Stephanie Bradley traveled with Lifeline’s international orphan care ministry, (un)adopted®, in September. Stephanie, along with her husband, Jacob, worked with their team to minister to the people of Busega, Uganda, alongside King Jesus Church and Pastor Raphael Kajjubi, (un)adopted’s partner. This story is one way that Stephanie saw God mightily move in Busega.
My husband, Jacob, and I recently had the privilege to travel with Lifeline’s international orphan care ministry, (un)adopted, to the community of Busega, Uganda, in Africa. While there we had the opportunity to stay with local people, help build lasting relationships, and point the locals to Christ while working alongside the local church, King Jesus Church, and Pastor Raphael. One of the beautiful outreach opportunities we had was to help deliver water filters to people in need.
Lifeline provided the tools and water filters needed, and we headed into the community in groups of two. Jacob and I had a precious young man with us, David, who is a member of King Jesus Church; He served as our guide and translator. We passed by many people that I thought looked like they were in dire need, but we kept walking, deeper and deeper into more and more poverty-ridden areas.
Eventually we came to a home that David recognized. He’d seen two little girls always playing outside at this home. A young mother, and her two daughters, came out of the home and we began to talk with her about the water filter—how to use them and how to clean them. She invited two other neighbors to come and see how the water filter was used.
During our interaction, the young mother asked about my glasses. She explained that her youngest daughter was essentially blind, but that she couldn’t afford to take her to the doctor. I leaned down and let her daughter try on my glasses and her sweet little eyes crossed even more, as she was trying to focus.
This interaction really opened a door to talk more with the mother. She shared that her husband had abandoned her and she was left to raise three daughters on her own. But, as I noted earlier, there were only two daughters running around now. The mother explained that she had given away one of her daughters because she couldn’t afford to take care of them.
This news shook me to my core. Although we live thousands of miles apart, we had a similar story.
I, too, was a young mother of two girls, and my then-husband of eight years abandoned us. I had no schooling and no job and was left to take care of my girls. I was able to share with this young mother how the Lord had been gracious with me and provided for me—sometimes even through complete strangers.
I told her that the Lord loves her and cares for her and her children — that He is our Redeemer. Before we left her home, we prayed with her and I personally prayed that God would come to her rescue. We invited her to King Jesus Church and said goodbye.
After Sunday services, I turned around and there she was. This young mother I’d met earlier in the week, dressed up in what I think may have been the best piece of clothing she owned. We hugged, for a long time. Eventually she led me to where her two daughters were sitting and to where a friend was that she’d brought with her.
Later Sunday night, Matt Laughlin, (un)adopted’s director, who was helping lead the trip, explained that Pastor Raphael had met a new woman and her two daughters at church earlier that morning. One thing led to another and we figured out that this was the woman I’d become fast friends with. Pastor Raphael was hopeful that the daughter who was blind might become a new student at Busega Community School for the Deaf and Blind, the school opened by King Jesus Church and (un)adopted to reach those in need in the community.
So my small part in this trip became a big way that God showed up. Through the Lord’s sovereignty and Lifeline’s partnering, I was able to help establish a relationship between this mother, the school, and King Jesus Church. It was my greatest pleasure to share my story with her and hopefully open doors for her to hear the gospel and know her Redeemer. I am humbled that God has called us all to be part of His story.