Olivia Namigadde is the overseer of Bunga-Love Project. She faithfully leads the ladies and gentleman of Bunga-Love Project in the study of God’s word, lovingly serves these precious people, and honorably fights for them in a village and culture that would rather dispose of them. She refers to herself as the “mother of many”. Bunga-Love Project members refer to her as their mother because she takes such good care of them. In her own words she shares her testimony with us of how she came to know Jesus.
“I was born on 27th July 1973. Many times when I tell people my age they say, ahhh, you don’t look it, or, you must be kidding. Actually one of my Pastors, you don’t know him, he told me plainly, do not tell people your age, you look 27, that was when I was 33-years-old. When he told me that I was going through so much, I had just discovered I had been dedicated and sacrificed by my family. I would make let’s say two steps of progress and then move back like five steps! It was a very frustrating experience. One that made me cry out to God at night for deliverance, it made me visit very many deliverance ministers in search for a solution.
I was so confused and tormented by the devil. God showed a number of deliverance Ministers I went to pray with that I was dedicated or ‘supposed’ to be the one to serve my father’s household gods on behalf of my family and later I discovered that my happiness had been sacrificed for my other family members so that my siblings could get married, I would not get married, I would not be successful in all I did, whatever I did, I would meet a dead end.
A particular Minister told me to ask my mother about this because she was responsible for why I never seemed to be making much progress in life even when I did my best. He told me as he was praying for me God showed him that a chain was fastened to my waist and with difficulty I would make say 2 steps in front and this other power would pull me backwards like 5 steps and my mother would explain to me why that was so, because she knew how all that happened. Even then, I would talk to my mother about my struggles and when I got the chance to talk to her that particular holiday, I told her about the deliverance session I attended and what the Minister of God had said and I ask her to tell me about what he had seen in a vision about me and of her involvement in the whole issue.
When I asked my mother about it, she broke down and cried saying she had been tricked and she also didn’t want things to turn out the way they did! She stopped at that and didn’t volunteer any other information on the subject, she just walked away. I then knew beyond reasonable doubt that something satanic had been done to hinder my progress in life,and in so doing, I would be ‘disabled’ to enable my siblings make it in life. Instead of telling me the whole story she became very harsh towards me. I think she also told my father about it, because he also became very harsh towards me. Everything I did literally came to a standstill.
Prior to that, there was a lady called Noeline who was helping us with the household chores at home and she was being paid for it. She was Born Again and every New Year’s eve,I would go with her for prayer meetings that would usher us into the New Year with other Born Again Christians. Because we were only 2 Born Again Christians in the family, my sister who follows me – Julianne and I, plus that lady, Noeline, I would foot our transport and other expenses’ bills to the prayer venue and back plus buy any eats or drinks we would have while there. This lady got to like me also for the fact that I would stand up for her if anyone at home tried to take advantage of her e.t.c. so she began looking out for me. When I came home that holiday she told me, “You need to pray for yourself a lot, your own mother doesn’t speak well of you, she talks about you as if she is talking of her rival. If I didn’t know better, I would think that she isn’t your real mother.” I thought to myself, what could the problem be? When I was with my mother she would not raise any objections but when I was not around it seemed she was not happy that things went well for me, or that my father made sure I got what I needed. I decided to investigate a little, I asked my youngest sister what Mum usually complains about when mentioning my name, and she told me, she was always complaining that my father always made sure that I had the money that I needed while at school at the expense of my other siblings. What she actually did not know is that that had been a particular answer to prayer. I had asked God to show me His love through my earthly father, and whenever I got a fast response from him in case I needed something, for me it was testimony of God’s Love for me, channeled through my earthly Dad.
Even later when he stopped doing stuff for me and he was tough with me, God showed me that in a dream. In that dream my Dad was carrying me on his back and when he got to the gate of Makerere University, he put me down. In the dream it was very clear to me that my Dad would not support me anymore, especially financially and I sure saw that side of him. But what that did for me is I knew the difference between my spiritual father and my earthly father! What that did for my faith was that I believed this scripture which says, even if my Mum and Dad forsake me, my heavenly Dad will never leave me nor forsake me! What followed was a time of drought where no one helped me, where I had no finances, my friends disappeared, but my faithful God was there, hallelujah and I always looked up to my God, not to people, not even to my father, mother or siblings, friends or relatives, or my Pastor. I turned to the Word of God! This perplexed and confused them, because they expected me to look all around except to God, but my mind was made up. I was glued to Psalm 121, I knew that I knew, that I knew, that I knew beyond reasonable doubt that my help is in the name of the Lord, for the Lord my God is mighty to save and lovingly watches over me day and night, and that if God didn’t help me no one else would! So I had only one option to soak myself in the Word of God, continue in loving service to Him and to humbly wait on Him, in His time, not mine, He would definitely make all things beautiful in my life, no matter what havoc the devil was wreaking then!
