On meeting Pastor Edward Mwesigye, 36, he is friendly and talks freely as if we have known each other before. The father of three shows off pictures of his children and wife on his smartphone.
Fondly known as Pastor Eddy at his church, the mechanical engineer-turned Watoto South Pastor, says he found satisfaction in his new vocation.
“I never miss practicing what I studied because I find more fulfilment in seeing lives transformed than manning a plant,” he says.
The third in a family of four children born to the Late John Wilson Besigye and Jane Esther Kyorimpa, Mwesigye spent his early years in Mulago Doctors’ Village as his parents were doctors at the National Referral Hospital.
His life changed when his mother and father died, in 1984 and 1986, respectively. The children were distributed among relatives. He was sent to his grandparents in Ibanda District.
In the village, Mwesigye instead started taking care of his elderly grandparents.
Life became harder when his cousins told him that he could not wear shoes to school because their teachers did not have shoes. Every morning until he completed Primary Seven, he braved the cold as he walked on bare feet to Kijongo Primary School. After Primary Seven, his grandparents could not afford secondary school fees so he stayed home.
His chance to continue schooling came when a cousin requested for the boy to help him at home in Kampala.
His cousin’s husband offered to take him back to school but he was late for Primary Seven registration and had to go back to Primary Six at Makerere University Primary School. He scored aggregate four and joined Namilyango College for O and A-Levels.
Since he was always among the top three in his class, his teachers thought he would be a doctor but he had a phobia for blood and a love for electrical engineering.
However, he scored 22 points in the university entry exams and was given his second choice Mechanical engineering.
The unruly youth
When he found out that he was going to university on government sponsorship, Mwesigye says he felt like he had finally made it and celebrated his results with a drink. At university, he resided in Nsibirwa Hall and recalls lying to some students that he was “saved” just to push them away.
His actions were, however, the opposite of a born again character. At the university, he joined a clique of friends who were always hanging out and partying. This was the beginning of an expensive lifestyle for him. Since he didn’t have rich parents to facilitate the expensive lifestyle, he kept asking his siblings for money until they got tired of him.
“At some point I realised I could not keep up with the standards I had set and thought within me that if I continued with this lifestyle, I would become a thief,” he recalls.
Going to Watoto Church
One day while at campus, one of the girls from his class invited him to the Christmas Cantanta at Watoto Church (former KPC).
“I was mesmerised by the beautiful voices and I felt that it was like this is where I wanted to stay,” he recalls.
Though he wasn’t born again yet, from that time he always wondered where he would go if he died. The fear grew so much that whenever he was going to enter a taxi, he asked himself the same question.
One night he woke up in a pool of tears.
“I think Jesus was washing away my sins because from that time I felt a peace I had never had and decided to go to church the following day. Unfortunately, there was no altar call that day,” he recalls.
Disappointed, Mwesigye says he went back to the hall and prayed to get saved. From then, he began enjoying church and started making genuine friends. He even joined a cell group.
When his cell leader suddenly left church and left members disunited, Mwesigye instead invited members to his room for fellowships. He even joined the church’s praise and worship team and soon became its leader.
In his fourth year, he tried to imagine himself as a mechanical engineer, managing a big plant and then as a church leader making a difference in young people’s lives. He realised that it made more sense for him to be in church and minister to those like him.
At the end of his university course, he knew he wanted to become a missionary and was asked by Pastor Gary and Marilyn Skinner to work with the children’s choir, an experience that fit right in his puzzle.
He was trained to lead the children’s choir, a task he performed for five years, travelling with the choir to different countries including USA and South Africa.
Becoming a pastor
After five years at the children’s choir, Mwesigye felt it was time to move on into something else but when he was offered a position as a pastor, he turned down the opportunity.
Mwesigye has been a pastor at Watoto South church located in Lubowa, Entebbe Road, for five years. “Seeing lives transformed, for instance married people reconciling, youth stopping drug abuse and alcoholism has made my best moments as a pastor ,” he says.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor