Saturday, June 13, 2009

The People at My Door

Three knocks on the door one day. Three stories of sponsored students. Three illustrations of the joys and challenges we face as we try to help.

Laiford Muleya (left) came one morning to report on his nephew Current. After a frustrating two-year saga, we were finally able to find a school in Maamba that promised to help Current with his special needs. I hadn't heard from Mr. Muleya since he took Current to school in January.  Now Mr. Muleya reports that Current likes school very much and has learned to walk with crutches. His report card indicates excellent progress.

A few hours later, Victor knocked on the door. He haltingly told me why he had missed the last three weeks of classes. Victor, a 12-year-old sister, and an 8-year-old brother are orphans who live with their grandmother. While the sister was away and Victor was in school here at Namwianga, the grandmother left the young brother alone for an entire day. When she returned the boy had disappeared. Victor was called home to help in the search, but so far there has been no trace of the boy. The police have no leads. A distraught Victor now struggles to deal with academics when his mind is preoccupied with his brother. We prayed together and he set off for class again.

Late that afternoon, Nadine came by (no photo available). Her mother Charity is a GBCC graduate, the headmistress of a remote village school, and the single mother of Nadine and two younger children. Charity was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in May. She had a radical mastectomy in Lusaka on June 5 and is staying in the city with a niece until the doctor releases her to return to her village. Nadine broke down and sobbed as she talked about her fears for her mother and her worries about her younger siblings. I told her that I was a breast cancer survivor and helped her understand what her mother would go through during her treatment and recovery. I phoned Charity and had Nadine talk to her for a few minutes, and then we prayed together. Nadine brightened and flashed one of her incredible smiles as she headed back to the dorm.

Three knocks on the door. Three stories. Three opportunities to share joys and struggles. 

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