Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Who Writes the Stories?

Feeding the Orphans provides sponsorships for orphans and at-risk children to provide food and/or education for children who might not otherwise receive it. 

With organizations who provide sponsorships, do you ever wonder who writes their stories?  Have you ever wondered who writes the bios for kids who are being sponsored?Who collects the information about what they like and dislike?  Who knows the need that needs to be met?  

 For Feeding the Orphans, all of the children are written about by someone serving in country with the organization.  These are not merely faces without meaning.  These are real children.  They have real stories.  They need YOU to help them live life with hope.

Our family is responsible to share a bit about the children who are in need around us.  In the few sentences we are able to write, there are many things we are unable to tell.

This week, we visited six children who greatly need sponsors.  Our visits this week stirred my heart.  Each of these children came into our lives through a local pastor whom we trust.  He knew their dire circumstances and shared them with us.  This pastor has been providing rice and food for these children out of his own scarce resources.  One of the young boys calls him for help once his hunger is fierce.  

At our first stop, there are three boys are being raised by one aging grandmother.  They live in a small structure void of electricity and water.  We arrived at their home before sunset, but quickly realized the darkness than encapsulates this home once the sun goes down.  There is no light in this home or any of the homes around it.  Darkness set in.

The story of these three boys is one that we are finding to be more common the longer we are here.  Two of their siblings have been given over into child labor.  The grandmother cares for these three boys to prevent them from also seeing them forced into labor.  She is struggling to survive herself and provides a small amount to care for them.  The children receive 30 pesewas ($.15) per day for food from the grandmother.  This is all she can afford.  The parents have abandoned these boys entirely.  The grandmother simply can not provide for these boys alone.

The oldest boy, A, was sold into child slavery as a young boy.  He worked on the fishing boats with fishermen who choose to have children work on their boats.  Sadly, children are still trafficed here.  Once rescued, A came to his grandmother’s home.  He has only completed Class 2 in school - grade 2.  He is attending school now, and moving slowly through the classes.  When A is not in school, he goes to work on the fishing boats to provide a small amount to help his family.  

The middle boy, E, age 13, takes to the streets to sell ice cream in the hopes of a small amount of money.  He uses this money to buy a pencil at school because his grandmother can not afford to provide it.  E also uses the money to provide food for his brothers and grandmothers.  

The youngest, W, age 12, has shed tears in front of me because of their situation.  He doesn’t complain, but he has called his pastor for help when he is hungry and without food.  His eyes at times look hopeless.  The photo below of W was taken one Sunday when we were at the church.  School was out and both of his brothers had been sent away to farm and fish so the family would have money.  There was no food in the house and he was alone.  His eyes tell his story.

All three of these boys faithfully attend one of the only Christian churches in this village.  They come without their grandmother because she believes in the power of the idols of the village.  Currently, she will not attend church.  The boys make the long walk alone. These three boys faithfully attend every Sunday.  

Because we knew the desperate need here, we brought some food for this family.  As one of the young boys was carrying the bag of rice toward the home, the bag split and sprayed rice kernels on the ground of red clay dirt.  He was admonished by the grandmother for this unavoidable error.  Quickly, at the urging of the grandmother, he retrieved a pan and scooped up every piece of rice.  Some of the rice was now red in color from the dirt on the ground, but the boy did not throw the rice away.  Carefully, he poured the rice, and the dirt, back into the rice bag to be eaten later.  My stomach hurt from witnessing this scene.  This is the desperation this small family faces.  Would you sweep rice out of the dirt to eat later?

After leaving the dark shack for A, E, and W, Reid and I progressed to the next home with our pastor friend.  Here we found a similar story.  Three children are being raised by the grandmother because the parents have abandoned them.  The parents were ready to sell them into slavery but the grandmother stepped in to prevent this future.  The grandmother protects them from being forced into child labor because she cares for them. 

The grandmother sells produce at a small stand in the market nearly an hour away from her home.  She works every day in order to try to provide a meager amount for the children.  Because of her long days selling, I (the boy below) is forced to care for his younger twin siblings.  

It was after dark as we progressed to this home.  Everything was pitch black.  Hearing a family has no water or electricity is another thing altogether when you are traveling to the home after the sun has set.  We were on a narrow trail lit only by our cell phones.  Darkness surrounded us.  Our eyes couldn't adjust to the black night and it was only 6:30 pm.  Yet, this is the evening time everyday for these families.

When we arrived, I was alone with the two younger ones  - F and F.  The grandmother was still away at the market selling.  These children are hungry.

All of these children need someone to help care for them.  These children have been orphaned by their parents and are now at risk of desperate measures for survival.

If a child is sponsored through FTO, representatives in country deliver food and provisions to the children sponsored for food.  For education sponsored children, FTO representatives assure their attendance in school and encourage students to study hard pursuing their education.  Would you consider sponsoring one of these children or one of the children on the Feeding the Orphans website?

There are so many who need help.

If you have the ability to provide for them, would you consider it?  

The children who can not provide for themselves would be grateful.

As you read the bios of the kids on the website, remember there is so much that remains unwritten.  You can trust these are children in dire circumstances.  You can know your sponsorship will alter the future of a child.  You can know you are making a difference in the life of ONE.  Your sponsorship helps give them a future and a hope. 

Honor the Lord with your wealth
    and with the first fruits of all your produce;
then your barns will be filled with plenty,
10     and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
    when it is in your power to do it.
Proverbs 3:9-10,27

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11

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