When we launched our partnership in Uganda we decided to give it the name ‘CarePoint 68|5’. Our church is named Point Community Church so the term “CarePoint” worked well to blend the HopeChest term and our church as we looked to partner together to serve. The 68|5 came from Psalm 68:5, “a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in His holy dwelling.” The church is where God dwells here on earth and it was this verse that lead us as we began our partnership in Kaberamaido, Uganda a little over 5 years ago.
As I look back, I still love our name, but I don’t think it fully represents our partnership. It is the next part of that Psalm that I feel better represents what God has been able accomplish. Psalm 68:6 begins, “He sets the lonely in families.” Point Community Church and the people of Kaberamadio, Uganda have become a family. A family brought together because of His love, sharing in His provision and finding belonging, beauty, and hope in His promise.
I have been to our CarePoint many times over the years and the difference I have seen in the kids from our first trip is overwhelming. The kids we met on that first trip were desperate, hungry for food of course, but there was a deeper hunger in their eyes. They longed for connection. This program has provided a place where this desire to belong is being satisfied. When you travel to Kaberamaido you quickly learn that one thing the kids love to do is take a picture with you. Often times you start off by posing with one child and before you can snap the picture there are 5-10 other children jumping in, hoping to get their face in the shot. It is this image that I feel perfectly displays their desire to be included, to be loved, to be a part of something bigger. The work being done at the CarePoint in Kaberamaido is meeting these desires by inviting these kids to be part of a global church and a loving family headed by the perfect Father.
One girl in our program wrote to us about her story. She talked about how, before her mother passed away, she made a promise to remember the scripture John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans.” This young girl would pray every night asking God about how He was going to keep this promise to her. She went on to write, “I kept on waiting for the answer from the Lord, for some few days. He gave me the answer of new sponsors or parents from America and I praise God because of it, because it is His will for me.” Her heavenly father had not forgotten her and he kept His promise to her. He placed her and 150 other kids just like her into this beautiful, well blended, very large family.
It’s really hard to put into words just how our Point Community Church community feels about the community of Kaberamadio. The kids, the guardians, the disciplers, mean more to us than we ever thought possible. There is a connection between our communities that runs deep. It’s about so much more than just sending money for sponsorships or going on trips to see the kids. It is about developing and strengthening the relationships with which He has gifted us. It’s about the relationship with a child who has hopes and dreams, and working together with the people who care for that child to help him see these dreams realized.
Philippians 1:3-8 says “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.”
This scripture beautifully represents our connection with Kaberamaido. It speaks to how God brings together people in order to advance His kingdom and the deep love between them. A love built on the foundation that He is a God who loves His children; that He loves them enough to orchestrate a small church in New Jersey to find a small community in rural Uganda, who both needed each other. And how He moved mountains to bring them together.
There is something so precious and beautiful in this partnership. Two completely different communities, on completely opposite sides of the world, blending together easily. This is real Kingdom work. And where there is His Kingdom, there is joy, and hope, and love. When we are together in Kaberamadio, you can feel His presence as He is delights in watching His children, work, worship, pray, dance, and play together as one big giant family.