God Loves HarrietRich Stigall
When Harriet was born in a rural part of southwestern Uganda almost 35 years ago, she was born at home in the village with two club feet. This unfortunate situation is all too common. Lacking the resources and access to medical care that could easily correct her club feet through surgery, Harriet never advanced from crawling to walking. Her family considered her a burden and didn’t educate her.
Harriet’s parents divorced and abandoned all their children. Only one of her siblings is still living, but even she is not able to care for her. So, she got a small room on a small piece of land and tried to make a life and living for herself, only to find herself exploited and abused by boys in the village. The first time she was raped, the baby died. The second time she gave birth to a beautiful little girl. Unable to care for herself when she was alone, she now had an even greater burden to care for her daughter.
Harriet wove mats and baskets to try to earn a little money to feed her daughter and herself, but the burden was too much and she and her daughter were really suffering.
When the local church in Rukore, Uganda, felt called to care for the most abandoned and abused children in their community, they were directed to Harriet’s home, and gladly welcomed Harriet’s daughter into the family of the Rukore Father’s House.
But, they couldn’t stop thinking about Harriet. How long before she would be exploited again? How long before someone would grab her land and toss her onto the street?
So, the church went back to Harriet and invited her to also come live at The Father’s House. For a year and a half, Harriet has been staying in one of the homes of the Father’s House where her daughter is also living. She has been helping the Moms with food preparation and weaving mats and baskets to help support the community.
A few weeks ago, the church constructed for her a permanent home where she can have her own privacy and also be near her daughter.
When Jesus looked out at the crowds, he had compassion on them for they were sheep without a shepherd. The Rukore church demonstrated this same love of Jesus when they had compassion not only for Harriet’s daughter, but also for her mother. The family is together – mother, daughter, and all the brothers and sisters in Christ! It’s a beautiful sight to behold.