Changing Lives Through Sponsorship
And now, God, do it again
bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
will shout hurrahs at the harvest
So those who went off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing. (Psalm 126)
Sponsorship at Chikumbuso continues to be an integral part of our program. And each time I interview students I am reminded of how much these students need us. When I see our kids out in the courtyard of the school having lunch or playing with others I wish that I could know each one by name, hear their story, and share their pain but I will never be able to do that. What I do know is that there are children at our school who are accepted into the homes of relatives lovingly and others who are not. I know that for some of our children the meal at Chikumbuso is the only one they will eat. I know that some of our students are the oldest of their siblings and live in child headed households. And I know, for sure, that every one of our students, sponsored or not, is so thankful for the gift of Chikumbuso and for each one of the sponsors that keep this program running.
Mary sat down expectantly on a wooden stool across from Maureen and I on the porch at Chikumbuso. Maureen sat with me because she is in charge of the sponsorship program, knows most of the kids by name and gives them their food baskets every month. Mary’s eyes sparkled and her smile was sincere. I had not remembered seeing her before but she told me that this was her third year at Chikumbuso. Mary felt more comfortable speaking in Nyanga as she shared her story so Maureen translated for me.
It was three years ago that Mary, along with her sister and brother escaped fighting in the Congo. They left their parents behind and became refugees in Zambia. She told me that she has no idea if her parents are alive today as she has had no news from anyone. Mary lives with her sister who is now married to a Zambian with two children. Her brother works on a local bus helping the driver gather customers along the route. Reflecting on how she feels about Chikumbuso I was not surprised when she said, “I love Chikumbuso because it is a peaceful place where children are allowed to learn. It is a place where people are kind and willing to help anyone.”
For me this girl’s story is a beautiful testimony of the love and healing that Chikumbuso can bring to a child. It is also a testimony to all of you who sponsor a child. You are truly changing their lives. This 12 year old refugee girl is replacing her drought-stricken life with the peace and kindness offered up at Chikumbuso.
Thank you for making a difference in the lives of those in Ng’ombe. Linda