I knew—in spite of not feeling equipped—that I needed to do something. I knew my life could not be the same, because once God opens your eyes to people’s suffering, he beckons you to respond. I could no longer pretend I hadn’t seen. I could no longer pretend everyone in the world lived as I did. I knew better. And it had wrecked me.
So I searched for an organization doing what I had seen a need for—preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers. That is, sponsoring mothers, like the beautiful woman I’d met, to care for their children so they didn’t have to lose them. When I didn’t find anything, it was then that I knew God was calling me to initiate something to fill the gap.
But it wouldn’t be until talking to numerous nonprofit organizations and reading books like When Helping Hurts, The Blue Sweater and The Hole in Our Gospel that I knew I couldn’t rely on myself to do what was best for mothers in Uganda.
No, I needed to empower trusted nationals who had a heart for their people, who lived there, who understood intricacies and politics and social needs (like not giving the mamas too much sponsorship money or it would take away their instinct to survive).
It took all of this to realize, again, that it’s not about me doing something for them. It’s about us working with each other, to bring glory to God.
And oh, what joy when we do this. When we link hands—whether it’s across the water, or on their own turf in long-term missions—and watch the Holy Spirit do his work of reconciliation through us, his church. Faith works through love (Galatians 5:6) as we work in coordination with different parts of the body to rise up to alleviate suffering and meet needs, both temporal and eternal, in the name of Jesus.