peace, and love upon all that we do.