A Word from Kathy Hichborn
In the summer of 2008 I had been invited to go with a team to Uganda, but I needed the Lord to speak to me first. Early one morning around 3:00 am the Lord woke me up from a deep sleep with an overwhelming desire to go to Uganda. That following morning my husband was giving me a kiss goodbye as he does every morning before work; he said to me so Kathy you are going to Uganda aren’t you? I told him the Lord woke me up with this overwhelming desire to go and I couldn’t shake it. Soon after the Lord provided a way for me to go and then He reminded me of something He had told me in 1979, “one day I will take you to Africa.” I had been watching Nora Lamm in China doing a huge Crusade on TV and it was during that moment that the Lord told me, He was going to one day take me to Africa. Almost 30 years had past before He fulfilled His promise. I was in my mid-twenties then. But it wasn’t until my second trip the following year that it became much clearer to the reasons I was sent there. I had returned home from my first trip which was two weeks long in October. It was during that time I participated in my first outdoor outreach where I met a little 10 year old girl who ran up to me afterwards, now Geoff and I sponsor her.
In the month of November and December as I was about my business I kept seeing this young man’s face who I had briefly met while in Uganda in October, and the Lord kept showing me the calling in this young life. I heard from the Lord I was to return to Uganda in January as well as to take my youngest daughter with me. The Lord wanted me to walk along side this young man, pray for him, and help him in his calling. I remember saying, why haven’t you called a man to do this? But I heard nothing. I said nothing to my husband Geoff about this, but asked the LORD to confirm it through him. One night as we were getting ready for bed my husband said to me, “Kathy, you are to return to Uganda in January and you are to take Kristen with you.” I knew he was hearing from the Lord. So I did. The Lord put a bond between a young man named “Prince Nigel Fafa Rukidi” and my husband and I. We’ve grown very close to Prince Rukidi, his parents and family, as they could see that the Lord was very much involved with this work.
During my time in Uganda I found that Prince Rukidi had the same heart and passion for his people as well as to wanting to see the same improvements I saw that were needed. We began working together and the Lord had me remain in Uganda after Kristen returned home. I spent many hours with the people of Uganda seeing what their real needs were, and experiencing their trials. One afternoon Prince Rukidi and I drove into town and he had to take care of some business so I remained in the car. I sat watching the people walk by, going about their daily lives. Then I saw a woman crying convulsively over her child who was about 6 years old. The child was brought to a clinic nearby me on a boada boada (motorcycle) and shaking all over. It was then that the Lord told me to go over to the woman and ask if I could help her. She looked at me as though she didn’t understand what I was saying. About that time Prince Rukidi came out of a building and I signaled him to come quickly. I told Prince Rukidi to ask the woman what she needed. She had no money and her child was dying of malaria. It was then that Prince Rukidi and I both knew we had to help her. I remember thinking that could have been me with one of Geoff and my four children when they were young. The mother took her child into the clinic and then moments later came out and threw her arms around me crying. A small crowd began to form around us. All I could think was these people deserve the same medical treatment we get in the States. The Lord kept delaying my return to the States for three months, with my husband’s blessings. It was then our whole life began to change as we were clearly seeing the Lord’s hand in taking us to Uganda.
It was then that the LORD told my husband and me to start up our own non-profit organization, and what areas we were to be involved with. In 2009 Arche’ International was birthed. The following August the Lord had me return to Uganda. The trip was intended to be about two months. But Geoff got another word from the Lord that I would be there three months with Prince Rukidi and his family. It was then that “Arche’ Africa International” was birthed. We knew that Prince Rukidi was to be the President of this organization and that this was going to be a life long work and relationship. In those three months I spent with his tribe we all grew to love one another and see the purpose that the Lord had in all of this. Prince Rukidi became a son to Geoff and I. Often talking to Geoff via Skype or on the phone. His parents could see the hand of GOD in our relationship, and that the Lord has truly made us all one large family in Christ for His purpose. Through this uniting we have received many confirmations from pastors, officials, and people in the community, both in Uganda and here in the States that GOD is truly involved.
Prince Rukid, Geoff and I spent months getting children back into schools, where they had lost their sponsors, meeting with government officials concerning the needs we want to address, and doing the research for the projects we are planning. We also aided many who were without medical treatment to get the help and medication they needed. Also we are helping a church in Kampala who is run by one of our own sponsored sons who graduated in January 2010, that houses 15 widows and orphans and we are helping Mary’s orphanage that is also in Kampala.