However, today I have a rather touching story about four young children from one family, that has already experienced three deaths before they could even celebrate their tenth birthdays. It is hard to imagine these children no longer have a father or mother to fend for their needs. It is such a tragedy at such a tender age. Their emotional pain and pressure they are passing through is hard to imagine, not mentioning the social problems that they now face with no one to call dad or mum in their life. Their childhood has been shortened and they have to grow up quickly enough to manage their own lives if survival is to be a reality in their lives.
Meet Dorcas, (7) and her cousins; 10 years old Mary, and her twin siblings; 8 years old Joseph and Moses. I found it difficult to hold my tears when they shared their story; especially because Mary could not hold hers as she narrated what happened. I decided to stop the interview and ask the pastor to tell me what he knows about their situation. It was a very sad and painful situation for me.
It is alleged that the three, Mary and the twin boys lost both their parents within a year of each other and were later picked up to stay with their aunt, the mother to Dorcas, who by then was a widow. Dorcas' mother also died shortly after they came into her house causing another pain of suffering to these kids. All these deaths were HIV/AIDS related.
The children are currently living with their grandmother, too old to help them pull through this tender stage of their life. They are living in a three roomed mud house in one of the shanty compounds of Ndola. Dorcas is in grade 1, Mary in grade 4 and the twins are in grade 3. Pastor Lameck Mugala, through his church has been doing a great job in helping these children manage their situation as they mingle with other kids during the feeding program. “It has not been easy”, the pastor says; He told me that in fact this old lady they call granny, is not their real granny. She was related to Dorcas' late step father. Dorcas' late mother was a sister to the other three kids' mother, but Dorcas' father is nowhere to be seen. He divorced her mother when she was still very young and later her mother got married to another man whose mother is the granny they live with now. You see how complicated their situation is. This also shows how much poverty has disintegrated the extended family systems, especially here in the urban set up. It's hard to imagine this happening to little children like these.
However, the church has been their hope ever since their situation was brought to the pastor's attention. They receive assistance from the church for most of their requirements. They have not only been receiving material support, but they have also been helped spiritually as they attend the children's Bible class during the feeding programs. The kids love their Lord and I hope they will grow to be responsible citizen.
This is where the ministry of Forgotten Voices has indeed been a God sent ministry in this part of Africa. It has helped pastors like Lameck to manage their God given calling in ministering to the poor and needy in their communities. Your contributions, through Forgotten Voices' ministries here in Zambia has lightened their burden, giving us hope for a better future in the lives of these and such other children. Forgotten Voices International appreciates your continued support. We understand the world economical situation is not favourable these days, but we do realize that, the God who called us to this ministry transcends such economical circumstances of the world and as such our hope lies in the LORD we serve. He is in control and will make a way were there seems to be no way.
May the Lord give you grace to continue this noble ministry among the poor in the world. As Ryan normally says, “you have chosen to say yes, even when the most appropriate answer would have been no” Thank you so much, we appreciate. The Lord loves the poor and his heart is always with them (Psalm 140:12); May your prayer always be: “Love them Lord, through me!”
Your fellow servant in the Lord,