A Father's Legacy
Typically, holidays are a busy time for a chaplain — and for my dad Father’s day was no different. He informed us sons that he would be on call visiting patients across the city of Houston. At first I was disappointed, but as the day went on I realized my dad, Daniel Situka, is pretty special. My father is helping others on a day he should be honored. He always finds a way to put the need to care above his own. It’s that heart that birthed Sovereign Wings of Hope.
Over 40 years ago, Daniel Situka was an active Christian in a war-torn Uganda. Though he had the option to only take care of his family, he chose to invest into Uganda’s future by creating youth outreaches, delivering aid, and creating avenues for young adults to obtain high school and college education. He and my mom received threats, were mistreated, and endangered themselves for the sake of a greater community.
Even as my parents later struggled as immigrants in this country, they found happiness in God and family and continued to serve Uganda. My dad took three jobs, and my mom two, while both getting their masters. They had a surprise or two along the way (me and my little brother), but they never forgot about home. They set up foreign exchange programs to assist youth, ran short term mission’s trips, and set up the first hospice in Eastern Uganda. As I grew older, my dad would travel back as often as he could to share Christ’s love in practical ways. Many believed in Christ, graduated from college in all sectors of society, and invested back into Ugandan communities.
Today, Uganda is a peaceful, growing, developing nation and I can’t help but think my dad’s sacrifices made some of that possible. Uganda is currently major producer of coffee and tea to the world, it has assisted in global trade efforts, the tourism is buzzing, and commerce and health infrastructure is beginning to thrive.
However, there is still more work to do! Many of these resources are only in the capital and central Uganda. Like many other NGOs in the 2000s, my father shifted SWOH to care for the peripheral areas of Uganda. We have inspired more locally run hospice organizations in Uganda. I am proud to serve as President of Global Operations for Sovereign Wings of Hope Ministries (SWOH) and lead a team of missionaries this year to Uganda whose work will assist in those margin places.
I also take pride that I am carrying on my father’s work. He has shown me how compassion transforms lives and I have witnessed that a legacy of compassion can change a country.
Happy Father’s Day Tata (Dad in Lugandan).