This little girl found out my name and told me HER name was Jenny.
Then this little girl told me her name was Jane. I think she thought that was my name. Her name was actually Mercy. But these kids will do or say anything to have a connection with you - with any adult that will give them their attention. Mercy was my sidekick the entire time we were at Mapolo school. She said to me, "My mother is died. My father is died. I am your baby. You are my mother." Even as I type this I can't hold back tears. I was thankful for sunglasses that day. Look at those eyes. They tell me that this little girl has experienced more loss and pain and in her short life than I could ever imagine. The couple of hours that I held her hand and put my arm around her can't begin to put a dent in the healing that this little girl needs to experience. But healing is in HIS hands, and I'm thankful I could be His hands for a few short hours. Oh, those eyes.
The children are captivating - and easily captivated.
They work. Oh how they work.
They are so resourceful. This is probably his only "toy". This little boy was also always chewing on a plastic bag. It made me so nervous. And I couldn't help but wonder if it was because he was hungry.
This little girl had found an old reel of film and was making a purse out of it.
They take care of each other.
Some of them just survive.
Notice the stickers on this little girl's face? This was the day that the kids opened letters from their sponsor families. If you sponsor a child through any organization and have ever wondered what it's like when your child receives your letter or package, let me tell you, it's a BIG day for these kids. The letters and photos and stickers they receive are clearly their treasured possessions. If you don't already sponsor a child to receive an education, food, and health care - I know some kids who could really use it. Wiphan needs a LOT more sponsors for these amazing kids! Let me know if you're interested!
And some of them have so much joy that you're pretty sure they have no idea that they are among the "poorest" people in the world.
But whether their name is Jenny or Jane or Mercy - and whether they are hauling water, playing soccer, creating something out of nothing, caring for siblings, dancing, or just sitting around waiting for their world to change.... they all bear the beautiful image of Jesus Christ. And we, friends, for reasons beyond our understanding, have been born under circumstances that allow us to minister to Christ! He said if we feed one of these kids - we are feeding HIM. If we reach down to hug them and hold their hand as we walk through their poverty stricken compound - we are walking hand in hand with HIM. Imagine! If we provide clean water for these faces, we are offering our thirsty SAVIOR a drink!
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.' "Then these righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you? "And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!"
I didn't set out for this blog about the kids of Ndola to end with me begging you to sponsor a child - but it's where I find myself. Please think about sponsoring one of these beautiful children that we've met and hugged and played with and laughed with. It's so easy to feel removed from their struggles when we are removed by being halfway across the world in our land of plenty (or quite possibly our land of too much) that we live in. But these kids are real kids with real needs and we can provide real help. As you walk through the compounds of Ndola, you can clearly tell which children are being provided an education, a uniform, a healthy meal, and medical care.
It's life changing for them.
"Would this face lie to you?"
If you're interested in sponsoring a child through Wiphan please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward you on to Wiphan. Thanks!