Pothawira, a Safe Haven for Children. Help open the doors of the school!Rich Stigall
Last month, we blogged about two, Malawian, infant twins (Prince and Prisca) whose mother had died in childbirth and who needed a home and a family. (Click here>> to read more) They became the first two children to benefit from the vision God placed on Pastor Peter Maseko’s heart several years ago, but there’s more to tell, much more…
Recently, we spent three hours with Peter’s daughter, Anne, who like her father is also a physician and cares deeply for orphaned and abandoned children in her African home. Anne told us about a day this January, when she helped her dad select the children who would first live at Pothawira.
When we drove onto the village, people and children were everywhere. I asked myself, “People must think we were handing out food.” But that wasn’t the case; they had come, because so many children in our community don’t have a safe future.
Moms, dying of AIDS, brought their children. Children brought children, especially from Daniel village which has been hit hardest by HIV. One twenty-year-old (left) came with her own 4-month old and her 12-year-old sister. Their parents had passed, and she could not feed all of them. Children with swollen bellies from protein deficiency…more than we could take; so, how does one decide which children get to come into care. Local village chiefs came to verify people’s stories and validate the greatest needs.
What a day of mixed emotion! On one hand God has us in this place at this time. 100 children will live, but what about the children we are saying “no” to?
I wish you could have been in the room with me as Anne shared her story. Suffering is not new to Anne. She grew up one of eight children in a two-room, rural home. She knows need and has either seen or experienced many personal hardships first hand; yet, this day, when some would be chosen and others turned away shook her to the core.
Prince and Prisca are doing very well. Evidently, Prince at 5-weeks old is getting “quite fat.” 68 more children have now joined the twins and live at Pothawira. They are safe. More will join them this year, with hopefully a bed or two always open for a child whose future takes a turn for the worse and who would otherwise fend for themselves.
Pothawira. Hope. Safe Haven. It’s a beautiful story of God’s people on the move, and it’s still being written. Funds are needed to open the school there. It’s almost complete, but $25,000 is still required to pour the floors and put desks and chalk boards in six classrooms that will educate more than 250 children. (The 70 living at Pothawira and many of the ones who were turned away. A good school is such a blessing to the community.) Tables and benches are needed for the dining hall, where the children are now eating on the floor.
We trust God will provide for these needs. Maybe He’ll use you to help. Either way, we celebrate the 70 God has brought into care…and we pray for Pastor Maseko, the house mommas, and hopefully, in the near future, the teachers who bring the tangible love of Jesus into the lives of these children!