Written by: Erin Van Tuinen
Weeping and Rejoicing
Traveling for the third time to Uganda, this time with my oldest son Brody, I knew God would work in amazing ways as He had done in the past. He had always been faithful to challenge me and teach me and today was no different!
One of the opportunities I have while I am here, is to help out with a Christmas sponsorship project as I did on my first trip. Today we began our work with the project and met with the PCM vocational students. Lori Alexander, the US sponsorship coordinator, took time to get updates from each student and then sent them to have their pictures taken by Kasey. As one girl, Judith, approached, Kasey was taking care of another task and not quite ready for her. As she stood there and waited, her lip began to quiver and tears began to fill her eyes. I went to her and asked what was wrong and she told me that Lori had just given her the heartbreaking news that she no longer had a sponsor. In that moment, all I wanted to do was take away her pain. Feeling helpless, I knew the best thing I could do for her was pray. I wrapped my arms around her and asked the Lord to comfort her as she waited for another sponsor. Kasey offered her some words of comfort as well along with a hug and Judith was able to brighten up a little bit to have her picture taken.
As all this was happening, I was remembering a conversation I was able to have with a friend back home before the trip. I had shared with her about what we would be doing with our time in Uganda and she asked me what some of the greatest needs for Parental Care Ministries were. I explained to her the sponsorship process and she said her family would love to sponsor a child and began praying. I told her I would even be able to find a child for them while we were in the country. I didn’t say anything to Judith because I didn’t want to get her hopes up, but as soon as I was able to contact Patty, I asked her if they would be willing to sponsor an older girl. She quickly responded that they would take anyone and I was able to share with her some of Judith’s story. She then asked me to let Judith know that her family had already been praying for her and would continue to do so.
In Romans 12:15, we are called to “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.” Today as I prayed with Judith, tears filled my eyes and God gave me the opportunity to weep with her. I am so excited that on Wednesday when I see Judith again, I will be able to rejoice with her in God’s faithfulness by sharing with her that she was again has a sponsor!