It’s difficult for me to assimilate back into American culture. My eyes well-up with tears and my throat tightens as I type these words remembering what I’ve seen, heard, touched, smelled, experienced. My senses were alive in a third world culture to children, dirty, needy, hungry, smelly, and many times, alone. My heart aches for them like I’ve never experienced an ache before–it’s deep and paralyzing. My tears flow freely now for the children. They need life, love, nurture, food, education… I want to give it to them but I can’t meet every need.
The girl in the light green dress asked me for an apple, not candy, but an apple
“I have come that they may have LIFE and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
I am so thankful for the opportunity to speak Jesus’ abundant life to these boys. Hudson and I played with them, prayed for them, hugged them, fed them, clothed them, and sang with them.
But they need more than a week of special time with us. They’ve gone back to their difficult lives and we’ve gone back to our American culture.
Speaking of American culture and abundance, God showed me a picture in my mind last year when we returned from Zambia and He showed me again this year. It’s a bit strange but it’s a scene from the movie Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief.
The picture in my mind is the Lotus Flower scene. God impressed on me that this scene is how America is living–distracted by wealth, entertainment, sports, power, abundance. But there is a mission that needs to be accomplished. There are lost, hungry, hurting children that need care. We are distracted by a great American party. View the movie scene HERE and click the “back” arrow to come back here to see how we can wake up and help one of these precious boys.
How much do we (including me) spend eating out per month? How much do we (including me) spend just going to a movie? How many shoes do we (including me–my weakness) have in our closets. If once a month we just gave up buying one restaurant experience, one movie theater experience, one extra pair of shoes…(I know I’m there!), we could sponsor one needy child and impact him for life.
If you are interested in sponsoring one of these boys below, you can go HERE to my personal ambassador page on the Family Legacy Missions website. The cost is $40 a month with an initial $85 school enrollment fee.
Our friends who sponsored two of our boys from last year made the following comment, “What joy for us to get to share with them. Ellen, thanks for inviting us into these relationships and for being our hands and feet and heart in connecting with our boys.”
Please consider sharing your life of abundance with a boy in need.
Evans (with a long “e”) Kafula is a little fireball. He’s not the youngest of the group at 11 years old, but he’s the shortest. He doesn’t know his actual birthdate (very common) and he’s in 2nd grade. Evans goes to a Government school, which is not too bad. There are about 50 kids per class and they attend fours hours a day—a shift of kids in the morning and a shift in the afternoon. He likes all school subjects. Evans lives with his mother, stepfather and grandmother. His father vanished. His mother doesn’t work and his stepfather was fired as a driver for a construction company. He does feel loved by the stepfather. Evans is the first born with three younger sisters. His family is healthy and they eat one meal a day (supper). What scares Evans most is death. He wants to be a soldier when he grows up but I beg to defer, as Evans (with a long e) is a little dynamo. He has a keen understanding of God and when fervently prayed for Hudson and me, he sounded like a little preacher man.
Humphry Yakata is quiet, with a sweet little boy’s voice. He’s the youngest, at 8 years old. He doesn’t know his birthdate and he’s in 2nd grade at a Community school (a Community school is typically run by an untrained teacher with kids of all ages rotating through every two hours). His favorite subject is Language. Humphry lives with both of his parents and three younger sisters. His family is healthy and he sleeps on the floor (which is typically a dirt floor with a dirty rug or a cement floor with a rug). They eat 3X a day, which is rare. What makes him sad is when he gets sick, which happens often. When I asked him if he believes on Jesus, he said, “Yes, I love Jesus.” He feels loved by his family and God. His prayer need is that he would be a generous giver, he would not fight, and he would go to church.
Robert Phiri is the boy I am most concerned about. He’s the one who seemed least joyful and with good reason. He’s 11 years old, but doesn’t know his birthdate and he’s in 3rd grade at a Community school. He enjoys art and math. He lives with his grandparents with an older irresponsible brother. They live with the grandparents to help in their aging years. His grandfather is a security guard and his mother lives on the other side of the compound selling groundnuts. He sleeps on the floor and sometimes they eat. He doesn’t feel loved by the grandmother who often beats him, especially if he plays with his friends and doesn’t stay home to help. His mother doesn’t know that the grandmother beats him, although he feels loved by his mother. In the large group, during Camp LIFE, there was a skit about an orphan boy who was rejected by his extended family. Robert said he felt the same as the boy in the skit. He prayed with me to receive Christ into his heart, and his prayer need is for a better living situation. This young boy cannot be a playful boy because he has so much obligated responsibility on his shoulders.
