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Losing my wife, child to HIV was not end of the world

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th November 2014 01:09 PM

Pastor Brian Migadde’s story is one filled with grief and pain. When Migadde and his first wife were expecting their first child, they were told that the baby had died in the womb.

Losing my wife, child to HIV was not end of the world

Pastor Brian Migadde’s story is one filled with grief and pain. When Migadde and his first wife were expecting their first child, they were told that the baby had died in the womb.

Pastor Brian Migadde’s story is one filled with grief and pain. When Migadde and his first wife were expecting their first child, they were told that the baby had died in the womb.

Although they later got a baby, his wife was found to have HIV/AIDS. She passed on and before long, the baby also died. However, all this did not crush Migadde's soul.

He picked up the pieces and now helps people live a purposeful life, writes Samuel Lutwama

In the late 1990s, doctors told Pastor Brian Migadde’s late wife, Faith, that her unborn child had died in the womb.

The couple had waited six long years to have a child.

It all started with the medicine (quinine) Faith was given as anti-malarial treatment when she went for an antenatal visit.

The quinine was not compatible with her body.

In order to remove the foetus and save the mother any likely complications, a nurse with bloodstained gloves rushed to Faith’s aid.

Migadde was out of the country at the time, but he was informed about the incident. Amid pain, he felt what he describes as a “divine voice” giving him encouragement.

The voice told him that the couple was not barren but fruitful. Fortified with that insight, he encouraged his grieving wife to believe and trust in God for more children. Shortly after that incident, Faith conceived again.

“My wife and I were over the moon when we got the news of her pregnancy. Once beaten twice shy.

The circumstances that led to the death of our first child were still fresh in our minds, so we took all precautions to ensure that she had a normal delivery,” Migadde says.

Migadde hosts a Christian radio programme where he helps people live a purposeful life

Tendo is born

Faith gave birth to a beautiful son whom they named Tendo (meaning praise). Migadde says he named his son Tendo because had made a deal with God — to give Him the glory and praise.

From the time he was born, Tendo was loved by everyone. However, tragedy was lurking around the corner. A year after his birth, Faith started getting periodic illnesses.

She developed a big wound which could not heal, no matter what medication she was given. During that time, Faith would spend the whole day in bed. While her symptoms were those of HIV/AIDS, they could not relate her plight to the disease. After all, where could she have got the disease?

The couple’s Swedish friend, Elsie Marie Bitamazire, offered to take her to Dr. Ian Clarke, her personal doctor, for a thorough check-up.

A night before the appointment, Migadde heard a voice in the wee hours of the morning, telling him to switch on the TV. International televangelist Marilyn Hickey was preaching about sacrifice from the book of Romans 11. For some strange reason, he was drawn to read Roman 11:5:

“The same today, for a few of the people of Israel have remained faithful because of God’s grace — his underserved kindness in choosing them.”

“I felt that the words in that verse leaped from the pages and were hitting me with great intensity. It was a whole new experience. I closed the Bible and ran back to my bedroom. I stayed awake the whole night as the voice of “the underserved kindness” kept echoing in my mind,” Migadde recalls.

Migadde, his second wife Nalubwama and their children

Shocking news

When they went for the check-up, the doctor asked whether HIV should be among the tests done.

Migadde smiled because HIV was the last thing on his mind.

“I married Faith when she was a virgin, so I was sure of our status.

Besides, both of us had devoted our lives to serving God in our local church,” he says. However, they were shocked by the results.

Faith and Tendo were HIVpositive.  Migadde was negative.

How could this happen to them? Migadde broke down in tearful despair, asking the doctors many questions.

“By instinct, I knew that God was behind the scenes,” he recalls with moist eyes. It then dawned on him what the underserved kindness meant — his life had been spared for a purpose.

“After accepting our fate, tried to figure out how Faith could have contracted the virus. We remembered the nurse with the blood-stained gloves,” he says.

Asked why he did not seek justice after discovering the source of his family’s plight, Migadde says:

“Justice could not heal my wife. The nurse was rushing to save my wife’s life, somehow, she forgot to remove the blood-stained gloves.

This can happen to anyone. So it would have been injustice for me to seek justice against someone who was trying to save my wife’s life.”

Asked whether he has forgiven the nurse, Migadde says: “Yes I did, although at first, it was not easy. But as time went on, I knew I had to move on with my life.”

He adds: “I forgave her so that I could free my heart from bitterness, which would have poisoned the good plan God still had for me.” Accepting their fate After a pain-filled evening, the couple went back home. Migadde’s wife was shattered and the knowledge of God’s faithfulness did little to relieve her pain.

