Monday, May 21, 2007
Sorry for all the delays in our writing. We've been out in the rural areas and there hasn't been an email connection in 4 days. We've been all over now. After working in the Free Methodist Church for two days and paying school fees for about 30 children, we set out for the Matopos. We saw some things out there and then head to Mtshabezi Mission and the National AIDS Programme. Forgotten Voices is sponsoring about 614 kids this term for school fees and it was (as it always is) overwhelming.
Since our time is so short, I'd like to briefly introduce you to two people that we've met along the way. So sorry about the pictures. We sadly can't post many as the internet connect is WAY too slow at the moment. This is actually from a friend's blog ... they are working where we just came from. :)
Enjoy these short profiles on some of the voices we are hearing from during our travels.
Shelton: age 8, grade 2
Shelton is the youngest of 4 kids that have been living alone for the past 3 years (16, 13, 10, 8). The father and mother both passed away from AIDS related illnesses. The oldest, aged 16, is now struggling to cope with what has happened. He is generally away for days and quite depressed, leaving the other 3 to fend for themselves. Forgotten Voices is sponsoring school fees and support for these 3 and the church has offered to pay the way for the eldest child to return to school. However, he feels that he can't because of the pressures to provide (even though he goes away and isn't found for days and sometimes weeks). Shelton is in the 2nd grade and enjoys soccer, math, and reading.
Please pray for these 4, as they represent a rising challenge to our church partners. What to do with children without a support system and grieving the loss of their parents. Please pray for the church leaders as they try to offer what they can amidst such trying circumstances.
Horace: age 25, childrens ministry volunteer at Free Methodist Church
He's 25 and very talented. He loves children and would love to be a pastor some day. Since quitting his job because he hadn't been paid in such a long time and he was spending more on fuel than he was receiving from the job, he spends all his time with the church. His only sibling Irene left a few months ago for south africa. While greener pastures are calling and jobs are promising (yet in actuality quite elusive) down in south africa, Horace is choosing to stay to help the church. Not only is he incredibly helpful around the community (paying school fees, visiting the sick, etc), Horace is also funny, an incredible soccer player, and has an amazing smile that I look forward to showing you when I get home.
OK. I gotta go for now. Love to you and all that matter to you. Pray for us as we continue traveling. I'll be able to write tomorrow.
Bye for now.
-Ryan (& Bozzo aka Steve aka Bozo ----like the clown... people love his name here!)
Written by Ryan - ForgottenVoices.org at 5/21/2007 11:59:00 AM