joshua's story

A second chance for education

Joshua Kihala grew up in the small village of Kigoma in northwestern Tanzania. He was the seventh child in a family of eight children. It was not possible for his family to pay for the education of all eight children.Today, he is very grateful to have a second chance for education at Wesley College, as his path to education was neither direct nor easy.

Joshua talks about happy and sad memories. He has always been very close to his mother, and memories about her always bring him joy. But in 2011 his father passed away. Joshua felt a great emptiness and felt that he would have to start life all over again.  One of the biggest challenges he faced was how to get an education. He unfortunately had to drop out of secondary school after his third year, because of lack of funds.

In 2015 Joshua decided to travel from his small village, Kigoma, in northwestern Tanzania, to the Morogoro Region to seek employment. A company just outside of town hired him to dig up tree stumps. He and five others lived, worked, and took their meals in camp. But after 10 months of work none of them had been paid. Finally, the company owner took them all back to town and told them he’d find other jobs for them there. Instead, he left them there with no pay, no job, and no way to live.

Because Joshua had not signed a contract, he couldn’t appeal to a court for help.  This was a very challenging time for him. Four years later, sharing the story is still very painful.

Joshua had been raised in the Anglican church. And, despite being destitute, he began to look for a place to worship. Someone directed him to the United Methodist Church in the town of Morogoro. There he heard an announcement about Wesley College. He decided to enroll, and the Conference Youth Leader helped him fill out an online application. Not only was Joshua accepted, but he also got a scholarship. This was a second chance to get the education he wanted.

As a testimony to God’s work in his life, Joshua shares a story of healing. In 2015 he was sick for six months.  He lost his appetite for any kind of food because his stomach hurt so much.  At one point, Joshua was vomiting blood for almost three hours.  During that time, Joshua was convinced that his life was at an end, and he gave up hope. 

Joshua continued to pray, however, and God began to heal him. It was a powerful experience for him to experience God’s love in this way. It was shortly after being healed that he went to Morogoro and experienced betrayal and deception. The man who hired him for the tree stump job had been a person he trusted.  But, now, he has also experienced guidance and help from a man of God who helped him get into Wesley College.

Joshua’s dream is to get as much education as he can and to serve God through the church, perhaps by church planting, preaching and teaching. Wesley College is providing the means to help achieve his goal. He says that the atmosphere is conducive to learning:  the administration and trustees provide good educational policies, and the teachers nurture the students and lead by example.

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