A Different December for Mary & TimothyRich Stigall
As we step into this Different December season, we celebrate God’s handiwork in 2016. Each Thursday this month, we’ll share stories that have gripped our hearts. Mary and Timothy’s is just one among more than 16,000 children and families impacted by your generosity in this year alone.
Mary, 13, and Timothy, 4, lived in Lilongwe, Malawi, with their mom who was HIV+. She fought the disease for years, until finally passing away this summer, leaving her children orphaned. No one in the community wanted them, so the kids wisely went back to the hospital to return their mother’s meds in the hopes of getting some food.
The hospital staff stepped in to champion these children, but legally, they didn’t have custody. The government did. They would make the decision on where the children would go. As the government rejected two possible orphan facilities nearby, Mary and Timothy were flagging back in their community.
The hospital provided a bag of maize to incentivize neighbors to care for the kids, but it didn’t help much. Mary was especially vulnerable and signs of beatings were both on her body and in her spirit. Her toddler brother was her responsibility. She was unwanted, abused, losing all hope, and she was all her brother had. Mary was serving as a Child Head of Household (without a household), a fate all too common for the oldest orphaned child in what’s left of their family.
Running out of ideas, the hospital staff asked for help on Facebook. Their pleas from Africa were read and answered by Anne Maseko in Houston. Anne is the oldest daughter of Peter and Emma Maseko, GO Project’s beloved partners in Malawi and the leaders of Pothawira, a safe haven for the orphan.
The government gave their approval, and Mary and Timothy quickly moved into their new home. They now live under the care of their house mama. Their medical needs (Mary is also HIV + and Timothy is recovering from a severe case of malaria) are being handled at Pothawira’s Clinic, and they are looking forward to Christmas break with the rest of the children attending Pothawira’s primary school. Mary and Timothy have their childhood back. They have a future. They have a family and a home.
Mary and Timothy’s December is different this year because God used a caring hospital staff, social media, a Houston-based doctor daughter of Malawi, her parents who love God’s children, and all who have invested in the lives of the Orphan. Praise be to God!
In a season made beautiful with lights and bows, we invite you to once again make this December Different by helping meet the raw, real needs of orphaned and vulnerable children like Mary and Timothy. Your year-end gifts help pay for the unpredictable essentials that our caretakers constantly confront: spiking food prices, emergency health and safety needs, and gaps in daily care funding for kids. As always, all of your tax-deductible donations – 100% – given to the care of children goes to the care of children.
To learn more about the impact of Different December giving, click here.
On behalf of the children we serve together, “thank you!”