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Iganga

Benjamin, Joel, and the Children's Hope

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In the vibrant city of Kampala, Uganda, a remarkable story unfolds

...fueled by the unwavering dedication of two extraordinary individuals: Benjamin Kirabo Katende and Joel Muzaale.

In the vibrant city of Kampala, Uganda, a remarkable story unfolds, fueled by the unwavering dedication of two extraordinary individuals: Benjamin Kirabo Katende and Joel Muzaale. They have dedicated their lives to bringing hope and healing to the lives of homeless children who have faced unimaginable hardships.

Benjamin's journey began as a child living on the streets from the tender age of five, having lost his family in circumstances he couldn't remember. At the age of fourteen, he was provided a room and, despite his past, was touched by the kindness of those around him. These acts of love inspired a heartfelt prayer – a prayer for change and a chance to help children enduring similar hardships.

In January 2018, Benjamin founded the Benjamin Children's Ministry (BCM), where 30 homeless children found not only shelter and basic necessities but also the love of a dedicated team. Benjamin's own experiences on the streets guided his approach, fostering an environment where children could begin to heal.

'The Lord's Favour' foundation became BCM's umbrella organization in 2019, assisting with organizational structure and bookkeeping. The volunteer team brought a diverse range of skills and backgrounds, each contributing to the children's well-being. 
Benjamin's selflessness shone through; he refused personal support, directing all resources to the children's needs. Volunteers, including the sister of MrSeppe, Fei Vanbelle, stepped in to provide him with essentials to continue his vital work.

Joel's Divine Calling

Meanwhile, in Iganga, Joel Muzaale's journey was unfolding. He, too, had faced adversity, born into a family torn apart by divorce. Yet, he found strength in his faith and became a devoted follower of Jesus. Joel was a driver and a football coach, but he felt called to a higher purpose.

His path intertwined with Benjamin's, and they shared a vision for uplifting street children. With the help of 'The Lord's Favour,' Joel established the Disciple House, where he focused on discipleship, teaching the children the ways of Jesus, and expanding God's kingdom.

MrSeppe's sister, Fei, also joined the mission. Together, they provided a loving family environment, a place of refuge for children who had previously been left to fend for themselves on the streets.

 

Painting a Picture of Compassion

Inspired by the selflessness of Benjamin and Joel, MrSeppe, decided to contribute to their cause in his own way. Creating a painting with the intention of raising funds for these vulnerable children.

"One image, in particular, had a profound impact on me. It depicted a child who had been abandoned near a dump, unable to speak Benjamin's language. Left to fend for himself amidst filth and despair, Benjamin's compassion led him to rescue this child, offering the child a new chance at life.
 

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As I painted, my heart was overwhelmed, and tears flowed. In that moment, I realized the immense importance of this mission – to bring hope and healing to children who had been cast aside by society."

The images used in the painting came directly from the pictures my sister Fei sent, one picture shows a boy, standing tall and fierce on the top of a mountain, which shows a tenacious character in the mids of dire and hopeless times. 
The other boys on the painting seem to be crying or in a rather sad state. This image also came directly from my sister.
But by studying the photograph, you'll see that the boys are not actually crying, they are praying. 
Fei explained that that's the way they prayed, covering their faces. 


For this painting, because it's part of the same collection, same paints and hues or shading are used like the previous works from this collection, such as The Soldiers of the 45th Battalion, the George Gerschwin painting and The Sea is My Brother, which tell the story of John Daly. 

A Glimpse into Daily Life

In the midst of this heartfelt mission, life at BCM and the Disciple House follows a structured routine. The children engage in chores, studied the Bible, and develope practical life skills. They are not just receiving care; they are learning to become responsible adults.

Through their unwavering commitment, Benjamin and Joel nurtured a sense of family among the children. These young souls had been through unimaginable hardships, but they are now on a path to healing and growth. They found love and acceptance, and it transformed their lives.

Together, Benjamin, Joel, and their teams work tirelessly to reunite children with their families when possible. They offer a beacon of hope for those who had lost everything, giving them a chance to rebuild their lives.

MrSeppe's artistic contribution is hoping to play an integral role in supporting this mission such as Fei Vanbelle has done. This painting captures the essence of compassion, inspiring others to join the cause and make a difference in the lives of these vulnerable children.

In the end, the stories of Benjamin and Joel, my sister Fei's involvement, and the artistic dedication all came together to create a tapestry of hope and healing. It is a testament to the transformative power of love, faith, and the unwavering commitment to make the world a better place for those who need it most.

This work will be part of the collection that will be part of the Exhibition: From Hatred to Harmony - which will be held in the Magdalena Church in Bruges Belgium, where MrSeppe hopes to raise money to further help this mission.

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