As I was walking thru Sugar Village one day last week I was rather forcefully confronted by young Zambian woman. She looked to be around 20, with a baby tied to her back, good-humored with a twinkle in her eye and a mischievous grin as she boldly took me to the task. “I want to go to school”, she demanded. So I started asking for her story – at 17 she got married, got pregnant and quit school. She and her young husband live in a 10’x12’ mud hut on the outskirts of the village. He fishes every morning, bringing in enough fish to eat every day and sometimes enough to sell for a little cornmeal to eat with the fish. Now at nearly 19, all the idealistic dreams of a 17-year-old are dashed on the hard rock of the poverty and, hand to mouth living – what the social engineers call “subsistence farming”. But she has enough of that youthful zest left in her that she has not totally resigned herself. She is scrambling for a way out.
So she sees me and thinks of a pathway to advancement – “if I could get sponsored, and continue my education, perhaps there is a slight chance of escaping this squalor.” I ask her how she did in school – she had completed grade 8 and passed all tests well to continue to grade 9. This is exceptional, and I see the signs of good intellect in her. I see signs of determination and drive. Yes, possibly she is one, who, with a little help from us, could rise above and begin to thrive. Rabecka Ndaala is her name. Pray for her.
Later that same day I am in Lioka Village and see two other high-school aged girls who have been on our sponsorship list for a while, yet without a strike. They ask again – “when can I go to school?” In Zambia grade school children have government subsidy to pay for much of their education. By eighth grade, they are on their own – which means, out the door. Even with the best job the village has, families cannot pay for a high school education without outside help. So they sit and languish while we wait for a sponsor.
What if we could at least continue these girl’s education in small steps so that once they do get sponsored, they would be able to quickly advance?
While Tammy Bumstead is superbly gilding our sponsored children with a gold-plated education, our recent addition to the team, Memory Muuka, a Zambian certified teacher, is interested in developing a program to meet the needs of these high-schoolers who are needing specialized attention.
The next day at a new church meeting in Lioka Village Brenda Mapani came to the meeting, wanting the same thing as these others – “Please sponsor me. I want to go to school again.” She is 18 years, 8th grade, has been out of school for a couple years, but has not given up hope of progress. The reason she is here is because this church meeting is at Memory Mufana’s house. Memory Mufana is one of the fortunate ones. She is 20 but got sponsored last year after being out of school for a couple years, having failed her test to advance to 10th grade. Now we are paying for almost daily tutoring to bring her up to speed so she can get back into school in 9th grade. She just completed her tests and passed them splendidly! She will start in Jan.
One more. Every week I lead a church planting training at a privately run grade school in Ngwenya – the most broken compound in Livingstone. It is the ministry of Whitika and his wife to run this school for those who can’t pay. We have some sponsored kids there and we go to teach them every week. And every week I see Saphira – the 17 year old daughter, cooking food, helping the kids, then coming to the bible classand answering the questions better than any adult there! She has not been able to continue in school because of money. She is sharp. She hungers for more, but there is just no way. Yet…
I have dedicated my life to instigate Justice. To me, this is an issue of Justice. It is not God’s will, not his Kingdom plan, that these bright ambitious young people should be deprived of the life they were created to live. Poverty is not Just. These are a few of the faces of injustice. When I think what 30 measly dollars a month can do for a life, I sometimes find it hard to not judge.
This is one more, of a myriad, of categories of injustice. This is a special subsection labeled “Teens desiring, yet unable, to advance in education and hope for a better life.”
What these kids don’t realize is that it’s not just education that opens a door to this “better life”. It’s a living relationship with Jesus. I have seen verifiable proof that spirit birth opens the mind, the imagination, the work ethic, talents and dreams for a whole new world. As we disciple our FAMILY TABLE sponsored kids, we see them changing before our eyes. They are not only becoming the top students in their classes, they are becoming industrious, bold, creative, disciplined.
What can you do?
Pray for God’s favor on us. Pray for these kids – that their hearts would be
opened to him. Last week I shared the clearest route to salvation that I
could – and many of them seemed to pray sincere prayers of inviting God. Pray for financial blessing for us.
Sponsor one of these kids – just click on their picture. $30/month
Sponsor Memory Muuka – the Zambian teacher. $30 – $120/month.
Help raise funds for the Education Department – we are praying for
materials, another teacher, chairs and tables, some chalk boards, even a
building for this purpose! Just click the link and make a note on your
online donation or send a check with a note.
Send a donation: Love’s Door
PO Box 1185
Philomath, OR 97370
From Canada: Love’s Door c/o Blessings for Obedience
1830 Brunette Ave.,
Coquitlam, B.C. V3K 1H2 Canada