Oneka Charles: a man of God


Remembering Oneka Charles today. Oneka Charles died August 5 in his home area of Gulu, Uganda.

Oneka Charles was a beautiful human being, devoted to Christ and serving humanity, a tailor and friend to all.

Oneka was a friend of many of us who lived Uganda from mid-90s till now. He was a tailor and it was well-known that he could sew anything, including clothes for our children, couch covers, drapes . . . anything. He was good at what he did.

Oneka did not hide the fact that he was HIV-positive. He spoke guardedly about his past but confidently and faithfully about the future. He wanted God to change his test to HIV-negative, and he at times became discouraged with yet another positive test. We talked one day about how God has spared his life for a purpose–to glorify God in so many ways on this earth–and Charles fulfilled that purpose. God spared him for more than a decade, regardless of what tests said.

Brent Abney said, “I’ll never forget him . . . his amazing faith, his kindness, his guarded stories of his past, his enthusiastic worship leading and singing. He was a man of God.”

On our summer 2010 trip to Uganda, my family was honored to visit Oneka and enjoy moments of prayer and his leading two songs we always remembered him leading in “Jinja Church” years ago. When we visited him, he was living in a small room with rent paid by exchanging sewing work for an orphanage on the same property. Charles was always kind to our children, and wanted specially to have a photo of him with the children.

May he receive from God the blessing of reward for a faithful life and as Abney said, “I hope God hugged him.”

2 comments on “Oneka Charles: a man of God

  1. I have many memories of Charles. Many of him sewing on our front porch. My favorite memories are of him leading songs at Jinja Church. Jesus Is the Winner Man will always bring smiles and memories for Clint and I.

    Like

  2. Charles was a unique young man! He was willing to alter several pieces of clothing for me while I was visiting Jinja several years ago. I will forever cherish the purse he made and sent to me by Greg and Jill recently. He had such a winning smile. I am sure he is smiling “big time” now since he is in God’s presence.

    Like

Comments are closed.