Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge the Lord, and He will make your path known. Proverbs 3:5-6
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3
These two passages served as the foundation for the October 2012 Uganda team as we served at Passion Kampala, visited child remand facilities, sponsor children and our partner church in Buloba, and new friends in Bwerenga.
Many at Cornerstone know that we have been involved in Buloba for several years now, but not many know about Bwerenga. This relationship began to develop out of our time spent in the child remand facilities last year where we met an amazing woman, Mama Catherine. Remand facilities are basically juvenile detention facilities where abandoned or orphaned children are taken, along with juveniles waiting for trial or convicted of crimes. The conditions in these facilities are often harsh and dangerous for vulnerable children. We went with Mama Catherine into one particular remand facility and heard her share her story with the children of being an orphan, of redemption, and we heard from others about the life and heart she and her husband, Pastor Ernest, have for orphans. You see, Ernest and Catherine have no children of their own, but they have been taking in orphans for a long time. At the moment, they are fostering 15 children. That’s not a typo. So great is their heart for orphans that they lost their home and church they planted when they refused to return two orphans to the remand facility they came from. There is often a stigma attached to these children, and the church demanded that they take them back or lose everything.
Is it a coincidence that when we met these folks, Cornerstone had already begun pursuing and stepping toward addressing the needs of Foster Care here locally? No way! Trusting God, we know He has connected us to these people to be an encouragement, to help each other, and to be in relationship with others who are responding to the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in other parts of the world. I’m looking forward to what God has planned for us in this new friendship!