Beth Schult is the Director of Worship at Messiah Lutheran Church in Weldon Spring, Missouri. This was her first trip to Uganda. This is David, who is sponsored by Beth and her husband, Pastor Paul, and other members of their family. Read her thoughts below on the power of sponsorship:
Meet Mark and Sumaya. Last year on a journey to visit and greet his sponsored children, while visiting the village of Butangala, sweet Sumaya caught his attention. Mark will tell you, he didn't know what it was, but it was just an instant connection. She was one of those kids who stands on the outside of the structure looking in. She was one of those kids your heart aches for, because there is not enough sponsors to care for them all. But when God is in the equation, something so small like a smile and spark in an eye causes miracles to happen.
Mark left the village that day, and immediately upon returning home and talking it over with his wife, embarked on a journey to find Sumaya and sponsor her. He knew that this girl needed a chance, and he was the vehicle that God was going to use to give her that chance. The only problem was that they couldn't find this little one right away, they tried and tried, but nothing. The dots were not connecting...I am not sure if they even had a name to associate with her, probably just some minor clues like what she was wearing.
Now, most people give up and say, "OK...there are others." But not Mark...and not God. Every single child matters to Him. "Let the little children come unto me!" Every single one! So, Mark kept asking, he kept seeking, he kept knocking. After almost one year, just weeks before we returned, Hearts and Hope staff finally located Sumaya and worked out the details on sponsorship. I wish you could of seen Mark that day. His world stopped for an entire 5 hours that we were in that village. He was giddy, elated, nervous, speechless, but most of all just overwhelmed by the joy that sweeps over you when God uses your life in the midst of HIS miraculous work.
Mark found a translator and was able to tell her exactly what was in his heart...he was able let Sumaya know that she matters-- that someone across the ocean is praying for her needs, and loving her deeply with support. 300$ doesn't seem like much to you and me...but in the eyes of this little one it is EVERYTHING. Her life was turned upside down-- Sumaya will now have the chance to grow up knowing her Savior, Jesus. She will be clothed and fed, and educated to pursue her dreams. Thank you, Mark...you had NO idea how much your actions were affecting me. But so truly grateful for your passion to serve no matter the obstacle. It is truly a picture of how God treats each and every one of us daily. IF you find yourslef wondering does my 300$ matter? The answer is YES....please visitwww.heartsandhope.org to get connected to someone you needs you.
Hearts & Hope is a nonprofit organization focused on unlocking the potential of people in Uganda through relationships with people in the US.