Ever since our trip to Zambia in 2004, Joel and I have sponsored two little orphans from Namwianga Mission, the ministry "village" where we visited. Eric's House held about 20 orphans ranging in age from birth to teenagers. But the number of children needing care soon prompted them to add on another house, and then another, and now--we've lost track--they have 3-4 houses providing care for little ones.
Zambia doesn't allow adoptions. In fact, it's not even a "concept" there, apparently. Namwianga gets children that have lost both parents (due often times to either childbirth or HIV/AIDS--the numbers in Zambia are staggering) or children whose parents can no longer afford to care for them. In the second case, the goal is that after 2 years (once they are not requiring so much formula/milk) they can go back and live with their family. Because of that, we cycle through children that we support every 2-3 years, depending on what has happened to them--either they've outgrown the need for expensive milk, or they've gone back to be with their families.
Recently, we received pictures of our newest little ones--a sweet little girl named Louise, and this little guy, Heath. Isn't he adorable?!?!?!
Just yesterday, we got an email stating that recently his grandma had come to get him, and against the advice of his care-givers, took him home. Heath had been pretty sick, I guess. His grandma took him to the hospital where he died a few weeks ago. Apparently, he had "bad blood", which means it could have been HIV or some other blood disorder. It just made me sick to hear that.
And it makes me wish we could do more over here. Sending money each month DOES help, and for those little ones who live on that milk, it is huge.
We keep offering to adopt those little ones, but no one has taken us up on that offer! :-) And since some of them still have extended family, that is obviously NOT the best option for them, either.
...............(it seems that I should be leading to a conclusion here...
but to be honest, I don't have one)..............................................
I DO know that God loves each child dearly.
And that, as one of God's children, He calls me to love them in the same way.
And one more thing--little Heath is with Jesus--healthy and whole--never again to be sick or in need of anything.