How are you all? Its been a while since we blogged and touched base. We have had a lovely Easter break and added a couple of Fairs-Billams to the family….yes Mittens and Molly, two little kittens have joined us!!
This week we have hit the ground running, although rather chaotic as we are now transitioning between offices!
This week, Thursday and Friday, we are holding our first facilitator training and 10 people are attending. This is exciting as we look to widen our training team in order to carry out more training programmes and equip more people to keep children safe both in Lusaka and beyond.
The need is massive here. Thousands of children are daily exposed to violence and abuse. Yesterday we were sitting in a cafe talking work, when a little boy walked past us. Sam greeted him and began a conversation and Obet translated. Shivering from cold, eyes red from lack of sleep, clothes torn, feet bare, M told us his story whilst sipping a fanta. He is 8 years old.
The previous evening he had not wanted to bath. This angered his grandmother and led to her refusing him a blanket to sleep with and then she beat him. Climbing under his sisters blanket in the night, he left early in the morning to avoid another beating. This is his life and it is not a one off.
He wants to live with his mother but she has remarried and the step father only agreed to accept three of her five children. He is one of the two she left behind. So M has learned to survive…from the age of three begging for food and sleeping on the streets.
This is his life. And I’m glad we took the time to ask.
Now we have a responsibility. Both a moral and a biblical one. To stand up for his right to protection and safety. We will commit to working with partners on the ground to ensure this one life is restored.
Helpless we may feel. The mountains we face are huge. So many lives with similar stories. Sometimes it feels we only skim the surface. Yet what is the alternative? To accept, ignore, pretend its not happening, run in the other direction? Or should we take action? Engage and take that step? Get involved? Go the extra mile?
Tehila believes each child matters. Each one is unique and loved by God. We will stand up and advocate for children collectively and we will also offer individual support to rescue each child that God happens to put in our path. Why? Because that’s what Jesus would have done.
Please join us in praying for M this week. His situation is critical and he needs to be rescued from the cycle of physical abuse, neglect and street living. As I write this blog at 1am, I know my little girl of nearly 8 is tucked up in bed safe and sound, loved and valued. And yet my mind wonders to M. Where is he tonight? Is he alone and scared? It brings me to tears and breaks my heart. Yet it also fills me with fresh determination to keep moving forward. To keep taking action.
So tomorrow is a new day. A fresh start. Filled with new hope. Thank you for journeying with us and for your continued determination and belief in what we are doing. I know some of our blogs are tough to read and the stories we choose to share are painful to follow. Thanks for caring and getting involved. We really appreciate it. Our vision is big and your support is helping us grow. This will mean we can reach more children like M.
So for now…night, night. I think its time for me to sleep.
Love Han and the team xxx