I lost my job in February 2009. However, that I believe was partly an answer to my prayers. During the course of my tenure at work, I realised I was drifting further and further away from God. You may ask how? I was made very busy, I could hardly find time for prayer because I would leave home early every morning and return sometimes earliest at 9p.m., latest midnight, depending on who was dropped first by the work van. At that time I would be exhausted, could hardly pray, I would say one or two lines of prayer and collapse in a heap on my bed. I could also not fast freely. I remember, when I realised i was on a downward spiral, I decided to fast and go for lunch hour fellowships in order to draw nearer to God. Like two times it is the company’s Managing Director who told me that he didn’t want me to miss meals because the company had paid for the meals so I could have them, and two, as a News Anchor for their media house, I carried their image and they didn’t want me looking skinny or unhealthy, this would not serve their purpose, it would just be defeating it! I felt cornered because this was a job I had asked God for and He had given me the opportunity, but then it was getting in the way of my spiritual growth. To add on to that, being in the media I realised is a set up of sorts, I would meet people on the streets and they would speak to me as if they even worshipped me, because I was a TV personality, a ‘star,’ somebody who had made it in life, one who had gotten where most people would want to be and the rest of the country knew her, if you googled her name, google would come up with something about her! She had made her mark according to them! For me however, I did not see things that way, for me, if I did not become a star, God’s way, I would not have made it in life! You know God’s word says they that win souls shall shine like stars! I think those are the true stars, stars made in heaven! Daniel 12:3 says, “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
Because of the job description, many of my colleagues had this self-important air about them, they were acting like demi-gods and some of them didn’t consider me even worthy of sharing the same platform with them. My sister, the Jezebel spirit was ruling and reigning in that media house, like in most! One News reporter told me point blank on my first day of work, “Hmmm, I have always heard you reading News on Radio Simba, and you sound good, but you are better off reading news on Radio not TV, in other words saying, I have the broadcast voice, but not the face for television, hahaha!” Another told me, “How did you get here?” I answered her, “I serve a great God, I asked Him for this job, I applied for it, and He gave it to me!” Another one, now this was my self-important colleague who considered herself a queen of sorts, sent a friend of hers to tell me that if I wanted to keep my job, I had to do what she wanted. Can you imagine such audacity? I answered her, “Please go and tell her,I got this job from God, it was a miracle the Lord did for me and because of that, I have to do that which pleases God first, that which my conscience is alright with and that which the company requires of me, and if I lose this job, the Lord will give me another that is so much better than this one, but I will not put myself in your hands, what if you require me to do something ungodly in order to keep my job?” And for the time I was with that company, witchcraft was the order of the day! People did all kinds of witchcraft in order to keep their jobs, even if it meant killing whoever was getting in their way!
One day a lady around 22-year-old came up to me, and she was all breathless and ecstatic she was talking to me, she said, “Oh my God, I can’t believe I am talking to you Olivia, I am so excited, wow, how does it feel? The whole country and African region watches you read the news, and you are good.!!!!.. All this she was saying on the street, at the top of her voice and I quickly realised that if I continued like this, with people showering me with praise, it would not be so long before pride and arrogance would creep in if I did not check it, I would begin to think it is I who does it, not the Lord doing it through me, and soon I would be in the driving seat, pushing the Lord behind if at all I even allowed Him to take a ride in my car.
And remember, the Bible says God hates the proud, and pride comes before a fall, and haughtiness destruction- so I quickly told her, ” Look here, I appreciate the fact that you like what I do, I praise God for giving me that opportunity to do so, but I am only a vessel to be used of Him, the glory goes to Him!” It was very important to me that I set the record straight right from the beginning, why? because if I didn’t, I would not even be able to preach the gospel because I would be so full of myself and self-importance! The more such scenarios unfolded before me I told God, I got saved to get to heaven first and foremost, please never allow me to seek after status, material things and what I can do and what I have and can acquire, because your Word says of me, ” Seek first the Kingdom of heaven and its righteousness and all these things shall be, added unto me, not vice versa,” therefore, I should not seek after these things, they should just follow me, like your Word says, not the other way round!
I would have scary dreams, some of the things that would happen to me later God would show me in dreams, I would wake up, cancel the dream, cover myself in the blood of Jesus, pray and claim God’s promises for my life, I was resilient and trusted God to overturn the devil’s verdict over my life. And all along, eversince I got saved ( became Born Again) in late 1998, I have always told God that as for me and my house we would serve Him.
I was the kind of child who wanted to please my father very much, and for me if my father approved of something, I would be behind him no matter what, and likewise if he disapproved of something, you would not find me doing that which he saw as unworthy or unfit, but like the Word of God says, when we become Born Again, we become a new creation – that actually happened in my life, more so with this overwhelming evidence. When I went home to tell my father of the good news I had become Saved, he told me how utterly disappointed he was in me, and how I had to use my better sense of judgment and catapult myself out of the trance I had gotten myself into, and quit following false prophets and prophets of doom but no matter what he said, God had changed my heart, I wasn’t the same anymore, I knew whom I had believed, and from then on, what mattered is that my approval came from God the Father, not from my earthly father! Whatever was okay with God according to His Word is what I went after whole heartedly even if my father and mother were very disappointed in me since I was raised a Roman Catholic. They tried to get me to go and listen to Catholic Priests and a Bishop who were family friends, for them to disuade me from continuing in my new found faith but I would not budge.
