When we were contacted by the director of HEAL Ministries to have coffee, we were intrigued. We knew they worked with abandoned women, empowering and educating them so they can make a living, but what did that have to do with orphan care and The Archibald Project?
A few days later we found ourselves sipping Ugandan coffee in the heat of founder, Tina Weir's lovely Ugandan home.
She sat across from us and passionately shared how much their work meant to her. She told us horror stories of rape, abuse and abandonment, but because of the healing work of HEAL, these women were now being restored and...learning how to provide for their children. This means that these women do not have to place their children in orphanages!!!
HEAL Ministries mission is to "build relationships and implement Christ-centered programs addressing the spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of abandoned women and children. We desire for vulnerable families to become holistically transformed and empowered to stay together and live sustainably within their communities."
Educating parents so they can sustain their life and family is a HUGE part of ending the orphan crisis. We know adoption can be good, but what if parents wanted to keep their children? What if parents wanted to keep their children, but because of poverty and hard life situations they were forced to put their children in orphanages? This happens. More than you'd like to know. And sometimes......those kids get adopted internationally...and the birth parent who wanted their child.....never knows.
But one of our favorite stories about the power of HEAL's work is about a woman who was abused and abandoned. This woman, let's call her Faith, came to her wits end and decided she no choice but to give up her child. She brought her child to HEAL's gates thinking it was an orphanage, but, to her surprise, was informed that she could not leave her baby. However, she was welcomed in, enrolled into classes that day, and given a short term place to stay. Now, years later, this mother has a job, is surrounded by a community of women who love and encourage her, AND thrives in motherhood!
It's no wonder why we love and support HEAL, right?!? They are doing amazing work in the lives of Ugandan women and we couldn't be more honored to share their work with you!