A 50-year-old diabetic woman has walked to Namugongo ahead of this year’s Martyrs Day celebrations on June 3 after she abandoned her medication, believing her faith in God would free her from her illness.
Ms Janet Otee, a resident of Opio Onyoro village in Anai parish, Lira Sub-county in Lira District, abandoned her medication in 2013 when she started walking to Namugongo Shrine in Wakiso District.
“My cure, my strength is in Jesus Christ. He is the one who gave me the courage and I have faith that He is going to cure me and it is still the faith I have now, today and tomorrow. That is why I’m able to walk,” Ms Otee, a mother of six, says.
“I am suffering from diabetes and (high blood) pressure. But since 2013, whenever I go for the (routine) check-up, my doctors give me the drugs but I don’t take them, and even now I have them in my bag but I have not even taken any tablet. I’m even taking tea with sugar,” she adds.
Ms Otee goes for routine check-up at Lira Regional Referral Hospital and she is scheduled to see the doctors again on June 13.
During the check ups, her pressure and diabetes are tested and results disclosed to her. The former nursery school teacher is looking forward to receiving good results this time round.
“They take my pressure and diabetic test, but ever since then it is normal. When it is normal they still give you drugs and they tell you to continue taking them until some years when the doctors will be the one to say now you can stop,” she explains.
However, it was not easy for Ms Otee to talk her husband, Mr Charles Otee, a driver, into allowing her to trek to Namugongo Shrine in 2013 for her first time.
Mr Otee did not know trekking to Namugongo would one day put a smile on his wife’s face.
“My husband had little faith! When I was coming here in 2013, it was very difficult for me to convince him to allow me to come,” Ms Otee says.
“I prayed to God to change him, to change his behaviour– that at least we should have love at home. It really worked out for me. Last Sunday, my husband followed me up to Migeera (in Nakasongola), where he gave me money,” she says smiling.
The pilgrim further states that walking to Namugongo has also blessed her family.
“I have four graduates (children) who are not working but some of them wanted to start drinking and misbehaving because they have no work but I summoned Jesus and said these are the children God gave me, they are yours, I’ve given them back to you, you know what you should do with them,” Ms Otee testifies.
Ms Otee shares her testimony with a 76-year-old pilgrim, Mr Vincent Ecetu, who first made a pilgrimage in 1993.
“I had stomachache problem. When I started from Lira up to Loro, I found that there was a change. I got better in Migeera and now I am fine,” Mr Ecetu says.
Not everybody seeking cure from the Uganda Martyrs will be healed but only those who have faith in God, according to the pilgrims.
“When you want a doctor to cure you, you have got first of all to accept that he is the right person to cure you,” Mr Ecetu adds.
According to Mr Ecetu, ill pilgrims, including those with HIV/Aids, epilepsy, pressure and diabetes need not to continue with their medication if they have faith in God.
Daily Monitor reporter, however, witnessed some diabetic pilgrims having attacks on the way from Kakoge to Kasana-Luweero in Luweero District. They were put in a Red Cross ambulance and taken to a resting point at Kasana-Luweero parish.
More than 320 pilgrims from Lira Diocese set off from Lira Town to the martyrs shrine in Namugongo on May 18, ahead of this year’s Martyrs Day.