John Mumba is a double orphan (meaning he’s lost both his parents). He’s 11 years old and in 3rd grade. He lives with his aunt of whom he feels loved by, along with an uncle, and sisters. They treat him well and they are healthy but his three-year-old sister gets sick often. John sleeps on the floor and they eat 1X a day but he often sleeps without food. He goes to a Government school and he loves all subjects and his teacher. He wants to manage a company when he grows up. John prayed to receive Christ in his heart with joy and gladness! His face was aglow. His prayer needs are that he doesn’t have bad dreams. He often dreams he’s being snatched away.
Earnest Siyame was the biggest boy of the bunch (we had to keep going up in shoe sizes to find him the right shoes on the last day). He is 12 years old and in the 4th grade. He doesn’t know his birthdate. His mother died and he lives with his grandma, whom he feels loved by, and his father who is older but looking for a job. Both his grandma and father get sick often. Their food situation is difficult and he often feels dizzy with stomach upset. He sleeps on socks on the floor. Evans goes to a Community school and he enjoys all subjects and his teacher. When he grows up he wants to be a Busa (Pastor) but they do not go to church often. What pains him the most this their food situation and losing his mother. His prayer need is that he wants a bicycle to go back and forth to school and to become a Busa (Pastor).
Edward Mubanga is the smooth talker who often finagled me out of my camera so he could take snaps (photos)—much editing required. He doesn’t know his birthday but he is 12 years old and not in school, although he had the best English of the 10 boys. His mother died and his father works, but he withdrew Edward from school, probably so he could help make money and help with six younger siblings. He feels most loved by his siblings. Edward suffers from headaches and he sleeps on reeds. He wants to be a lawyer. I can see that with his smooth talking ways. What makes Edward feel sad is when he gets sick, and when his friends offend him. Edward prayed to receive Christ. His prayer need is that he could go to school and even be clever at school.
Davison Daka was a quiet boy at 11 years old and in 3rd grade. He lives with both parents and younger siblings. His father works in town but his mother does not. He is in a Community School and he likes all subjects. He feels loved by his parents. They eat 3X a day and he and his older cousin sleep at the grandmother’s house on a mattress. Davison often gets headaches. He wants to be a Pilot when he grows up. He feels loved by God and his prayer need is for the salvation of his family.
Kunda Sakala just turned 11 on July 4. He actually knew his birthdate as 7/4/01. He lives with his mother, two aunts and he has two siblings. His father died. His mother is a maid, as well as his aunts, so they are gone a lot. He’s in the 2nd grade at a Government school and his favorite subject is English. They eat 1X a day and his mother gets sick (even then she was sick). They go to church often. When he grows up he wants to be the boss of security guards. What scares him most is when people in his compound beat him. He feels loved by his mother. His prayer need is that he would stop insulting and fighting with people.
Elias Kakoma is a bright, sunshiny boy. He’s 12 years old and he knows his birthdate on 2/22/00. He’s in 4th grade and he goes to a Government school where he enjoys Math, English and Social Studies. Elias lives with both parents who are very industrious. His mother runs a small business of selling baby panty liners. She finds material and has a Taylor sew them. His father buys used clothes from town and trades them in the villages for items to sell. As a result they eat 3X a day. He has two brothers and a sister who is married. Elias often doesn’t feel well and he sleeps on a sofa. When he grows up Elias wants to be a pastor but he doesn’t go to church often. He feels loved most by his mommy, father, and uncle. Elias prayed to receive Christ in his heart. His prayer needs are that he won’t have nightmares, especially when he hears people talk about Satan and witchcraft in the compound.
Moffat Banda was quiet and pleasant. He’s 9 years old but doesn’t know his birthdate and he’s in the 3rd grade. He lives with both parents and an older sister. He doesn’t know what his father does for work but his mother is a maid. Moffat goes to a Government school and he likes all the subjects. They eat 2 to 3X a day. He feels very loved by his entire family and by God. He goes to church but only when he has clothes to wear. Moffat wants to be a teacher when he grows up and his prayer need is to live life well with peace.