I could tell you about my first experience in the African bush. Chickens sqwaking, skinny dogs, thatched roofs, mud walls, and families trying to farm the land. They grow maize with high hopes in the rainy season. Children are born and take care of each other, as little mamas.
I could tell you about how I wept and hid my face as a great grandmother who is blind but can see, raised her hands in praise to Jehovah Jhira as she received a pound of sugar, laid down in the packed dirt to worship, and then made us laugh with her stories. She was full of the Life.
I could tell you about a soccer game using a homemade ball with children who no longer are fatherless. Kites constructed from plastic bags, sticks, and small hands flying high in the azul blue African sky.
I could tell you about the ‘mamas’ that remind me of you, my real-life friends who are trying to raise children that love the Lord. The mamas that create community with their families and are supportive of each other. The mamas that inspire me to do the same.
I could tell you about a ‘head man’ of a small village, how he greeted us with excitement and loves that you know His name and are praying for Him because of us. A village leader. A man of God.
I could tell you about Dorene. A small 4 year old girl that fell asleep in my arms with deep baby sighs and who remembered me with hand holding and hugs. I could tell you the life she has come from and how this place, Every Orphan’s Hope, has rescued her.
I could tell you about children that pray and sing to Jesus like He is truly their best friend. Whose faces glow with glory and whose mere presence speak to my Spirit.
But what I really want you to know is that there is hope. . . and He knows your name, their name.
Hope when I don’t see it or feel it in the remotest parts of Zambia.
Hope when I feel helpless and beg to know what I can do to help.
Hope when I feel like I can’t change, much less help the situation.
Hope when I’m overwhelmed by need.
Hope when I know my life should and will be different because God has chosen to use me, showing me His passion for the least of these.
Hope is knowing that these orphans are doubly rescued, once from earthly situations none of us would wish upon a child, and then again by a Father that knows their name and chose to save them.
Jesus is the Hope-Giver.
To have hope I must cling to Him. Only He can rescue. Only He can redeem. Only He can restore the wrongs that have been done in mud huts and tall grass, city alleys and the nicest Lusaka neighborhoods. Only He can feed the starving, multiply for the needy, save the lost, and adopt all of us into His kingdom.
I will continue to look for Hope. . . for He is here, mighty and active.
by Stephanie Bryant, the co-founder of (in)courage and Creative Mastermind at S. Bryant Social Marketing. All photos were taken by the gifted Phillip Thomas of Novo Studios. Read more about my journey with my client Every Orphan’s Hope.Leave a Comment