The following is a true story by a student in the orphanage, Mapendo Hawa, with assistance from a staff member, Sofiya Tambwe. Translation from Swahili to English by David Mtange.
My mum divorced from her first husband and marriaied my Dad and gave birth to 4 children including me. My 2 sisters died of malnutrition for there was not enough food to feed the family. I was left with 1 brother who later abandoned home and decided to live on the street.
My mum couldn’t work as she was sick for long period and my father decided to abandon us. He went to the jungle where he joined the rebels’ army. Later the news came that he got sick and died.
Both my parents were Christians and I was born and grown up in a Pentecostal church at our village. It came a time when I joined Sunday school singers at our church.
One day when I was playing with my friends at playground I saw my grandmother aside waiting for me, from that time, I went and ask her why are you here? Then she couldn’t wait, immediately she took me up to her village, when I asked her, why you are taking me to your home while my clothes and shoes still in our house? From that time she forced me to follow her and said that the remaining stuff would follow me later.
The saddest day – Leaving my Mom
Myself I did not know what was happening, after days when I wanted to return to see my mom at our village, my grandmother told me that my mom was not at our home anymore, I was much afraid of her answer, when I kept insisting crying, then she allowed me to go at my village, from that time she took me with her and we both went till into my village, when I arrived a child friend came and immediately told me the news that my mom died since the day that my grandmother took me to her village, I was so sad and almost to hate my grandmother but later I was told that she loved me a lot that is the reason why she escaped with me in order to care for me for I could cry a cry that could bring sad to other people in our area.
After a while I came to hate my own village because my mom was not there anymore, from that time my grandmother suggested me to return to her village with her, from that time I could not hesitated and we both went back again to her village, I suffered a lot while living with her, every Friday she was leaving me alone to her home and go to a closer small town to beg for something for us to eat as Friday is the day that those who are materially blessed use to share with those who are vulnerable here. We survived for that little income; we were sleeping with hunger whenever she returns home with no food in her bag. In her house there was no mattress to sleep on nor even plates, were we using only those small pots made by mud.
Grandma in now sick
Every day she was telling me that when you wake up and you find me not speaking then shout louder calling me and shaking my body, when you see me not answering you, then from that time you have to take a journey yourself up to your village where you were born and tell people that I have died, from that time you will tell them to bury me in my garden here nearby.
It came a day when she vomited a lot, from that time she was unable to find the leaves that could treat her, myself did not know which leaves could treat her sickness. Later she recovered I was always expecting her to die the way she told me.
The rebels came
But, after days later I saw a band of young men coming closer to the house where we were staying, carrying different weapons and singing a song mentioning my grandmother’s name, that she is a witchcraft and she must died today. Then my grandmother was taken along with other 9 old women from different villages to a jungle where they were all killed.
I met Grand David
On that day I was told to leave that village and I did not take the direction to the village where I was born anymore, I lead up to a market in a distant village where I stayed 2 days sleeping in the market without foods. When I took rest at the river side, Grand David was crossing the river to come to the side where I was seating, immediately I hug him like whom I knew before, for I saw him wearing good clothes and I felt that he could help me with something to eat and I asked him to help me.
From that time he took me up to a restaurant where he bought a cup of cold milk and 2 cakes for me. When I finished eating he started asking me about my life from that time I told him what a little bit about what had passed to me and where I come from. Then immediately he took me up to a place where he bought 2 new clothes for me and led me to the GRACE MINISTRIES CHILDREN’S HOME till today. My life had changed a lot and I continue well with my school, I love being a member of GRACE MINISTRIES’S FAMILY.
First week at the orphanage
I was feeling so shy on my first week in the orphanage, after a month Grand David told Aunty SOSO to go with me at the hospital, I did not know that I was ill, after that I was given medications to take at home, later Grand David came to tell me that I was suffering from malnutrition illness. I did not know what maturation was about, after days later I came to discover that I was eating so bad and sleeping hungry and bitten with several insects at my village, I was sleeping in bad conditions there.
I have a bed!
It is in the orphanage where I slept on mattresses for my first time since I was born, when I arrived here my skin was so rough but now it has become smooth comparing to before. Tate Julienne was washing me every day morning before, but now I am able to wash my body by myself.
My grandmother and I did not know Jesus nor how to pray, my grandmother was going to a small jungle closer to her house each evening, where she was talking with unknown people, myself I could only hear the sounds of people, when I ask her whom have you been talking with? She was answering that she was talking with God. While living here in the orphanage I came to discover that my grandmother was talking with demons. Because there is no God in the jungle apart from God father who is in heaven and Jesus Christ His Son and the Holy Spirit who is with us forever. I love Jesus for He saved me from the danger of life.
Praying to join a school
I did not know how to present my request before God, for the first time I was advised to pray for God to open a door for me to join school permanently. During the prayer time in the orphanage with my orphanage fellows and even in the room, I was always praying in my own language mentioning this words:
MUNGU BABA FUNGUA MLANGO ILI NIJIUNGE NA WENZANGU SHULENI, NAOMBA NA KUAMINI KATIKA JINA LA YESU AMEN
Which means: God father open the door for me to join school with others I pray and believe in Jesus name Amen
I was also told to pray for Oceanside church which was intending to support us at school, when I heard from Grand David that our request was answered and our school will be paid by Oceanside Church for a year on, my heart loved Jesus a lot, after that I was told to go to school. At that time my heart was so happy, on our first day at school, during the break time myself and other orphanage fellows went a side in a small playground at our school, jumping for joy for our school to be paid.
I am working hard to pass my exams which is coming from the start of December, my teacher has also been telling me that I am working good in the class, she also told Hosea that there is hope for me to pass to the next class. I am so thankful and always praying for our sponsors.
Thank you all