Monday, 8 July 2013

Always Room for Another - Shakira

“And now, my Compassion Family is finally complete… until God says otherwise!”

I wrote these words on my blog a little over a month ago. I had just introduced handsome Mbula to my correspondence family, and I figured that three was enough. However, there’s one thing that I have learned over the years. Actually two things. The first is, when God says yes, don’t say no. And the second is something that Heidi Baker has proven many times… There is always enough. Always room for one more.

As most of you know, I do a lot of advocating for Shelter Them, a ministry in Rwanda that cares for orphaned and abandoned children, among other things. I recently had a brainwave that turned into the first of what will be a series of posts entitled “Sponsorship Sunday.” Each week, I’ll feature one of our kids who needs a sponsor. But as I was getting yesterdays post ready, I ran into a snag while choosing my “featured child.”

You see, I had a post all planned out, with pictures and everything, all ready to go. Sweet, smiling fifteen-year-old Shakira would be the first child. The only problem was… I fell in love with this beautiful girl’s smile and wanted to sponsor her myself!

Can you blame me?! Unfortunately, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I’ve been pinching pennies a lot lately, and I certainly didn’t want to take a child on for a few months and then have to drop her. It wouldn’t be fair. But, there was that pull… I couldn’t help gushing to my parents about this wonderful girl. My Dad looked at me and said with blunt honesty, “Why don’t you sponsor her?” For a second, my hopes rose, but I tamped down my rising excitement and answered, “Dad, I don’t know… I’m not sure if I can afford it.” And my wonderful father, (who faithfully puts up with my rants about the three correspondent kiddos I already have), pulled out his wallet, handed me some bills, and said two words.

“Sponsor her.”

And so, a partnership began. Imagine my shock when I realized what Shakira’s full name is… Uwimana Shakira! The same as mine (Uwimana Hannah)! It had to be a God-thing… I think His smile was even bigger than Shakira’s when He pulled THIS together!

And Shakira is always smiling. Jules, who works in the Rwanda office and knows Shakira quite well, told me this morning, "This child is so special. Her mother died when Shakira was very young (five). Her father, according to the stories she had from her mom when she tries to recall her past, is in Kigali prison for his role in the genocide. But what amazed me this child has always a shining face, always smiling and her smile is real, it comes from the bottom of her heart."

Of course, I have to show you some more pictures of my precious Uwimana Shakira! You'll notice in every picture, how that sweet smile of hers just lights up her face!

Shakira, age 13. I cropped this picture to focus on her beautiful face.
Shakira is in the black-and-white blouse, second from the back. She lives in a home with the other three girls shown here.

Shakira and David, a good friend of mine. It was face-painting day. Isn't Shakira a beautiful (smiley) butterfly?
Shakira is holding the green gift bag. From left to right: Kevine Uwumuhoza, Kevine Uwimbabazi, Sherry, Shakira, Kevine Ikirezi, and David. The four girls live in a home together, and Sherry and David run the Newfoundland branch of the Shelter Them office. (Yes, there are three Kevine's and Shakira!)

Shakira was provided with a new mattress through Shelter Them, along with the other girls.
I love this picture of the kids in traditional clothing. Shakira is holding little Joshua in her arms. From the looks of things, I'd say that Shakira is a well-loved member of the Shelter Them family!
So, Shakira ended up not being my featured child (I chose Kevine Ikirezi, pictured above in a couple of photos) but God had it planned all along! I’m not even going to say that my family is complete this time… who knows what tomorrow holds! But one thing is for sure…

There will ALWAYS be enough!

Above video is of Shakira and my featured child, Kevine Ikirezi, doing a traditional Rwandan dance. Aren't they both beautiful?


  1. How fun!!! I love your dad's heart for these kids too. Your dad sounds like mine. Recently my husband and I hit our goal of 10 sponsored kids through Compassion and told my family that we were done for the indefinite future (unless we add correspondence kids) and my siblings were laughing (good-naturedly!) at our large number of kids. And my dad said, "Why stop at 10? You can never do too much to serve God." So who knows! My husband was looking at kids on the website the other

    1. I agree, you can never do too much to serve God! And with every new child I add, my father has asked, "Why don't you invite them to come to Canada?" I have to keep explaining that it doesn't work that way ;) But yes, he certainly does have a heart to help others!