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'She has a heart of gold': St. Louis woman helps Ugandan nurse pen pal see again

A St. Louis woman and Ugandan nurse's friendship that started in 2013 turned into a life changing relationship for both women.

ST. LOUIS — Two women, from two different parts of the world share a compassion in helping other people.

A St. Louis woman changed the life of a Ugandan nurse, after meeting once and being pen-pals for six years.

“One day if God could help me, I want to go to the United States,” Sister Lucy Arombo said.

She made the 8,000-mile trip from Uganda to St. Louis to see her friend Hilary Mackin get married.

It was a blessing that began in 2013 when Mackin was on a mission trip. Arombo was a nun at a local convent that served the hundreds of orphans because of a civil war stretching back two decades.

Before leaving, Mackin asked Arombo to pray for one thing – that Mackin find true love.

“A man who respects me, a man of God fearing… a man who will remain steady with me,” Arombo remembered her asking.

Five years later, prayers answered, Mackin flew Arombo to her wedding in St. Louis in March.

“It was like a dream come true having this woman here,” Mackin said. “I never thought I would see her again.”

Hands clasped, Arombo sent hundreds of prayers daily.

“Over 100 orphans who come to the sisters who say help me, help me,” Arombo said.

“These kids are the future of the nation, they are gods people. We are supposed to help them, support them so their future is bright.”

When picking up Arombo from the airport in March, Mackin realized the nun who prays for so many, needed prayers herself.

“She didn’t see me, she didn’t see me. She was probably from me to you away,” Mackin explained.

A doctor at Lasik Plus determined Arombo was almost legally blind. Mackin’s family found a doctor at Hill Vision Services who performed surgery to help her see again, free of charge.

“Well this is miracle!” Arombo said.

“I don’t know what to say. I can see everyone. I feel so good. Very happy. Now that I can see.”

“She knew she was going to die a blind woman,” Mackin said. “That’s what she would say. When she got the surgery, we said she’s not going to die a blind woman anymore!”

The community support didn’t end there. Arombo received dental work and will take home cloths and shoe donations for orphans at her convent.

 “This is not what I expected,” Mackin said. “I knew people were going to fall in love with her. With her personality. But it seems things have fallen into place. Divine Intervention.”

After spending a lifetime of praying through decades of war and heartache, Arombo is finally on the receiving end of God’s work.

“We aren’t just in this sheltered community like we think,” Mackin said.

“There are people who need help and deserve it like her. She has a heart of gold.”

Mackin and her family are looking for more St. Louis support to support Arombo’s convent in Uganda.

Click here if you’d like to donate.

Lakeview Dental cleaned Arombo’s teeth for free. Lifestride donated 30 pairs of shoes for orphans at Arombo’s convent. St Paul Knights of Columbus raised money for a refrigerator at the convent.