Mar 28, 2024

Hope Is Where the Healing Starts

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Show Notes

We are guaranteed to face trials in this life, but we are never alone—God is our ever-present help in trouble. Some families face a trial that feels so hopeless that they do not know where to turn. In many countries, when a child is diagnosed with a heart defect, the families are hopeless. They often have no way to access or afford life-saving heart surgery. But that is where Children’s Heart Project steps in. We provide the necessary surgery and God works in their lives to bring hope to a seemingly impossible situation.

Kristy Graham, host of On the Ground with Samaritan’s Purse, talked with Sheena, a program manager for Children's Heart Project in Uganda. Sheena explained why this is such a vital project in Uganda. Cultural stigma, financial hardship, and lack of medical care can often lead to prolonged sickness and premature death in many of these kids. Samaritan's Purse partners with the Uganda Heart Institute to screen children and identify the right patients to receive life-changing surgery. It is such a relief when a parent hears the news that Samaritan’s Purse is going to walk alongside them and their child in the journey towards healing.

“Just for them to know that there's someone there who cares, understands, and wants to help them, I think that's when the healing starts.”—Sheena Basemera

Our podcast correspondent, Stephen, traveled to Uganda to join Sheena and her team as they conducted screenings to see which children can be enrolled in the program. Stephen was able to talk with one family as they heard the long-awaited news that their 11-year-old son, Elijah, was eligible for surgery. Elijah’s parents had faithfully fasted and prayed for their son's healing, and once his mother heard this news, she praised God.

“By the time you called me, I was just praising God. In the house, I'm praising God. Even if I'm moving, I'm praising Him.”—Elijah’s Mother

Michael, one of the Samaritan’s Purse Uganda staff members, shared the Gospel with a waiting room full of parents at a screening. In just this interaction alone, nine people accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Every screening, every follow up appointment, and the time patients and families spend in the U.S. or Grand Cayman, is always rooted in the Gospel.

“We want to heal their hearts physically, but more importantly, we want to introduce them to Jesus Christ, the ultimate healer.”—Kristy Graham

Sheena is passionate about this work, not only because the Lord has placed it on her heart, but because it is her story as well. When Sheena was a teenager, she was enrolled in Children's Heart Project and received surgery that saved her life. Through this experience, she truly understands the power of the program, but most importantly, the power of the Gospel and what God is doing through this program. Sheena remembers being shocked that someone could give such a big gift for free—it was beyond what she had dreamed of. Now, she sees that God is able to do far more than she could ever imagine.

“We know that God is able, not just to heal the physical heart of a child, but God is able to bring reconciliation. God is able to bring total healing in a community.”—Sheena Basemera

Please pray for the ministry of Children’s Heart Project and the kids who will receive life-saving surgery this year. Pray that the Lord would continue to soften hearts with His love. If you’d like to keep up to date with more stories from On the Ground, please visit