Louise Williams has devoted her life to caring for children. Four years ago, she welcomed one more child into her heart by becoming a sponsor to a little boy in Thailand.
“Children need to feel safe and need to be loved.”
This is what Louise Williams of Anna, Illinois says inspires her to sponsor a child through Holt. In 2012, she began sponsoring Noppanai, a 7-year-old boy from Thailand. Louise and her husband, Bruce, began their relationship with Holt International in 1971, when they adopted from South Korea. But, three months after their son — who they named Shawn Douglas — joined his family in Illinois, he passed away from complications of a lung condition. “I cried until my head hurt from front to back,” Louise says. “But I never questioned God.”
One day, Louise says that God sent her a ray of hope in the form of a newspaper article about the need for host families for international students traveling to the United States. “I wanted to care for these students who were coming from so far away,” Louise says. Starting in the summer of 1972, the Williams family opened their home to international students from Nigeria, China and Poland. “It was such a lovely experience having these students in our home,” Louise says. “Some of them were away from their families during the holidays, which was especially hard. It was nice to be able to provide comfort to them during these times.”
In 1984, Louise decided to take her commitment to caring for children a step further when she and her husband became foster parents to four children. “My heart is for children who need loving homes,” Louise says, “and that desire has grown over the years.” Bruce and Louise fostered children for 20 years, and also continued to host international students.
And then in 2012, at a woman’s missionary meeting, Louise got reacquainted with Holt when she met an adoptive parent who was telling his adoption story and providing information about monthly child sponsorship. That’s when Louise and her husband started sponsoring Noppanai, a 7-year-old boy in Holt’s family preservation program in Thailand. “After providing homes for foster kids, my heart goes out to those children who need a more stable life,” Louise says. “Our sponsored child is a cute little guy and he is doing very well. He is growing well, and you can see a difference with each report.”
Louise says she will continue her sponsorship of Noppanai as long as she can. “I love children,” she says. “I pray for their safety, and that they would be loved always.”
Ashli Keyser • Staff Writer