Gabriel grew up in war-torn South Sudan where he experienced a traumatic childhood, being forced to fight as a child soldier. After his parents passed away, he came to Heritage House Uganda through his uncle's connection with Pastor Moses Katende, where he started a new life.
The team was privileged to meet Gabriel during a missions trip to Uganda, and he shared about how his life has changed since coming to Heritage.
Q: What's your name and how old are you?
A: My name is Gabriel, and I'm 15 years old.
Q: How did you find out about Heritage?
A: Before I came here, I was in South Sudan. My life was not okay. For five years of my childhood, they taught us bad practices, like using a gun. They taught me how to kill. Before you go and kill people, they make you kill small goats and use them as practice.
My father died in 2010, then my mother died and I came to Uganda, thanks to the connection of my uncle.
I joined Heritage in 2011.
When we moved to Heritage, we only knew one thing - to fight. So we didn't know how to handle people. When I reached here, all the students and their peers were happy. Whenever they were happy, I thought they were abusing us and making fun of us. So we got in a lot of fights.
Q: So we know Pastor Moses came alongside you and helped you to get along with the students and staff at Heritage. What's life like now for you?
A: I like the fellowship that takes place here, because that helped me a lot. They introduced me to God. If you know God, its the best. It shows the best in you. And I learned many things - I came here and I learned to write. Before I couldn't speak to people because of my previous life - I only knew how to kill. Here I learned to speak to people - I've made friends. I like reading the Bible, and interacting with people.
Q: When you graduate, what dreams do you have?
A: I want to become a doctor.
Q: What would you like to say to people in Australia?
A: I'm requesting the people in Australia to keep supporting us because it is not easy, especially for those who don't have mothers and fathers. We used to not have real beds to sleep in, the people of Dreamlife Church supplied us the beds that we sleep in today, and so I thank them so much for their generosity.