By Camille Kerr
Writing Specialist on the Woodbridge, Virginia Stake Public Affairs Council for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Oryang family has much to be thankful for. Their lives have been completely changed and blessed by the gospel of Jesus Christ and by their membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You may know them as President David Oryang, 2nd counselor in the Woodbridge Stake Presidency, and his wife Christine, who serves as the secretary in the Quantico Ward RS. Talk a walk through their story to see how they came to be where and who they are.
David is a Mathematical Statistician and Risk Analyst with the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and serves as the 2nd counselor in the Woodbridge Stake Presidency.
Christine works for the Metro as a Computer System Analyst. She serves as the secretary in the Quantico Ward RS and volunteers with the International Affairs Office of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Washington, D.C.
They are the parents of a recently returned missionary, Joseph, who served in the Mozambique Maputo Mission and a fourteen year old daughter, Faith. Their children also have their own amazing stories.
Both David and Christine were born in and grew up in Uganda. Christine spent her childhood in Kumi – Teso and David was born in Gulu town in the Acholi district, but lived most of his childhood years in Entebbe and Kampala. Childhood in Uganda according to Christine was fun. She said that she and her siblings, “played as hard as we could, worked as hard as mother wanted us to, got up very early, made our own breakfast before school, and walked to school about two miles away from home.” When she turned twelve, she went to a boarding school and then to Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.
David says of his childhood in Uganda, “Growing up in Uganda was humbling and inspiring.” He was the second oldest of nine children where he learned to share and be a leader. He was christened as an infant and was a devout Catholic until he was 12 and was then sent to a Protestant boarding school. He explains, “In boarding school I elected to take a scripture class where we studied the New Testament. It was during that study – at the age of 13 – when I developed a testimony of the reality, life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Living thru the instability of the dictatorship of Idi Amin, and political turmoil in Uganda helped to stoke the fires of my quest for spiritual understanding. What I experienced and was taught in Uganda helped me to be grounded in faith and humility, consider the needs of those around me, and feel blessed and loved by the Lord in spite of my afflictions, trials, and shortcomings.”