Day 5: Njojane, Part 1

Our first day at Njojane was a success. We told the story of Jesus turning water into wine…only alcoholism is a serious issue here, so we demonstrated the making of a super fun party drink by pouring clear water into a basin that  had been staged with Kool-Aid powder and emptying the juice into paper cups for each child to enjoy. We also shared the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with just 5 loaves and two fish…which quickly multiplied into a gallon of Goldfish crackers and a couple pounss of Swedish Fish. Each child decorated a t shirt, to which we added the words “Jesu uyaku tsadza” and which I spelled wrong on approximately half the shirts. Oops. Oh well. TIA.
We also had the opportunity to sit down with our sponsor children. I got to meet my sweet, shy Tengetile (tang-ah-tee-lay) and give her gifts. Since I have only been her sponsor for about a week, the notification of sponsorship hadn’t gotten to the Care Pointe yet. I had the blessing of watching the light bulb go on as she realized who I am and what that means. It was a beautiful moment of tears and rejoicing. The greatest part: she asked if we could pray together. The make translating stepped away, and I prayed aloud while she prayed silently in her head. I shed a few tears; she prayed with the cutest little grin and watery eyes. When she finished and saw my tears and wet cheeks, zhe patted my hand and said, “Aunty, you fiiiiiine.”
A few minutes later, as I anticipated this blog’s namesake, I was devastated when the child awaiting my visit was not the child I met and fell in love with. As it turns out, there were 2 Khetokuhle’s, and through some mix up, I met the wrong one. The one I met has moved to South Africa with her family. My heart broke and I cried a bit more, but I sat down and spoke with this beautiful little girl and gave her gifts and loved her as I would my own child. Aside from my slight disappointment, it was a fantastic day. I was able to pull out my guitar and teach the choruses of Oh Happy Day and Bless the Lord; I let the kids strum through chord progressions and watch their little faces light up like the forth of July. Children fought to hold my hand, and I was able to experience the miracle of sponsorship all over again.
There are roughly 164 milliom children in the world; in Swaziland alone, there are 22,000 orphans, and hundreds of thousands more who need the love and care sponsorship provides. I’ve set it before, but I’ll say it again: of the 250 kids that come to the Njojane Care Pointe regularly, there’s around 50 kids who are not sponsored and in all honesty, that makes me incredibly angry. It costs $39 a month to sponsor through One Child Matters. It seems like a lot….but when you think about it, you could skip Starbucks two days a week. Or pack you lunch once a week, instead of eating with coworkers at a nearby restaurant. Or maybe you sacrifice as a family, and stay in one weekend a month instead of eating dinner out or going to a movie. $39 is nothing…as a broke college student, I have found a way to make it work.
Katie Davis talks about this in her book, Kisses from Katie. If the world’s 2 billion Christians would get their acts together…if each Christian family sponsored or cared for just one child, it would only take 8% of the world’s Christians to totally and entirely eradicate the statistics for needy children. With that kind of basic logic, I seriously don’t understand how there are unsponsored, unloved, uncared-for kids in this world. On this trip alone, I have met 5 success stories–5 people who went through the Care Pointe system and are now healthy, working, contributing members of society…but 5 isn’t enough. There could never be enough success stories like these. The Care Pointe model works, but not if kids aren’t being sponsored. 164 million  needy children is too many. 22,000 orphans in Swaziland, let alone the world, is too many. 50 sweet, unsponsored babies at Njojane is too many because one is too many.
I can do something. You can do something. We can do something, so let’s start now.

If you have questions about sponsorship, you can visit http://www.onechildmatters.com.

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