Melissa Warren, a long-term volunteer from Australia living in Zambia, spent Holy Week leading up to Easter with those who live with her at Kachele Farm, as well as youth leaders from 5 of our communities in Zambia. One of the youth, a 13-year-old boy, had a truly transforming week leading up to Easter! Melissa shares:
“This past week we had 27 of our youth leaders from 5 of our communities come and spend Monday to Friday here with us. As some of our Hands leaders shared their stories, the youth opened up and shared theirs. Our hearts were broken over and over again as we sat and listened to the life stories of our young people. Some as young as 12 and 13 years old, sharing of deep loss, rejection, abandonment, unforgiveness. Deep, deep, deep inner wounds poured out in a safe place. And as these youth shared their stories, they were encouraged to write down their hurts, pains and worries, and nail them to the cross. To leave them with Jesus, who is the only One who can bring true healing to these inner wounds. It was a beautiful thing to watch the resurrection power of Christ, living, active and still at work today in the lives of these young people, and the transformation we witnessed from Monday through Friday in their lives.
I was able to sit with one young man in particular. He is only 13 years old, and is very small in stature. On Tuesday, tears rolled down his cheeks as he shared of his heartbreak from last year, when he watched his grandmother force his elder sister of 16 years into early marriage. He shared how he struggled to forgive his grandmother. His words were few in the emotion as he recalled the situation. By Thursday, however, I sat with what was almost a different young man. He smiled as he shared that he had forgiven his grandmother for what she had done, and you could see the lightness in him. He was no longer carrying this burden. He shared of how after learning about the Holy Spirit, he had felt the Holy Spirit enter into his own heart, and he shared, “Now I know that God knows me by name”. He is physically a small and very young man, but I am confident he will have a big impact in his community.”
God’s transformational power is still just as evident in our lives and in the lives of children across Africa as it has ever been! Through Maranatha Workshops, mobilising churches and pastors to care for the most vulnerable, youth camps, and Holy Home Visits, lives are constantly being transformed by the Holy Spirit! Though the challenges of poverty, sickness and hunger may make life extremely difficult for the most vulnerable in Africa, the hope of Christ can conquer fear and bring great joy into the most difficult circumstances. Pray for more children, Care Workers, and caregivers to experience the love of God – and that they, too, would know that He knows their name.