Perfect timing

Christine Bolander and friend

Christine Bolander and friend

Ask Christine Bolander (’12, ’13M)  how she got connected to JMU Be the Changer Sarita Hartz Hendrickson (’02), and she’ll tell you it was God’s perfect timing.

Christine and her graduate research partner, Brooke Helsabeck (’12, ’13M), are working on an occupational therapy master’s thesis that focuses on rehabilitative methods for victims of the shadowy world of sex trafficking. The problem is huge. Although figures vary, according to a 2005 report by the U.S. State Department, between 600,000 and 800,000 individuals are trafficked internationally every year.

Knowing that JMU psychology professor Bill Evans had traveled to Uganda to work with the Zion Project, which Sarita founded, Christine and Brooke stopped by his office. Is there a way to develop a connection with Sarita’s project? they asked the professor.

“We had no idea what this ‘connection’ would turn into at the time,” Christine says. “By God’s perfect timing, Sarita just happened to be in the United States at the time, and just happened to be in Harrisonburg that weekend, and just happened to be be staying at the Evans’ home. It was incredible.”

Incredible indeed. And life changing.

When Christine and Brooke met Sarita later that week, Sarita invited them to spend the summer working in Gulu, Uganda. The experience was life changing. “Working with Zion Project,” Christine says, “has put more than a face and a name to the sexually exploited. It’s given me a care, a love, and an investment in these girls and these women.”

You can read more of Christine’s personal journey in Uganda at her blogspot

And watch for the next Madison magazine to see how Christine’s experience with JMU’s Huber Residential Learning Center became a catalyst for her important work that will change lives.


About James Madison University
This blog is about the people of James Madison University — a caring, committed and engaged community spread all over the world, making lives better and brighter, healthier and safer, kinder and bolder. As Gandhi suggested, we are taking steps to BE the CHANGE we wish to see in the world. And these are our stories....

2 Responses to Perfect timing

  1. Anonymous says:

    God bless you!


  2. Susan Bolander says:

    Way to go Christine! YOU are all about being a part of changing the world! You and Brooke are doing great things. Zion Project is a true blessing to these young woman. We look forward to seeing how God will use you to continue to make a difference in our world.


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