Thursday, February 27, 2014

Please Meet...


Sarah is among the most amazing young women I know. Her name means "princess" in Hebrew and truly God's work in her life has resulted in a "rags-to-riches" story for His glory.

I first met Sarah on Lingira Island back in 2006. At the time she taught at a preschool operated by the church. Before I left, in March 2007, Sarah had joined the newly-opened secondary (middle/high) school in the next village. She was in her mid-twenties by then. Ten years had passed since she had dropped out of school because of lack of money, in the midst of her 9th grade year (known as Senior 2 here).

But joining the school was a significant step in an already amazing journey that had begun sometime back. 

Sarah first came to the island in 1998 - about 8 years beforehand - looking for work after her mom told her she no longer had money to send Sarah to school.

Sarah didn't know Jesus then, in fact her "master" was Satan and she suffered from serious spiritual issues. A Ugandan pastor doing evangelism work on the island prayed an entire week before Sarah was finally delivered from her demanding and possessive masters, into the loving hands of a new loving "Master," Jesus Christ. Her life was dramatically changed.

Because of her love for children, Sarah began serving in children's ministry at the local church.

Though Sarah had not finished secondary school, God opened other doors - a two-year Bible school and later a six-month discipleship course. Combining her love for children and teaching, Sarah taught at the island preschool, staying at the nearby YWAM base, where I first met her and we began our friendship

When Lingira Living Hope opened in February 2007, returning to the classroom was daunting to Sarah. Not only had she dropped out about 10 years before, but as a younger and unsaved student, she had been "dull" and trailed at the bottom of her class - always. Also, the national curriculum had changed in the last decade and new subjects were added, especially the more difficult science topics.

Along with her spiritual freedom, Sarah discovered she personally knew the Source of all Wisdom - her Heavenly Father. In her classes, she found He "added knowledge" to her mind.

Rather than returning to the unfinished 9th grade, Sarah started in 10th (Senior 3). She finished the year as the top physics student in her class, though she had never previously studied the subject. No longer at the bottom of her class, Sarah was now a leader.

She continued on to schools in Jinja, including "A-level," equivalent to junior college. Once again, she succeeded, passed and graduated.

Her love for teaching again beckoned her, yet Sarah desired professional training that she did not yet possess.

Shortly after my return to Uganda in January 2010 (I was gone from March 2007 until 2010), Sarah approached SHIM about sponsoring her through a three-year university course. Relatively-speaking, university courses are expensive here and we didn't have guaranteed funds for the entire duration. But, we knew God still had greater things in store for Sarah.

Last week, I was privileged to be one of only two people allowed to be invited by Sarah to attend her graduation from Kyambogo University, from which she successfully earned a Bachelor's Degree in Education.

Sarah with her mom Bernadette

Sarah narrated her amazing testimony, included many of the above details, over breakfast the morning after her graduation. After leaving the ceremony grounds the day before, we traveled to her mother's home in Kayunga and found a small party, with awaiting family and friends. Congratulations were showered, speeches made, and special foods enjoyed.

One of about seven children in her predominantly-Catholic family, Sarah is the only one to have earned a university degree. Once disregarded, she is now honored and respected in her home, family, and community.

"Sarah, God has raised you up for a purpose," I tell her. That purpose is still unfolding as God continues to pen Sarah's story. I am quite excited for what God has in store for "Princess Sarah."

Back in January 2011, when I interviewed her for a sponsorship profile, Sarah gave the following reasons for her pursuit of education.

“As a professional teacher, I believe I will teach the youth how to walk morally upright...and pass on God’s love, which will be spread to the whole community and world.”

Sarah and I


  1. This is really truly understandly posted. Thanks. One of the good things about Uganda is that demonic is understand as reality. So often, here, it has been treated as a "duh" mental issue. I believe very strongly about deliverance -- been through it here and done it there. I'm so glad she was brought through to the freedom of the Holy Spirit.

    I sure want to catch up with you, Ruthie. My heart is truly with you, even if I don't spend enough time reading "with" you. Want to go to your place...but don't have the money, so have to just do what the Lord says to do. You are a blessing.

  2. Thank you for your faithfulness in being a friend, and a sister in Christ, to all you meet, miss Ruthie.

    And of course, thanks for sharing this story.