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John Ssebatta Sewage Truck Uganda

We got hold of John early in 2018. At that point he was driving his truck for someone.  It was basically on the same way would drive an Uber these days. You would drive the vehicle and at the end of the week you would pay  the owner a certain amount of money.  So John was doing that with a small little truck, but he wanted to buy his own vehicle.  So we came alongside him and helped him with a loan of about $4,000 to help him to buy his own truck. Which actually we’re very excited about. 

But somehow when John was boss of his own business it just never worked out very well. Constantly he would miss repayments.  Or he would just run into difficulties with his truck and it just never never worked very well . We had numerous discussions with John around that and how to best run his business, but somehow it never worked.  And then we were we continued like this 

Then at the beginning of 2020 I decided what to do.  It’s time for us to make the call on John and probably stop the business altogether.  So, as I already had a ticket to Uganda to have the discussion with John to tell him ‘John sorry this is not going to work.  We are going to pull the plug on this business’.

Then, sure enough, lockdowns came. I was supposed to fly at the end of March and then everything just locked down and I couldn’t couldn’t go.  Everything was stopped so everything was just hanging there for the next few months.  

Finally I was able to get back to Uganda again in October of 2021. So when I was there I met up with John again and was a little bit worried about what I’m going to find. Then John started to share with me this amazing story as to what has happened during lockdown.  Of course they were locked down in Uganda as well.  

John stays  in the Kasubi slums in Kampala.  In the inner Kasubi slums there’s no there are no proper sewage systems in place. They’re still using the old bucket system.  But because of the lockdowns the municipalities also went into lockdown. There was no collection of these buckets during the lockdown period.  

John,  of course, was exposed to this himself, and his neighbours started to complain about this saying that, municipality was not picking up the buckets.  John decided to make a plan. At  least he had a little truck.   Let him just pick it up  for his neighbours and just take it to the Sewage work and drop it there and and bring back the empty buckets. He did this for a few weeks

Because everything was locked down he couldn’t do any other work.  He just did this as a favour  to his neighbours. 

What he didn’t know is that the municipality somehow found out about what he was doing.  So they called John and asked him  ‘So what are you doing?’  At first John thought he was in trouble for doing this. But then they approached him and asked  ‘Would you want to do this as a business because we need people to collect these buckets for us on a more regular basis?

So John went ahead and he registered his proper company and with the company registration he went to the municipality office and said   ‘This is my company and you were talking about offering me a contract for collecting the buckets from these households in the Kasubi slums.’ 

So, long story short, John got a contract from  the Municipality in Kampala and that is how his business  just kicked off. He was just at that point when I saw him in October 2021.  The business was just flying!  He was collecting his buckets on a daily basis. He got a contract from from government and they paid him well.

He was just almost finished with his loan by that time and already looking for additional help from B4T. 

But very interesting for me –  what he shared almost towards the end of the story is …

Because of the success of his business, he now he has to employ a number of people.  You may know Uganda is mostly a Christian country. But collecting these these buckets and working in this industry is not for everybody. It’s usually the lower ‘caste’ people who work in this in this environment. The lowest caste people in Uganda  are usually the Muslims.  so John is employing at the moment six Muslim boys who work with him, because those are the people who work in this industry.  

But John took this opportunity to to share with them what he’s doing and also to share with them on on on biblical principles and also have a small little discipleship program with with these people about Jesus.  And,  sure enough, and since the business has started two of these boys came to know Jesus through John’s business. 

When I met him recently he told me that one of the boys not only has not only been committed to Jesus but they are also now even in the worship band of pastor Jonah’s church.

So this was me just beautiful to see how the lord is using this this business, and how the Lord has kept me from going to Uganda to pull the plug on this business.

Now this business is bringing people to Jesus, and John is just about finished paying off his loan.  He says already to me that he’s ready to apply for a second line for a bigger truck so that he can expand his business even further.  So yeah I am very excited about John what he’s doing and then I do believe that John he’s going to beautiful future ahead of him and that he is definitely the right character to to work in this environment and with these unsaved people so yeah we can just continue pray for John.

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