On the back page of the weekly Church Times there is always an interview with someone about whom it is interesting to gain information.  Two weeks ago, on the 5th January the individual chosen was the second of eight children born to African peasant farmers in Uganda. He is now a legal trainee working with Justice Defenders at their Kampala head office.

What is so significant about his life story is that he started his legal training while in prison, after gaining a place on the final list for the University of London LLB programme. As he comments, studying law in prison was as challenging as it was interesting! He had to work without direct access to the internet, without a library and without teachers or professors. He studied by working on the cases of fellow prisoners. 

He successfully appealed against his own conviction, with the support of Justice Defenders, and after four years and six months was released. 

This amazing man, who is now a minister at his local church, demonstrates how it is possible to overcome overwhelming difficulties to achieve one’s ambition. It would seem that nothing is impossible if the determination to succeed is sufficiently strong. 

As New Year resolutions crumble and former bad habits are resumed it is a salutary reminder, when reading an account of determination overcoming apparently insoluble problems, that such things are possible. I found myself so impressed by this account which was written quite factually, without exaggeration or self-aggrandizement.

Our own problems may be minor in comparison, but it is worth being reminded that, no matter how large or small, difficulties can be overcome. I thank God for this courageous young man who is an example to us all.

Thelma Shacklady