Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Meet Nelson, 17 years old


Nelson lives with his mother and brother, Grant, 20 years

Nelson's father passed away in 2002. His name was Banueil.

Out of all the kids I've met in Zambia, there is something unique about the way Nelson loves. I was deeply touched by our time together. Nelson is 17 years old, but thinks he is 13. In the words of his pastor, Pastor Vincent, "he has mental challenges". He struggles to speak and shakes. The condition developed after his father's death in 2002. He was diagnosed at Ndola's UTH Hospital as "having part of the brain having a misfunction."

Due to these challenges, he is unable to go to a school with the kids nearby because the public school system lacks any support for Nelson. In partnership with Forgotten Voices, the Ndeke ECZ church he attends is helping pay some of the costs for Nelson to attend a training program for agriculture, geared for people with some of these challenges. The Zambian government pays the tuition.

He really wants to be in agriculture so he can earn money to support his family. When I asked him what animal he would be for the rest of his life, he said: "I would be a cow because they are involved in farming and I like farming."

When I told him that there would be hundreds of people praying for him after reading his story on Facebook, the blog, twitter, and in churches, he burst into tears --- overwhelmed by the needs before him and thankful for you.

There are so many kids that I've met here already, but my time with Nelson really jumped out at me. I couldn't start the new day without sharing his story. I ask you to pray.

Specifically, Nelson asked us to pray that he stops shaking and that people can understand him when he talks, because he feels rejected and misunderstood.

I have a powerful video interview with Nelson that I'll post when I get back, as the internet is too slow to post it here.

Please do take a moment and pray for him. And join me in praising God for his provision for Nelson, his mother, and Nelson's brother, Grant (age 20).

I just typed up notes for 8 children that I met yesterday. I HOPE to post at least one more before the end of the day here. On a lesser note, please pray for me, as the skin infection I've developed over the past few days is incredibly sore. I'm in a lot of pain all day. I've had it before and the doctors in the states assure me it is not contagious. But I'm in a ton of pain -- about as much pain as I've ever experienced. Please pray.

Thanks for allowing us to do this --- equipping churches to care for children -- precious children like my new friend, Nelson.


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