Nathan became a village chief in Uganda in 1961.In 1971, when Idi Amin (a Muslim) took power, many village chiefs who were not Muslim were harassed. As a nominal Anglican Nathan often had to go into hiding in the forest. In 1973 he received word from a friend that he was to be arrested on the coming Friday and put before a firing squad the following Tuesday, so he fled to Kenya. He remained in Kenya until 1979 when the Tanzanians ran Idi Amin out of the country.
When he returned, he found things had not gone well for his family. In 1982, his wife died giving birth to their 15th child. The next four years were difficult years for him—caring for his children without a wife.
Nathan met Gary Hipp in the mid-80s, and Gary began to disciple him. As a chief, it was hard for Nathan to change, but Gary did not give up on him. After two years, Nathan finally accepted what Gary was teaching him, and he became a follower of Jesus. Gary and his family were part of the group that went with him to acquire a new wife, Alice.
Nathan married Alice in 1986/7?, and they have two children: Mary (17) and Ema (12?). She wanted some children of her own. Mary and Ema are the only two children still living with them. Some of Nathan’s children still live in the village where he originally came from. Others have made homes for themselves in Mbale or other villages. He does have one son who lives on an adjoining farm and who has also implemented the 14 points (see below).
Nathan is a community development facilitator with M:MM and a priest at an Anglican village church.
Nathan’s home, family, and small farm serve as a model to villagers. He showed us around his compound and all the innovations he has implemented as a result of the things he’s learned through M:MM.
The 14 Points he has implemented and helps others implement:
• A house with windows for light and ventilation
• Yard and grounds clean from garbage and trash
• A vegetable garden
• Plant trees for firewood and fruit trees
• Have a safe water source
• Kitchen with efficient ovens that conserve cooking wood
• Dish rack and storage
• Food storage room
• Clothes line for drying clothes
• Latrine with a cover, sprinkling ashes
• Dedicated shower area
• Rubbish pit for composting plant and animal waste
• Natural fence made of bushes
• Develop income generating activities
Nathan has tapped into the water main and pays a monthly fee for its use. He sells the water to his neighbors for 50 shillings (about 3 cents ) a jerrycan (about 5 gallons). This generates some income for Nathan and covers the cost of his monthly charge.
Nathan grows matoki (a type of banana), pineapple, egg plant, beans, potatoes, etc.
Now Nathan is testing a new strain of matoki that is resistant to a mold that has killed many matoki plants in Uganda. After he harvests, he plans to share his plants with others.