Hero's in Zambia

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Luke 12:48

As I stood on that red dirt in Africa for the second time in less than a year, I realized that this verse is so true for me. I spent years dreaming of an opportunity to go to Africa, a land that I have loved since I first heard about it when I was a small child.  I have been grateful for the opportunities that I have had to visit and I am humbled that I get to be a small part of an organization like World Vision that is doing great things in not only Africa, but in nearly 100 countries world wide.

I met so many amazing and wonderful people during my week in Zambia and nearly every time I met them, they were thankful that someone was willing to tell their story and rejoice with them in their successes and lament with them in their hardships.  I have been given their stories to share and I am thankful for the people like you who are reading them and who are being inspired to help. I want to take the time today to share with you some of the hero's that I met on the trip. 

Justina is so proud of her new dish rack! She is sharing the message of how important sanitation and hygiene is in her community as a hygiene promoter volunteer.  Justina is a mom of nine and grandmother to 15. It's become her job as a volunteer to take the information that she has learned from World Vision and share it with the members in her community.  This information is changing lives and empowering people to make changes that are affecting their health.

Before my trip, I read along at home about this community that I was so fortunate to get to visit this past week. A community that used to gather water from a hole that has become known as "the dead dog water source".  These are the faces that are benefiting from clean water and are now able to dream about their future. A luxury that they couldn't afford when they were sick and desperate for clean water. 

The energy was palpable and they are now able to live life to the fullest. Isn't that the best thing we can give a person? The ability to live up to their God given potential. Hearing Mera sing songs of praise and have the ability to dance after just being bedridden for years was one of the most eye opening effects of clean water.

Seeing women come from miles away walking hours to attend an under five clinic to check on the health of their children was evidence to the love that mother's have for their children. Every minute a child under the age of five dies as a result of diarrhea, caused by contamination of water, poor sanitation and hygiene. These clinics give mothers an opportunity to check in on the health of their children and be educated about proper nutrition and safe hygiene practices. 

Kids in school are teaching other kids and then bringing the message home to their family members about the importance of sanitation and hygiene.  For generations people have lived feeling cursed. They believed that diseases and sickness have been brought on by something that they have done wrong.  Perhaps even that their ancestors were upset with them. Now they are living in the truth and are being educated to know how to prevent disease and are sharing that message with others.

Nurse Bertha sees patient after patient working long days and even longer nights in a facility without clean water or electricity. The needs are great and the ability to help is limited. Not only is Bertha looking forward to the opening of the first rural level 1 hospital that will be located on the grounds of the clinic she is now working at, the community is overjoyed at the ability to seek medical treatment in their community.  A church partnership through World Vision is helping to bring the hospital and even ambulances to a community in great need. 

It's not uncommon to find girls like Nerott who is just 13, walking to school 15 kilometers {more than 9 miles each way}  after doing her chores and fetching water. She is often sick because of dirty water and sometimes fearful while walking alone.

Molly has been at the back breaking job of fetching water for decades and is looking forward to rest when a new borehole comes to her village.  Molly spends two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening fetching water.  An act that gives her back, neck, chest and leg pains not to mention stomach cramps and diarrhea from unclean drinking water.  The women and men in Molly's village are fearful of starvation and death because of the drought that is already evident this year.

Charity and Ivy fetch water from a water source that they share with cattle. Their husbands often steal water in the night from a local school since the water they drink makes them gag. They say it tastes like urine and is very salty. They are looking forward to having a new water source later this year that is not only closer to their home and requires less walking through snake infested fields, but water that they no longer have to steal and risk getting beaten while doing so. 

These are the stories of the people that I met. There are many more just like them. Their stories inspire me. I hope they have inspired you. I have been given their stories to share and I hope that you will take their stories and share them creating a ripple effect. These are women just like me and you with children just like ours living on the other side of the world.  The challenges they face daily are different and only by the location of my birth have I escaped their circumstances. 

Child sponsorship is the most effective way to change a child's world. You can find a child available for sponsorship in nearly 100 countries worldwide here.  Put a name and a face to your hero and start telling their story! I promise you, your life will never be the same!

For the complete collection of stories from Zambia:
Hero's In Zambia
Living in Fear
A Child's Life
Looking Forward to the Future
The Needs are so Great
Welcome Home
Spirit Lead Me Where My Trust is Without Borders
Preparing for Zambia

1 comment

Janet Trieschman said...

And another thing we have in common. We sponsor a child as well (although we have never met him). Can't wait to chat at SNAP

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