My husband and I visited a Texas Baptist church this Sunday and in the service they shared about their new connection with the village of Kylulangira in Southern Uganda. There were just a few seconds of their video presentation that broke my heart and made it soar at the same time. It was the joy on a mom’s face when her daughter was given a new baby doll.
I did a little digging and found the story behind those few seconds we got to see Sunday morning:
Jennifer Holland, a physician’s assistant, and one of The Heights’ young singles had an experience with her sponsor child, Bisirikwa, that I will not soon be forgotten. One of the letters that Jennifer received said that Bisirikwa loves to play with dolls. Upon reading that Jennifer instantly remembered a special doll that she received from her parents one Christmas and knew that doll was now for Bisirikwa. When Jennifer was a little girl, one Christmas all she wanted was a Cabbage Patch doll. Remember those? Well, Jennifer’s parents did what all parents did that Christmas – researched, went to many stores, and stood in long lines until they were able to get their hands on a Cabbage Patch doll. Jennifer loved it and played with it for countless hours. Once she “out grew” it, they safely stored it in her attic – for this God appointed time.
A few weeks ago when Jennifer met Bisirikwa, she asked her if she had a doll because the letter she had written said that she loves to play with dolls. Upon hearing this, Bisirikwa immediately jumped up and ran inside to get her doll. She came out with a very old and ragged doll. In fact one of the arms was missing. Her mom had sewn a “fabric” arm on to take its place. Jennifer then shared with Bisirikwa her story of her favorite doll and told Bisirikwa that she wanted her now to have it. Jennifer then pulled her doll out and complete joy followed….
This story really reminds me of the Gift of life that Christ offers us. His life, his gift is greater than anything we can have on our own. This is such a beautiful picture of God’s love for us and what He wants for us.
This story is much better understood seen than told, thus I have attached a video of this encounter with Bisirikwa, her mom, and Jennifer (watch mom, and her expression when she compares the two dolls – it is quick, but priceless). Thanks to Shelley Lane for her video work and editing. Hope you all enjoy!
Richard Covington, The Heights
I sat there wondering what one small gift of a doll and the sponsorship of the little girl would play in that family’s future and the village’s future. I know I will never know but I do know that our churches have their hands on families, people, cities and villages in Texas and all over the world and it makes me so thankful to belong to a global body of believers that listen to His call to spread His hope.