29 June 2010

Peter, Dan and Angeline

Open chest, rip out heart, and break into pieces...

Give hope. Have heart restored. Feel God's heartbeat. Pour out love. Receive love from Father.
Feel at peace. Smile.

And breathe again.

That's pretty much to sum up what happened one day last week. My days are still running together so I'm not even sure what day it was. Our social worker Humphrey told us of these three kids- Dan, Peter and Angeline. He would walk by where they stay everyday and notice them. Slowly he found out their story and then told us about them. Bud told me about them and wanted to go and check it out and when I heard their story I had to go see as well. Humphrey had said they were always in rags, no shoes, very dirty and going around begging for food. Nearby where they live is the school that Ian and Mercy go to. At their school is also a church and that is where Humphrey attends (and sometimes helps in leading worship). Humphrey told us a funny story of the boys. He said one morning at church, they had just released the first service and were in between services waiting to start the next one. Dan and Peter had seen the pastor kept juice at the pulpit to drink in between preaching. So while no one was looking they ran in as fast as they could, snatched the juice, and darted out. Sneaky little boys! So we had the heads up that they're a bit mischievous. Humphrey also told us he had found out that Peter and Angeline are siblings and Dan is their cousin. Dan and Peter are 6 yrs old, Angeline is 4. Dan's mom died when he was born and was sent to stay with his great Aunt when he was just a few days old. His father passed soon after. Peter and Angeline's father died a few years ago and the mother became sick soon after and was sent to her village to die. (it's common that when they know the person is about to die, they send them to their home village to be with family). Peter and Angeline were sent to their great Aunt a year ago. It's still unknown if the mother is still alive, they haven't seen or heard from her since last year. Humphrey is going to figure out a way to get more information on this.

So we went to go check it out. The place is probably like government housing in the U.S. but much more run down. It's a bunch of two story apartment-like buildings. Trash everywhere. Paint chipped. Children EVERYWHERE. People away working in town. (It's just right outside of downtown) A lot of men sitting around. Most of them getting drunk.

We went inside their apartment and had found the three kids sitting outside. Their great aunt greeted us and welcomed us inside with a smile. We entered the living room and it reeked of alcohol. Two men were in there and also greeted us with a smile and glazed eyes. One of the men was the great uncle. We sat with them and talked about their story and the kids.

Our first purpose was to find out the condition of the children and hear their story. From that we were trying to gather if this was a situation where they can continue living with their family and we can get sponsorship for them to be able to go to school and provide food. The other option, in the case that it was a desperate situation, was to start working towards putting them in house three at Mattaw once house three is up and running. The great aunt is the sister to the kids grandmothers (obviously) so she is old in age. She takes care of many other extended family children and only does small jobs that she can find. The husband is an alcoholic and wants the kids to leave. He works but mostly so he has the funds to buy alcohol and/or make his own. The kids bellies are bloated, flies swarmed around their head, ants crawled in their clothes and to top it off, Humphrey was told by neighbors that they are often found searching for food in the trash pile. Desperate situation? You could say so.

We took them with us and went out to Mattaw for the afternoon. All our kids welcomed them happily. They all asked "kids for house three?!". The drive out to Mattaw the kids chatted the whole time. They are not shy, that's for sure. They are so innocent and barely affected by living in such a bad environment. Manners have never been taught to them, we found that out quick! But they are absolutely precious and it took everything within me not to take them home and just keep them until we can put them in house three. So we got them some food, bathed them, put new clothes on them, and just loved on them. I felt so close to Jesus, holding and loving on them.

We took them back and it was very tough to entrust them to Jesus, believing He will watch over them and protect them. Jesus is so trustworthy though. And I'm so glad we could bring hope to these kids, only because of the hope Jesus has given us.

Yesterday we went with Humphrey to visit Ian and Mercy at school. We also went to talk to the school and see about Peter, Dan and Angeline coming to the school during the day and also eating breakfast, lunch and dinner there. We described the kids and they quickly knew who they were. Apparently the boys will somehow sneak in the school sometimes during lunch time, take food, and sneak out. They said they couldn't figure out how they get in without getting caught. But they were happy to accept them in the school. So after talking with the school we decided to run by and let the kids' Aunt know we'd be coming the next morning, for them to be ready. When driving out of the school we found Dan at the gate spying on the kids, so we picked him up. We then went to their apartment and found Angeline sitting outside alone. She was happy to see us but you could tell she looked tired. We asked what was wrong and found out she hadn't eaten all day. ::heart breaking:: Humphrey went upstairs to see who was home and tell them we're taking the kids to eat. He found the Uncle in the living room with some other men and they were drinking changaa. It's traditional beer. Homemade, and very strong. They were just sitting there openly drinking and forgetting there are any kids around that they should be caring for or checking on. The Aunt had left for the day. We couldn't find Peter so we just decided to take the two and send food back for Peter that night. It was already 4:30pm by this time. So we took them to eat and I sat there watching Angeline eat as much as a grown man would. We got them chicken and chips (french fries). They had never had them and were happy as could be. Angeline ate every crumb on her plate and sucked the chicken bones dry. We got Peter some food and took the kids back. We let the Uncle know we'd be back the next morning so to have the kids ready.

So today we went and pick them up. I had to stop in town to get some groceries, so we took the children in with us. It was obvious they had never been in a grocery store before. They wanted to know what everything was and were grabbing at everything. Bud then dropped me off so I could make cinnamon rolls with Betsy and Julianne for the birthday party at Mattaw this afternoon and he went with Humphrey and Alicia to get the kids tested. Praise God they are negative for HIV. We had lunch with them in town then Bud took them shopping for school. We later met them out at Mattaw and had a birthday party for Mercy and Jennifer. Tomorrow we'll finish up school shopping for the kids and then hopefully they will start on Thursday!

It's brightened my day to hang out with them the few times we have. I can see all three of them growing up and being future leaders. They have much personality and have made us laugh a lot.

Please pray for these three kids, Dan, Angelina and Peter. Pray for protection and provision. Pray for the aunt and uncle to come to know Jesus and be transformed by His love. Pray that they would not ever have to worry about where their next meal will come from.

(if you are interested in sponsoring one of these children, please contact us at: mattaw@yahoo.com)

3 comments:

Emily (from JoMo) said...

Wow Kimberly. Praying hard for them! So glad Humphrey noticed them!

The Beavers said...

We are praying that house three will be up in record time so that you guys can bring Dan, Peter, and Angeline "home"! Miss you all and want more pictures of the white kids!

bob said...

Wow Kimbali !

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