There is nothing quite like meeting your sponsor child for the first time. I have had the pleasure of doing so twice, for my child and my parents’ child. The only thing better than meeting her for the first time is the long awaited reunion after a year of being apart. One of our translators caught her as she walked in to let her know I was there. When I walked up to Tengetile, Noomsa was crouched on the ground in front of her and Tengetile was bawling. My husband did what we would do with any other kid—grabbed her, hugged her, stroked her hair, tried to figure out what was wrong. Noomsa explained to us: Tengetile was overwhelmed to the point of happy tears. All because we were here. She didn’t know about the gifts we brought her. She didn’t know that we save every letter she writes and every picture she draws to hang on the wall, or that we pray for her every single day…not a clue. We hadn’t done a single thing. I broke into tears. Hunter, my husband took us by the hand and walked us up to the church. We rummaged through the bag my husband and I packed for a juice box and some sweets, and went through all the things we take for granted every single day—a soft fuzzy blanket, sunglasses, socks, peanut butter—the things that are just LIFE, not special treats or uncommon occurrences, the things we don’t think about thanking God for because they are commonplace every day staples.
Today, we visited the homestead of my sponsor child, Tengetile and her sister Noncedo, the child of another couple on our team. She lives with her gogo (grandmother) and 6 additional children under her care. There’s no warmth between the family members. It is a distant, static relationship—not warm and loving.
It would be easy to give them money—but we can’t. Money is temporary, when we need sustainability. We need men who stand up to defend, and provide for their families like the example set for us by Christ and the Church. We need women who are confident to speak wisdom and truth by following the model of a godly woman as explained in Proverbs 31. We need children that are hugged and told ‘I love you’ so that these children might be the person God created them to be. We need believers back home who refuse to be complacent in a calling from God.
“Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams. I will defend you against marauders, protect your wheat fields and vegetable gardens against plunderers,“ Malachi 3:10
We are testing the Lord now. We serve a good, powerful, loving God, and we have seen the ways He has provided in our own lives. We have seen the overwhelming need, and we know our kids are in God’s hand, as are your sponsor children. Where our children’s parents fail—leading, guiding, providing, speaking truth and wisdom—God has sent us be His hands and feet, and we need to step up. PLEASE join is in praying for the Njojane community, for provision, for sustainability—for men and women who become loving, caring moms and dads, not just biological mothers and fathers.