The first time I met Peace, she was too sick to get out of bed and greet us.
We had received the sad news at one of our weekly meetings that one of the widows in our program who was HIV positive had fallen ill and was bedridden.
Later that week, Annet and I wandered through one of the slum areas to visit Peace and offer whatever help we could. As we entered her one room house and our eyes adjusted to the darkness, I heard a muffled voice greeting us from behind a hanging bed sheet.
Slowly a hand drew back the curtain and I looked directly into the desperate and worn face of Peace. I reached out and squeezed her outstretched hand and forced a smile on my face. She looked frail and defeated as she propped herself up a bit so she could share with us her story.
Peace has a long and sad history for only being in her 30’s. She married when she was 16 and quickly began having children. Like so many women in our ministry, peace was abused and neglected by her husband who quickly took on other wives. Peace found out she was positive after her husband died of HIV/AIDS leaving her to raise four children with no outside support.
Her struggle is great as Peace isn’t able to provide the basic necessities for her children. When she is healthy, Peace works at a Coffee factory sorting coffee seeds which earns her about $30 a month. It’s not nearly enough to care for all her children’s needs, especially school tuition.
I had the privilege of meeting her kids the next week and I was so impressed by their kindness, hospitality and compassionate hearts. Even in the midst of their own struggles, these children long to help others. They are very bright and have above average test scores in school. They sell scraps and work at whatever odds and ends jobs they can to earn money to go to school but it is not enough.
When you think of sponsoring a child, I know it’s easy to think of only young kids. But the fact is there is a huge need for these older children to get sponsors! A lot of the big sponsorship programs only start with young ones, leaving children, especially like Jannette in a tough situation.
|Jannette(19) and her 3 younger brothers. The boy on the far right is sponsored by another organization.|
The added bonus of sponsoring an older child is the time commitment is shorter as they only have a few years left of their education.
|These 3 need sponsors! Jannette (19) Witness (16) Trust (7)|
If you would like to sponsor one of Peace's children or help in any way please visit our website or email me directly!
I have the joy of working with these precious families and I know what a HUGE difference a sponsor will make in their lives!