by Alli Kennedy
Benjamin House Ministries Summer 2019 Intern
To Karim Nsanja Martin or “Nate,” education is more than just studying for exams and writing papers, it’s preparing for the future.
Before sponsorship, Nate was kicked out of school several times because he couldn’t pay school fees. This led to a decline in his school performance because of his inconsistency in class attendance.
“When I was in primary school, I had shorts that had holes in it. My fellow students made fun of me and called my shorts a rug. Though, I always went back and tried talking to them no matter the way they were treating me.”
His grandmother would go to Lake Victoria, buy fish, and give them to Nate and his cousins to sell to different customers in order to pay school fees. His grandma works hard to sustain the family financially, but not all of the children's school fees could be paid.
After sponsorship, Nate’s school fees were paid for and he stopped missing school. He’s reading and studying constantly, connecting with fellow students, and hoping to attend university where he would like to study political science or history.
Nate knew he wanted to gain confidence in public speaking and be exposed to many different types of people, so he decided to run for head prefect of his school. a position similar to a student council president at a high school in the U.S.
Nate won by a staggering 85% majority vote from his classmates after only one year of attendance at Comprehensive College Kitetika, a true testament to how his classmates admire his natural-born leadership qualities and character.
As head prefect, Nate will lead a full cabinet of other student leaders, discuss challenges facing the school with administration, and be the voice of the students around him. “I create time for everyone. I want to know what my neighbor is facing and figure out ways to help that person through my leadership,” says Nate.
“God is always teaching me to believe in him. I didn’t know if this position as head prefect would work out because I had never done something like this before, but God made it evident that this is what I’m supposed to do.”
Nate also hopes to use the confidence and public speaking skills he learns from his time as head prefect to serve with Benjamin House in the future.
“Someone may choose to sponsor a child because their friend does or they hear about it at church one time, but really, sponsorship is everything for the kid who is being sponsored. The conversation and support between a sponsor and a child create a great change in the way the child continues their life,” says Nate.
Before he gave his life to Christ, Nate was a Muslim. "I even had the Muslim name ‘Karim,’ but I didn’t really live out the Muslim lifestyle,” says Nate.
After being taught to dance, he was performing at a church in 2016 where he gave his life to Christ and has been discipled and attending The House Church ever since. He was baptized on December 25, 2016 and took the name Nate.
“I want to live by the verse 'The greatest among you shall be your servant. (Matthew 23:11)' Though I am a leader in my school, I want to serve my classmates and the people around me all the time.
Bucky Rogers, Benjamin House staff, and short-term missionaries