An Unlikely Chess Champion from Uganda

One of the great things about serving on a mission team is to see how God orchestrates things to bless and help so many people in need while at the same time showing Himself in amazing ways to those serving on the team.

One of those times happened a few years ago when a team serving with  Loving One By One Ministries’ was visiting the elderly home in Kampala. Unlikely as it would seem at a home for the elderly, they came upon John, a young boy who had been left there by his mother who was unable to care for him. You were immediately struck by his big smile and engaging personality. But also very clear was his disability, deformed hands that faced backwards and only one ‘good’ foot.  Needless to say, humanly speaking his future seemed bleak. All too often, these children are pretty much abandoned. In this case, God had brought him to a safe place and this ultimately brought him to the attention of the mission team. 

It could certainly be said that it was a ‘but God’ moment that brought the Loving One by One (LOBO) team that exact day to ‘find’ John. Not only is John now being sponsored at the disability school but each team member was able to play a part in how God “worked all things together for (John’s good) and His glory.” John now lives at the disability school with other children his age with various forms of disability, and is loved, cared for, and has the opportunity for an education. 

Fast forward to today and we learn that John has developed an ability to play chess, and not just for fun. He has turned into a “chess champion” and has won two medals so far.  Amazingly, John moves the chess pieces with his mouth and his one good foot.

He actually studies under Robert Katende, the one who taught Phiona from the movie, “The Queen of Katwe.” Now John has the opportunity to go to Florida in June 2018, to compete in the World Chess Junior Championship Tournament. Robert Katende will be going with him as his teacher.

Yes, serving on a mission team definitely helps countless people in need but the blessing to those who are part of these teams is life-changing, as well. Nothing is by accident as God puts together each team and goes before them in all that they do. You don’t want to miss what He might have for you in serving with Loving One By One Ministries! We’ll let you know how John does. In our eyes, he’s already won!

Loving One By One Ministries is dedicated to helping refugee and homeless children in Uganda reach their full potential. We operate New Creation Center school, Jokolera Aids & Orphans Project, Medical Clinics and New Creation Family Home for orphans. Our mission at Loving One By One Ministries is to provide education, as well as basic physical, spiritual, and medical needs to refugee children and their families in Uganda.

Sherry & Ken Roberts started Loving One By One Ministries in 2005. Their first visit to Uganda was in 2002. It took three years to get the ground troops in place to carry out their mission. The first few years were tough, as the founders describe “everyone thought we were a walking ATM machine”. Since 2005, the Roberts have been collectively spending 15-25 weeks a year in Uganda leading teams of 20 at a time carrying out various projects.

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