By Esther Oluka
Society tends to raise the bar high for couples serving in the church. In most cases, such couples are expected to live perfect lives to the point of expecting them to be superhuman. And on occasions, eyebrows are raised and judgment is passed.
Stella Brenda Kampame Akwech, an accountant, says although these are the expectations, it is humanly impossible to live a life free of any wrongdoing.
Stella is the wife of Rev Chrysostom Akwech, a priest at All Saints Chapel in Lweza, Kajjansi. Stella adds that it is impossible for one standard to work for all because each couple is different and when they get married, they find what works for them.
She says it is important that she lives her life as well and not entirely according to people’s expectations and standards.
Similarly, Rev Akwech says he never goes by people’s perceptions but rather, what God expects of him.
“There are times I may hold my wife’s hand or waist while out in public (actions which may raise a few eyebrows). But then, there is nothing wrong with this because before God, I am simply expressing affection for my better-half,” Rev Akwech says.
Stella and Chrysostom say they do this because their marriage is an inspiration to young people who aspire to get married, as well as other couples.
Chrysostom and Stella first met on January 1, 2015, at St Kakumba Chapel, Kyambogo University, during the daily morning service. At the time, he had just been posted as an assistant chaplain at the university while Stella served as an usher. After the service, Chrysostom was introduced to the congregation but one remark annoyed Stella.
“Every speaker would say he was a single man and had supposedly survived the clutches of many girls at the different universities he had served,” Stella says, adding, “They were showing him off like a gift, something that did not amuse me and from that day, I began perceiving Chrysostom as a proud man.”
Little did Stella know that she had caught the Chrysostom’s eye and over time, his feelings for Stella only grew deeper.
“However, I kept these feelings to myself and tried so hard to fight them off. At some point, I began showing her attitude with the hope that the strategy would help erode these feelings but this approach did not work,” he says.
Why fight these feelings?
“I thought they were creeping up out of excitement and I did not want to make mistakes,” Chrysostom says.
When the feelings refused to go away, he, from time to time, began asking Stella personal questions including whether she had a boyfriend and children.
“I would find these questions annoying. I used to wonder why a reverend would ask me such questions. So, as a way of trying to put him off, I would tell him that I had a boyfriend, which was not true,” she says. Click to read more…