Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Divine appointment.....

We've put off writing this blog post because we know there are not words adequate enough to do Catherine or her story justice. But we also know how important it is to share these stories. God didn't allow us to visit this beautiful woman so that we would keep her story bottled up inside our hearts (No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. – Luke 8:16). He wants it to be shared and we pray for His words even as we sit here and write.

When True Vine Ministries found Catherine she was hopeless and in utter despair. She had come to a place where no wife, mother, or woman should ever be....she was ready to run away and abandon her children, her home, and her life. Her husband had deserted and her heart had been shattered. She had no way to provide for her children, no way to feed them and no way to send them to school. We cannot even begin to imagine the circumstances that would cause one to feel that helpless; that intensely hopeless. In a country where the people live on so little every day, how deep the despair must have been that would bring her to the point that she would be ready to leave everything behind, even what was most precious to her.

True Vine encouraged Catherine and helped her get back on her feet. They ministered to her and spoke Christ into her life. The support she received allowed her to do something she couldn't before- she dared to hope.

Catherine also joined the Women of Destiny beading group. With the money she received from the beads, she was able to send her children to school. An enormous weight had been lifted from Catherine's shoulders.

But her heart was still very, very broken.

The Lord gave us the enormous privilege of visiting Catherine in her home. She lives in a one room mud-brick building with her 3 children Kitiibwa Jemimah (13), Dorkas (10) and Mugabi Gideon (7). As we began to speak with Catherine, you could see the brokenness in her her heart. Her anguish was so evident in her voice and in her posture. She sat on the mud floor in a crumpled heap, head down, wringing her hands, her voice barely audible. In a gentle whisper, her voice trembling and breaking as her tears began to flow, she told us her story; the events that led her to the place she was that day. When we asked her how we could pray for her, she prayed for a bigger home for her children, that they would grow in Christ and she began to weep even more. She told us that the difficulties of her life caused her to struggle in her faith and that she was spiritually weak. She asked us to pray that God would bind up her broken heart and strengthen her faith. Our hearts ached for her and we cried and prayed with her, and for her, pleading with God, on her behalf, to heal her broken heart. The flood of tears testified to the profound grief and pain she endured.
As we sat there on the floor of her little house hugging her and kissing her, we knew this was a Divine appointment. God had arranged this meeting in advance. If we could have scooped up Catherine and her children and brought them home, we would have. If we could have given her the moon, we would have. But we gave her what God had brought us there to give. Our love, given to us through Christ, who first loved us. We loved on her and poured into her the best we could and our hearts were forever changed. Could this meeting be the one reason God brought us to Uganda? We don’t know, but we do know that He loves each one of us enough to do just that- bring people great distances for nothing more than the opportunity to show love to just one person. The question is did He arrange this meeting for Catherine……or for us?

After we prayed, she kept thanking us. We felt so unworthy of her words. She told us what a blessing we were to her and she thanked us for visiting her. No, Catherine, it was YOU who blessed us.

God wasn’t finished quite yet. Right before we left, Catherine said "I have gifts for you". She ran off to her little garden and cut two 7 foot tall stalks of sugar cane and dug up several yams and brought them to us. You could see the joy in her eyes that she was able to give us something. We were so touched and deeply humbled. A woman with so little wanted to give us a gift. Be still our beating hearts. She couldn’t possibly have imagined the enormity of the gift she had already given us. Her kindness brought us to our knees and continues to sweetly haunt our daily thoughts.

We miss you so much Catherine, our treasured sister, and we are praying for the day when we will be with you again. God will heal your broken heart, because He keeps his promises. He is faithful and loves you more than you could conceive.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach 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. Isaiah 61:1

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