During my trip to Africa this summer, one of my tasks was to take photos. Specifically I was taking photos for our sponsorship program. It was one of the highlights of my trip. Taking pictures of kids who have never seen either a camera like mine or themselves on a picture is hilarious! Some I could not get to smile for the life of me. Others struck pose after pose. My camera was almost never out of my hand while there and the opportunity to capture a bit of life in Uganda and Malawi was stunning.
Back home we sponsored a kid through Compassion which was great, but we gave it up when we moved due to living in the USA and finances. However, after taking hundreds of pictures of kids that needed sponsors, my attitude changed. I wanted a girl since both countries we work in are still very patriarchal and I wanted my money to help empower a young girl. But then I met him, and I fell in love.
This little man followed me all around camp the first day I met him. A couple of days later we went to do a home visit with a family that was having witch doctor problems (a whole another post in itself!) I heard a call from behind a wall, ‘Auntie’, and there he was, grinning away. When I told him that I’d come over to his house, he scampered off. I couldn’t figure out what happened until I followed him and saw this:
Bestman lives with his two brothers in a one room house. His mother abandoned the family and his father comes by with food once in a while. They cook over a charcoal fire outside, have no running water or toilet. They all sleep in a twin bed and are basically raising themselves. But this kid is awesome. And I met a lot of kids. But something about Bestman just grabbed my heart. So he is our boy. And today our Advent activity was putting together a care package for him to send to Uganda…another perk of actually knowing the organization and the leaders is the ability to know that the package will actually get to the kid!
The girls thought carefully about what to include and I was heartened by the fact that they had seemed to grasp what was helpful to send, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, pencil crayons, soap, bubbles, a mini football, a notebook and a towel and of course candy.
If you want to know how you can empower a child in Africa, please click here. If you want me to set you up with a specific child, let me know. Encourage your family, small group, youth group or office to change a life of a child!