In December of 2011 one of my younger sisters, Mary Louise got married, this December another younger sister of mine, Ann Christine who has twins is going to introduce her husband-to-be to my family and soon after it will be her wedding.
Remember all along the devil has been trying to make me see things from the world’s perspective. He has used my parents, at one point, at the height of the credit crunch when my job was no more, one day my father said to me that I was useless, even my younger sisters were trying to earn a living and bring in money to help the family, but not me and because of that he branded me selfish, – I knew that was a direct attack from the enemy, not him, because the 2 sisters of mine he was referring to were then with men they were not married to, with whom they had had children outside wedlock, and they gave them money as a result of the relationships they had with them.
The devil has used friends, even Born Again friends who haven’t yet renewed their minds with the Word of God to try and persuade me at least to have a child or two outside wedlock and repent after, since it is the order of the day in the body of Christ. The enemy of my soul has used of late, one minister who insulted me on the pulpit because I would not allow them have their way. They wanted to instigate rebellion among some of the younger ministers so I stood up and said no, enough is enough, even if our Pastor is a humble man of God, you have no right to walk all over him just because he is good to us, we should give him his space and respect him, short of that, you walk, if you cannot humble yourself under the Man of God God has given us. In such instances of attacks I have had to go back to the Word of God and quote scripture on Who I am in Christ, and What I have in Christ to give me my true identity and spell it out even to fellow brethren so that they may not believe a lie, or what the world thinks is the way of doing things, not God’s way! It hasn’t been easy, and it won’t always be easy but I have to speak the Words of God deposited in my heart, mediatate upon them, ruthlessly refuse the ways of the world and God-breathed! It is my only choice! Why am I saying all this?
Whenever, someone talks about my age, it conjures all this up! Just that, as innocent a question as it is, reminds me all I have had to go through, but my hope is only in God.Is. 40:31 says “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint, I pray to God, teach me to wait, and so Lord I wait on you!
I am aware of all the dangers of being an older single, my cousin got married to a man who doesn’t love her, she is the one who provides everything in the marriage, she is not happy at all, I guess she rushed into the marriage because she felt time was against her and beause of the pressure of older relatives, who can push you to make a mistake and yet will not be there when you get married to a man from hell, or who will make you experience hell on earth because you never waited on God to give you a man after His own heart, who will value you, and love you just as Christ loved the church, someone you will thank God for and who will thank God for you.
I know older singles tend to lower their standards in that they many times tend to compromise on issues like morality, they can end up with abusive mates because they may tell themselves, I am better off married to someone abusive, rather than not getting married at all or they make convince themselves that they can chnage their spouses’ characters! In Uganda many couples both young and old, but most likely for the older ones, the bride is already pregnant on the wedding day, it is sad, because, you make your vows before God but they actually are meaningless, or a total mockery of Him.
I pray that God will uphold me with His righteous right hand, and that he will strengthen and help me, for He is the Lord my God. He says to me, Do not fear Olivia; I will help you. Many of my relatives are waiting to see what happens to me, but I know that whatever the devil meant for evil, the Lord will turn out for my good! I know God will not allow me to be disgraced or ashamed. Instead I pray that on my wedding day, after all is said and done, when the Lord turns my fortunes around, when the Lord removes this reproach, my parents, Aunties, Uncles, my siblings, friends and relatives will give their lives to Christ after seeing what God can do in ones life if they trust in Him! The ones who are stuck in witchcraft will finally have reason to throw it away, since they will know that the power of God is greater than the power of those small gods that our ancestors served and many of our relatives still serve and have made covenants with.
My big brother our first born, John David is 43-years-old, but he is also not yet married, my elder sister, the second born Theresa Caroline is 41-years-old and is also not yet married, I come after her, third in line and I am also not married, my other sister, Julianne who comes after me will be 39 this November, and is also not yet married and has a child outside wedlock, Cecilia Angella passed away at the age of 22, in 1998. She succumed to goitre which is cancerous which led to heart failure which actually killed her, after Angella comes Albert, he is going to make 35 this November, Albert is also not married, after Albert comes Mary Louise, my younger sister who got married in December 2011, she is now 33 and now lives in Memphis Tenesee with her husband John Paul and their baby daughter Gabriela who was born in September 2012, eighth in line is Ann Christine, who turned 31 this July on 25th, she is going to introduce her fiance to my family for him to pay bride price this December, and ninth and last is Kizito who turned 29 in March this year, also not married.
We are a big family of 8, Angella went to be with the Lord, we are 5 girls and 3 boys. God has still kept my parents alive, I pray they live long to see me married, and for them to give their lives to Christ. My father is a businessman who continues to do his work on a small scale, my mother is a retired Nurse and midwife.
My family needs prayers first and foremost to receive Christ as their personal Saviour and for God to break the generational curses in our family tree. I pray that Isaiah 62:2-5, and Ps. 126 may come to pass in my and my siblings lives and in the lives of other older singles in the church waiting on Lord for Godly men and women.”