One of the unique advantages we have at 127 Worldwide is longevity of relationships. Even though the organization is only six years old, the relationships are ten years old. That equals ten years of ministry where God has changed many lives. We have many stories to tell of God’s grace toward orphans, but one of our favorite stories is Samuel’s.
In the middle of a summer night in 2007, as families slept peacefully, a landslide crashed through a small, Kenyan village almost 400 miles away from Nairobi. Many people died as they were trapped in mud. Samuel, a nine year old boy, was spared that night, but his parents and two sisters perished. In minutes, he lost his entire family and all of his possessions including his home.
Now an orphan, government officials brought him to 127 Worldwide partner, Rose Bugusu, who is the founder and director of Tumaini Miles of Smiles Children’s Home. Tumaini, the Swahili word for hope, is home to 70 orphans and over 300 children attend Tumaini School.
Mama Rose welcomed Samuel to Tumaini. She gave him a home, food, clothing, community, and education. Most importantly, she shared the truth of God’s word with him. Samuel required trauma counseling to help him process the loss of his family, and Rose provided that as well.
Today, Samuel is a young man who will soon be graduating from high school. He’s had to work hard to catch up in his studies. He got off to a late educational start which was further delayed due to dealing with his grief. He will be graduating high school in 2018.
Samuel told me that when he came to Tumaini, he was illiterate, barely had enough food to survive, and had no hope for an education. He entered school at the age of ten when other children start around age five. The teachers at Tumaini motivated him to work hard and he has thrived in his education.
Samuel surrendered his life to Christ and was baptized. He said he didn’t really know who God was before he came to Tumaini. Now, one of the things he’s most thankful for about his upbringing is that he learned about God and how to live for Him.
After graduation, Samuel would like to enlist in the military to protect people and help others in need. He also wants to help Tumaini flourish in any way he can. Even now, when he’s on school break, he helps Rose with jobs around the compound. It’s clear from talking with Samuel how much he loves his Mama Rose.
Samuel represents what we want to accomplish through the ministry of 127 Worldwide. He was a hopeless orphan, but through the ministry of our local leader, Rose, that is no longer what he is. By partnering with Rose, and our other local leaders, we get to participate in the process of RESTORING HOPE to vulnerable children. YOU get to restore hope to vulnerable children when you partner with us.
Let’s work together to help more Samuels. Our Father is father to the fatherless (Ps. 68:5). As His image bearers (Gen. 1:27), we are to care for these precious children in His name. Orphans need to know they are not alone; they need to know they are loved. It’s our privilege and our responsibility, as the Church, to love and care for these children as we introduce them to the Father who never abandons them. We need more people to walk alongside of us in this difficult task. Orphan care is warfare. Will you join us in the battle?
By Christy Britton