I am the son of the late Balam Owino and Yakoba Anyango. Badama/Japadhola from Osia Village in the Rubongi sub-county of the District of Tororo in Eastern Uganda
My late Father was a victim of chronic asthma. He was sustained by medication all his life, but my mother was a very strong village woman. Life was very difficult for them because of the harshness of life in extreme poverty. I was born a healthy boy and named Bita James Oloo but because of the difficult and perilous life in our village, I was nick-named Lifuli, which means “misfortune” due to the extreme conditions under which I was born. My mother birthed seven children. Birth control was not available to our village women in those days. All they could afford was local herbal remedies. The Birthing area for the women of our village was in a banana patch behind our house, in an area where banana leaves were spread upon the ground. This is where they took birthing women to deliver their children. The Elder midwives delivered the babies. That is where Bita James Oloo came into this world.
Both of my parents were peasant farmers. They had a small piece of land which was passed down to my Father from my Grandfather. They used the land to cultivate the food that we ate for survival. We had meat and rice during the Christmas and Easter seasons. When I became five years old I contracted Polio which caused paralysis to my left leg. There was no medical assistance available to me. Over time, my left leg became atrophied and about four inches shorter than the other. This added much sadness to my parents.
After the initial distress of surviving Polio, I was able to begin Primary School at a school about two kilometers from my home. This was a school that my parents could afford. I was always at the very top of my class. When I became ten years old, I learned how to mold and fire earth-made bricks. I made bricks during weekends and holidays. I was then able to sell bricks for enough money to pay for my school fees and personal needs.
During this time in the late 80s, my Father gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. My Mom soon followed, so we began to attend and fellowship with other Christians. I vividly remember my Mother singing and praising the Lord in song and in the traditional African trill. This was the early formative years of my life.
My dad and mom both became committed, born again Christians. I, and all my
sisters and brothers, gave our lives to Christ as well. Our entire family became followers of Christ. My dad, who used to be a traditional witch healer, abandoned all witchcraft practices and our family became one of the few Pentecostal Christian families in our community with our father serving as a church elder. I always considered this a great blessing, my family having Christ as lord and master.
Although we lived in total poverty, our encouragement, hope, and trust was in the lord always, and our family was very different from that time forward. Dad always taught us about God.
I lived in my small village hut which i built by myself. I also learned how to repair watches, small radios, leaking vessels, storage containers for cooking oil, and making traditional drums. This enabled me to support my family even when dad lost his sight in 1991. He also fell and sustained a thigh fracture when he was making his way from the house.
I managed to study up to Secondary 3, but when I reached Secondary 4, I needed more concentration in books, yet I also had to work hard to earn money, so I dropped out of school and concentrated on my mechanical work and ministering in church. I began by leading praise and worship, then I was ordained as a youth pastor in our village church. I then developed a great desire to teach and preach the truth with sound doctrine, boldness, and power like the Apostles Paul, Peter, and others, and to help and encourage the poor. This desire influenced me to travel to the city to join, and minister under, a popular and well known ministry. I thought that by being mentored by mighty men of God, I would be ushered into my vision for ministry. I served zealously, sacrificially, and with much obedience under different pastors, apostles, and bishops around the Busoga, central and western region of Uganda.
A woman apostle took me to work in her friend’s poultry and pig farm. I was promised 100,000 Schillings [50 dollars U.S.] per month as my salary. I worked for 8months without receiving any wages. When i told them that I could not continue with the job, they took me to some village and rented a house, and a small hall, to be used as a church house. Then I began a village church fellowship with their support. Within three years, the church had grown to more than 150 members. The apostle told me that
“being a loved pastor in this church”, I was taking her glory from her. She also wanted me to engage in manipulation. I refused to comply so they decided to send me away. I left with nothing except my clothes and my bible. I eventually ended up in Entebbe. That is where my path crossed with an American missionary called Brother Danny.
The lord blessed me with Regina as my wife after being joined in holy matrimony before a multitude of witnesses. Danny was among them. He was seated as my Father. Our wedding was on 21st August, 2010. Now the lord has blessed us with twin babies, Dorothy and Burcham. I am called “Ssalongo” in our native tongue, which means—”father of twins”, a very honored title in Uganda. My wife is called “Nalongo”. The lord has helped us through many challenges and victories. Against many odds, the Lord has caused us to prevail mightily.
In ways that I cannot express, Danny has trained, taught, and helped me establish myself into ministry according to my vision. I am now the East Africa coordinator for a ministry known as “Bibles for Uganda” under the New Testament Fellowship International, a small union of dedicated Christians whose purpose is to provide new, quality native language Bibles in the Ateso, Luganda, and Swahili languages, to pastors and Church leaders who desperately need new Bibles. As our missions expand to include Northern Uganda and Western Uganda, our Bible inventory will grow to include the languages of Luo and Acholi in the North, and Lunyankole in the West. Other translations will follow as the need develops. Along with those Bibles, I teach sound doctrine accompanied by my spiritual son called Mukisa Joshua. This is the most unique ministry I know of coming out of the U.S. There is none other like it. No missionary organization I know of will go where we go on the budget that we have. Our donors can be confident that their donation is going directly to the village. Every schilling is carefully guarded.
I now see my dream coming to pass, and my desire coming to fruition day by day. I travel to different villages with Pastor Mukisa Joshua. We are teaching pastors and church leaders with boldness and power. We teach the truth of God’s Word, and warn the Church against all sorts of false teachings and heresy, encouraging them in the lord, and helping poor pastors and leaders whose own Bibles are old and dilapidated. They cannot afford to buy new ones.
We travel to a new village every month. Danny travels to Uganda yearly to join us in this effort. He is the one who raises funds for all the Bibles and transportation expenses for our missions . His own travel expenses are funded by he and his wife. It costs about 1.6 million USh [700 U.S. dollars] per month to fund “Bibles for Uganda”. He has helped the poor through the heart felt contributions of our donors from the U.S. and U.K. Many other projects have sprung up spontaneously, like building a house for a poor widow with five orphan children in Bukedea District, purchasing a cow and goats for village people. One of our faithful donors [Janet Burcham of North Carolina] gave funds to purchase 1,500 tree seedlings to deforested villages in Tororo District. Danny and wife Lynette, along with Ronald and Catherine Shelton of North Carolina U.S.A., have helped me established a bread business and electronic work shop in Entebbe. I sell electronic parts and appliances and do the repairs. My life has dramatically changed over these past few years. I hope you have enjoyed my story. It is a story repeated daily throughout the earth. A story of God’s love for his people.
To God be the glory amen. Pr Bita James Oloo(Jimmy)