Tina Lacy Weir, Founder and Executive Director of HEAL Ministries and the James Place.
In 2007, Tina Weir founded HEAL Ministries based on JAMES 1:27. The reason for HEAL Ministries started years before that. Tina understands what it is like to be abandoned with two small children. She understands the grief and pain of a single mom. She also understands how blessed she has been with family and friends, raised in a country of plenty. Because of her travels, she began to see that most abandoned women in the world are not as fortunate. Her personal story is one of grief, healing and faith that God has used to impact lives across the globe.
Tina began leading mission trips for her church all over the world. During her missionary travels, Tina was unsuccessful in adopting two girls in El Salvador. This painful experience made her more acutely aware that the majority of orphans would never be adopted. It was also through her travels that she learned about the universal likeness and the universal difference of all people.
“I remember walking through the slums of Kibera in Kenya and meeting a woman with two boys that reminded me of my own sons.” says Tina. “God allowed me to see in that divine instant that we were just alike: We both needed Jesus. The only difference was birthplace. I was born in a place of provision and hope and she was born to poverty.”
Tina founded HEAL Ministries in 2007 to serve orphans and widows and it began as a sending agency to serve others. She continued to lead teams through Central America, Africa, and several inner cities in the U.S. for HEAL. In 2011, Tina felt the Lord call HEAL to focus in Uganda. This is where the Spirit of God was clearly stirring in the hearts of women and children.
It’s where Tina witnessed very real and very personal responses to the Gospel. HEAL began leading teams to Uganda only in 2011 and then in 2012, Tina relocated permanently to Jinja to see what the Lord was calling HEAL Ministries to do. During that year, it was evident that God was calling HEAL Ministries to be a leader in Uganda in family preservation and sustainability. In January, 2013, the James Place opened as a community center for the abandoned women and children HEAL would serve for years to come. Tina’s son, Trey Weir, became the Director of Operations of the James Place that same year. The James Place empowers and resources abandoned women to learn sustainability through the various programs that you can read about.
Tina now resides full-time in Jinja where she serves as the Director of the James Place for HEAL as well as the Director of Missions globally. Tina is HEAL’s heart, hands and feet on the ground in Uganda. Her deep commitment to the abandoned women and orphans there is inspiring.
As Director of Missions and of the James Place, Tina manages and oversees the programs making sure they are in line with the curriculum, vision and mission of HEAL. It has been her passion all along for all programs to be Ugandan led and, today, a Ugandan management team in Jinja oversees all areas of the James Place. Tina also still receives short term mission teams as well as volunteer interns upon their arrival to Uganda hoping to spread awareness of the desperate needs there as well as the testimony of all that God is doing.
Tina’s tenacious faith has been challenged over the years but none so much as when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2009. She continues that battle today and returns to the U.S periodically for treatment. However, she knows that cancer does not define her. Her heart and soul remain in Uganda where she herself finds unfathomable and great healing from God.
Tina’s two sons, Trey 28, and Tripp 26, have grown up with their mother in missions and, today, remain very involved in HEAL and committed to Tina’s calling.