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The Girl with a Thousand Questions

Discipleship through fellowship at EMI Uganda

By Hedina Angom, Civil Engineering Fellow

One key lesson I have learnt is that God always gets to you however much you try to resist Him.

In His time, He is always willing to answer the numerous questions we have.

My name is Hedina Angom. My family lives in Lira district, Uganda, where I was born and raised with my four siblings.

I felt God’s call on my life in 2015 while at university and gave my heart to Him. This caused a transformation in my approach and outlook on life—it was a transforming call to forgiveness.

You see, back during secondary school, my life had taken a significant turn when my dad was falsely accused of murder by his half-brothers and arrested.

In frustration at my helplessness, I asked God, “How can you allow bad people to have their way in hurting others?” The anger I had about this continued long after my dad’s exoneration. I even made it my life’s purpose to become a policewoman or lawyer just to get revenge for what had been done.

But when I got saved, God called me to forgive just as I had been forgiven. In doing so, I experienced a peace in my heart that I have failed to find words to describe.

This is where my journey of faith began.

Hedina at the survey practicum
Hedina at the 2017 EMI Survey Practicum at Uganda Christian University. Photo J. Sekanjako

My first encounter with EMI was in 2017 when they conducted a Survey Practicum at my university—Uganda Christian University. After serving as a student mentor with the 2018 Practicum, I decided to apply for an EMI internship in civil engineering and joined that August.

I was filled with joy to be a part of EMI because I expected them to nurture me both professionally and spiritually.

My first project was the design of a master plan for an international school in Uganda. Given the fact I had just graduated in July, I had very little experience and needed a lot of help from my supervisor, Andrew Scheer.

A few weeks into my internship, almost everyone in the office noticed that I always asked so many questions. The other civil engineering intern would just smile when I called on my supervisor. I’d ask him a question right after he had finished answering several other questions I’d asked moments before.

Hedina's internship
2018 EMI Uganda internship – L to R: Intern Sheena Kim, Staff Supervisor Andy Scheer, and Hedina. Photo by M. Ngango.

One thing I noticed in my first week was that EMI’s design professionals did not only do engineering work but also shared devotions and led Bible study groups. So my project leader was also my Bible study group leader. Therefore, not only did I ask engineering questions but also questions concerning my faith.

I had just accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior in 2015, and so I had so many questions. Questions like, “What does it mean to know God?” “How can I be sure about my salvation even when I still commit sin?” “What happens after death?” and many more.

When I called on my supervisor, he would never know what kind of question I was going to ask. Sometimes I wondered why he answered every question I asked, listening patiently and sharing his thoughts with me.

I had grown up in an environment where faith and work were separated. Why didn’t my supervisor tell me to wait for a certain time to ask questions? Given the fact that he was doing his own work, I expected him to ask me to wait with questions on faith for a lunch break or a devotion time.

Hedina studying the Bible
Now a civil engineering fellow, Hedina Angom, carries out her discipleship coursework from her usual EMI workstation. Photo by P. Greene.

Day after day at EMI, my supervisor helped me bring faith and work together. And I slowly began sharing the lessons God had been teaching me with others in the office.

The questions never stopped coming, though. I thought I was going to have everything figured out at some point, but that wasn’t the case.

After my internship, I was presented with the opportunity of becoming an EMI fellow. It was a brand new programme. On reading the purpose and goals of Fellowship, I remember telling God, “You knew that I still had so many questions!”

Now I’m one year into the fellowship and I feel I have grown so much. It becomes clearer every day that, as Bobby Clinton says, “ministry flows out of being” (Clinton, 1988). This growth has been a result of covering numerous study materials, mentorship, interactions with Fellowship coordinators, and other fellows around EMI.

I was most impacted by a course called, “Vocation, Calling and Purpose of Work” (City Vision University, 2020). Through it, I gained a better understanding of how my faith and work go hand in hand.

A key verse for me in this season is 2 Timothy 2:2:

“and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” (ESV)

I am so grateful to my supervisor for how he taught me and I always hoped to give back to someone.

Well, God provided an opportunity and now it’s my turn to answer intern questions about faith and work.

Fellowship at EMI is an exciting opportunity for early-career design professionals.

Find out more about joining Hedina as an EMI fellow at emiworld.org/fellowships.

And, your support of the EMI Fund helps us expand this programme to new locations.

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