“I sat my sobbing wife down and told her that the mystery of the sickness had remained elusive for long. I told her not to get overwhelmed by something that had been part of our lives for many months. Those words brought her spiritual perspective back and she gained strength. She also encouraged me to go and work on my programme at Top Radio,”  Migadde says.

He presented the evening drive radio show meant to encourage and inspire those who were weighed down by challenges in life.

That day, Migadde stepped into the studio, asking himself: “How am I going to encourage others and minister to them about the faithfulness of God when my world has fallen apart?”

He began the programme with a sense of hopelessness. He played three back-to-back songs as he tried to compose himself before he could speak to his expectant listeners.

Surprisingly, Migadde was swept by what he calls the “inner strength that surpasses human understanding.”

“I was shocked when listeners called in to say they had never heard the anointing in my programme like they did on that day. My wife, who was listening at home, was equally moved. In her anguish, her faith shone through.

She said if life went on like this, healing was just a matter of time. Such was her faith,” Migadde says.

From that day, she remained optimistic, even as she kept losing weight and her body systems failed.

Throughout 1998, Faith was bedridden. The disease had taken a toll on her. At the time, ARVs were not easily accessible.

She received treatment from International Hospital Kampala, by then located at Old Kampala, near Pride Theatre.

Later, she was admitted at Mildmay Centre, Lweza.

Faith loses the battle

“We still hoped for supernatural healing as we kept on praying,” Migadde says.

“Although it was evident that her life was ebbing day by day, she looked almost angelic and remained gorgeous to me till the time she passed on,” he says.

When more infections rippled her body and it was apparent that he was at risk of contracting HIV, Migadde was advised to wear gloves while nursing her.

However, he stopped putting on the gloves, claiming that when he used them, he sensed a big wall erected between him and his beloved wife.

“She was dear to me until she fell back into the arms of the ever-loving groom, Jesus Christ,” Migadde says.

Through it all, they still hoped for “supernatural healing” for Faith and Tendo. “Somehow, I felt that God would answer all our questions and fears.

What a testimony that would bring to the world. But God showed it differently.

“When Faith died in 1999, I felt so weak and defeated because she had lost the battle,” he says.

Migadde remembered the words of Paul in 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

She had run her race in life and was now awaiting her crown of righteousness. Faith had served in the Church for 10 years.

Tendo passes on

Worst of all, Tendo, who was only two then, could not comprehend that his mother was gone forever.

He kept asking his father about the sudden “disappearance” of his mother. “Did she go for shopping?”
Tendo would constantly ask.

“Six months after Faith had passed on, her sister, Sarah, visited us. She was dressed in one of the suits Faith had given her.

When Tendo saw her, he ran excitedly towards her and sat on her lap, but later discovered that she was not his mother.

I felt bad, but I had to compose myself before the visitor and my son,” Migadde recalls.

“We started a prayer altar at home to pray for Tendo, whose life at the time was worsening day by day.

Later, Tendo got full-blown AIDS. By God’s grace, Mildmay Centre on Entebbe Road offered medical care.
Here, he received all the medical and emotional support he needed.
As young as he was, Tendo told his father that he wanted to be a medical doctor when he grew up, so that he could help treat the suffering children.

His father held back tears because he knew Tendo would not get that chance.

He purposed in his heart to fulfill his son’s wishes, thus the birth of Tendo Love and Care Ministries, under Double Portion Revival Centre Church.

The ministry supports and helps children born with HIV, and their parents, but most importantly, lead the people to salvation.

Migadde says God has given him a wife who helps him in his ministry

Falling in love again

Six years after the death of his wife, Migadde felt that he was ready to begin a new chapter in his life. He had taken time to ache and heal.

“I met Yudaya Nalubwama at Redeemed of the Lord Evangelical Church, Makerere in 2005. Before we met, she had heard about my testimony on radio and she believed my story. When I look back, it was all God’s plan because that kind of faith is rare. And today, we are happily married,” Migadde says.

Nalubwama says she believes God performs miracles. “If God sustained him through the ordeal, then He is able to protect him. And indeed the faith I had did not disappoint me.”

To align their faith with the medical report, in 2005, the couple did several HIV tests at different hospitals and clinics. All the tests showed that they were HIV-negative.

“On December 19, 2008, we got married and in 2009 we had our first child — Princess Elianah Migadde,” says Migadde. Elianah is now five and Elidad two. “I am grateful to God for blessing me with someone who fits well in my ministry,” Migadde says.

Asked where he gets support to run the ministry, he says when God gives one a ministry, He knows where the resources will come from. He, however, adds that he gets resources from friends and well-wishers.

Today, Migadde reaches out to hurting people through his ministry on his Christian radio programme. He is also a member of the Living Sound Gospel singers, as well as the senior pastor of Double Portion Revival Centre in Mabombwe, Wakiso district.


Losing my wife, child to HIV was not end of the world

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