Today I had the honor of talking to one of our long-term sponsors, Fran, on the phone. She called to check out how old her sponsored child is because it appeared that either the child (Thomas) or the Buyamba office had the date incorrect. We checked it out, and sure enough, her child got his age wrong on his recent letter. I explained that the kids in Uganda don't necessarily grow up celebrating their birthdays so he might be confused. Before we hung up, after establishing the correct information for Thomas, she told me that she had money set aside for him until he was 18, so she had to know if Thomas was 10 or 11 years old. The story that unfolded behind this information brought tears to my eyes because it was a story of a faithful sponsor called by God to care for a child she would most likely never see.
Fran sponsored Thomas in 2016. The Lord had put on her heart to sponsor a child from Uganda because her good friend, whom she served for years as a preschool teacher, went back and forth each year to help children in Uganda.
Fran's church at that time was Calvary Community Church in Westlake, which holds a child sponsorship opportunity every year. Fran was preparing for that future Sunday that it would be available to her at church to pick a child. She was a bit nervous about it because she had just retired and would live on a fixed income, but the Lord encouraged her to step out in faith. That same week, she received a communication from a bank to which she had no account.
It turns out this was an account her mother had left her two years before, but she had forgotten about it. The following Sunday "just happened to be" Sponsorship Sunday at her church. She faithfully stepped up to the Buyamba Uganda table to pick a child to whom she would commit. Fran said she looked around at a sea of smiling Uganda children, but the picture that grabbed her was sad.
Picking up that photo and reading the child's background, she learned that the child's name was Thomas, which was her father's name that had just passed away. She knew right then that Thomas was hers. Fran found out soon after that it turns out the Lord had given her the TOTAL amount in that random bank account that Thomas would need for years to come until he was 18! God had met her in her step of faith beyond what she could ask or imagine.
Fran loves to receive letters and photos of her child each year and was happy to tell me that in every picture since that day, Thomas is always smiling!