When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. – Isaiah 43:2
Lack of access to basic healthcare results in higher rates of mortality for mothers in impoverished communities across Africa. Adding to this trauma, the distraught father may abandon his children who then must look to their grandparents and relatives to take them in. Pray for children who have lost their parents, that Care Workers may reach out and offer them love and support.
The care of the Nissi Community Based Organisation (CBO) has been a safe haven for 12-year-old Madeline* for the past 7 years. After the deaths of both her parents when she was only 5, Madeline and her two younger sisters were taken in by their elderly grandparents. Providing for themselves and the three young girls has been an overwhelming task for Madeline’s grandparents. When Mary, Madeline’s Care Worker, found the family, Madeline was not in school and her grandparents struggled to provide her food on a consistent basis. Madeline was a traumatised little girl, full of inner wounds stemming from the deaths of her parents. The home she and her sisters stayed in was not suitable for living in, and they had little hope for their future.
Last year, Madeline’s grandmother found that she simply could no longer provide for her family’s basic needs. Resorting to the most desperate of actions, she gave Madeline away to be married so that the family would receive money for her, a cultural norm in Zambia. Thankfully, Mary found out and the Care Workers quickly intervened. They were able to stop the marriage and have been encouraging Madeline’s grandparents to continue to send her to the Care Point every day. They promised Madeline’s grandmother that they would provide her with a regular hot, nutritious meal, and a place in school, lessening the burden for the grandparents at home. Madeline’s physical needs are well-looked after by Mary and the other Care Workers who take seriously their call to care for the most vulnerable children within their community. Through Mary, Madeline has someone to confide in and be comforted by. She is finding the healing and joy of Jesus that has been missing from her life for so long.
Madeline loves playing and singing with her friends. She also loves school and dreams of one day becoming a doctor. Her beautiful smile shines brightly and is a testimony of the Christ-like love and transformation the Care Workers are bringing to the community of Nissi.
*name has been changed