The Beginning of the Journey
Victory 1:27 began as a direct result of the study of God’s Word. I was leading a group of women through the book of James in the fall of 2012, and we had just finished chapter 1. I was meditating on James 1:27, “True religion that God the Father accepts as pure and faultless is this, to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” I was focused on the last part of this verse when I felt compelled to consider the first part of the verse. What, Lord? What does this verse mean for me? When I looked at my life, I wasn’t really doing anything for any orphans or widows, and I concluded that if it’s that important to God, then it needed to be more important to me. I continued to pray and meditate on that verse throughout the weekend.
It just so happened that Pastor Herbert Buyondo, our dear friend and faithful minister from Uganda, was visiting us in Virginia for a few days. My husband, Tom, told Herbert that I would be leaving for the weekend to attend a women’s conference with a group of ladies from the MVC family. Herbert said he wanted to attend! We tried to talk him out of it (“Herbert…It will be 10,000 women & you!), but Herbert said that he had a church full of women and he might learn something that he could bring back to them. How could we argue with that?
It was a great conference with dynamic speakers and a compelling presentation by Compassion International. As we were driving home late Saturday night, I asked Herbert what he thought of Compassion. He said he thought it was a great organization, but he had never been able to get them to consider any of his orphans. My head and my heart jumped to full alert. “What orphans?” I said, “I didn’t know you were caring for any orphans.” He went on to tell me that they had been trying to care for about 24 children through their ministry, Victory Covenant Church. Some were sleeping at the church, some had a mother but not enough money for food, and not one of them had enough money for school. The only hope for these children to break the cycle of poverty, was to get an education. Herbert and his congregation of mostly single women were doing all they could to help these children, but they desperately needed help themselves. I’ll never forget the moment he looked at me with those piercing brown eyes and asked “How can I get help for these children?”
Alarm bells were going off in my head and my heart because of the Scripture I had been meditating on all weekend. Herbert went on to tell me that for about $35 a month, he could get a child into school where they would receive food, shelter, and an education. For those who had nowhere to live, we could pursue boarding school. My mind was whirling.