ArticleMissionary Life

From ‘Instant Mother’ to the Mission Field

After adopting her deceased sister’s oldest son, Kimberly thought her missions career was over. God had other plans.
“Unless God dropped a child in my lap, I wouldn’t pursue a kid,” Kimberly said half-jokingly.

Seated in a café in England, she and another friend discussed their attitudes toward adoption. Kimberly had made the pitstop on her way home to the US from Uganda, where she served as a medical missionary at a small, rural clinic.

Less than eight hours later, God called Kimberly’s bluff. Her phone buzzed with a text message from her brother-in-law, asking if she could take care of his oldest son, Josiah.

Kimberly’s sister had suddenly passed away a year prior, leaving her husband alone to raise Josiah and two other children. But Kimberly never expected to be thrown into the role of “instant mother,” as she called it. Wrapping up her responsibilities in Uganda, she moved to the US to raise Josiah.

“I wrongfully put God in a box, thinking that missions was done now that I had a nine-year-old,” said Kimberly.

Ever since she was a little girl, Kimberly had a passion for people. She remembers running around lighting everyone’s candles during the Christmas Eve service. The childhood experience of bringing light to dark places foreshadowed her future as a missionary.

Despite the joys of motherhood, the sudden loss of her first love in missions burdened Kimberly.

A few years later in 2019, an ABWE missionary-friend, who was launching into long-term ministry, asked Kimberly if she would help them move to Uganda. She excitedly agreed, thinking this could serve as the perfect opportunity to show Josiah her past.

But, at first, her wonderful plan appeared to be falling apart.

“The first night, Josiah hated it and was freaking out,” said Kimberly. “I was really worried if I had made the right decision to bring him. I asked myself if I was just dragging him into my world for selfish reasons.”

But over the next several days, God worked in Josiah’s heart, and he soon fell in love with the country and its people. Kimberly’s spirit lifted as she watched him play outside with other Ugandan children. It felt like God was “honoring the love of [her] heart.”

When they returned to the US, after some encouragement from her ABWE friends, Kimberly joined the mission to serve with them in Uganda. In addition to working at a medical clinic, she’ll be discipling young women struggling with the aftermath of choosing abortion.

Lord willing, they’ll be in Uganda by the end of December. This time, Josiah can’t wait to go.


Support Kimberly’s ministry.

About the Author

Loren Skinker served as communications specialist with ABWE and managing editor for Message Magazine. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in communications and English.

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