I’m 48 years old, single, and have never had children of my own. I’ve never been pregnant. This was a shock to the beautiful women I met in Uganda in late January. We were all sharing testimonies. Mine was simple. Divorced, no children, but God has been faithful. Theirs were much more difficult and heartbreaking; husbands kicking them out for only having female children, children with HIV, healings from mysterious diseases, demonic torment, and each ended with testimonies of God’s faithfulness.
In spite of how my story paled in comparison by the level of need, two different women addressed me publicly with thanks and a blessing for loving and caring for Susan Namuwenge, even though I had no children of my own. They were moved by my motherless-ness and the fact that out of that I had chosen to invest in the life of someone else’s child a world away.
Susan is a precious girl of 17-years-old that I have sponsored through Compassion International since she was 6-years-old. Susan’s parents died when she was five and she has been raised by an Auntie and Grandmother in a small room in the back of a rural school house in Mbale, Uganda ever since.
Over the years since I met Susan through sponsorship in 2004, she has written to me of her life, faith, family, school, and of Compassion. My financial provision gave her access to regular education, healthcare, Christian teaching and guidance, fellowship, vocational training, food, and other support. What she has provided me is not life or death vital, but so important all the same—years of sweet, priceless letters full of Scriptures and promises of daily prayers for me, the chance to invest in a life and see her flourish and follow her dreams. Because of her I am not childless.
After almost 11 years of Susan praying I would come, I got to meet her, see her smile, hear her voice and hold her hand much of the two days I was there. I met her precious Auntie Margaret, her funny Grandmother Josephina and her sweet shy cousins. She is theirs but she is also mine. This connection is an incomprehensible gift. She is now in nursing school thanks to her association with Compassion. She has a chance at a career and a full life. God’s goodness to each of us in this is overwhelming.
It’s a powerful thing to care for a child who is not your own. You don’t have to be a parent to parent, or to pour into the life of a child. There are many thousands of children and teens who would love to know that someone a world away cares for them and helps to provide for their needs.
“He gives the childless woman a household,
making her the joyful mother of children.
Thank you Compassion for loving and caring for many thousands of children around the world and for giving me the chance to know and love Susan!
Paige Greene is the director for LifeWay’s Adult Live Events team. She leads the team that programs and executes events such as Living Proof Live, Priscilla Shirer Live, Collegiate Week, Main Event, and more!