31 January 2014


Hey y'all,

My heart is so full of so many things to share and talk about.  We stay very busy from day to day with many things going on around here and when I think to finally sit and share, the power goes out or my kids are needing me and #sorrynotsorry, I choose my kids over a blog :).  There have also been times this last week I would go to blog and decide running with my ipod plugged in and tuning into asking what Jesus is leading us into is what I chose to do instead!  I really want to share all about the incredible growth God continues to do in our children, in our babies, in the family of Mattaw and especially the open door to one of the most precious families ever that live in a very remote place in Turkana.  I'm incredibly humbled that I get to do what I do with Jesus.  Our God is pretty incredible to show us what He is doing in lives and ask us to be a part of it.  So all aside, I have a burning situation that needs to be shared today!

He's not another statistic or just another poor little kid.  He has a name and a face.  And he has BIG dreams.  His name is Franklin.

You see, today I went to this organization that works in the slum that we often will get referrals of kids they find in the worst of the worst situations.  But at the moment, at Mattaw we have more than needed for the kids to fill house five, which we will open in the next 6 weeks.  So my husband being the man of the house that he is and its instilled in him to be the caretaker, doesn't so much like it when we are already trying to get more sponsors for our current kids and trying to get sponsors so we can open house five and I go to organizations like this.  This is wise of him... in most cases.  And he knows all too well that if a desperate child is put in front of me and the people referring them to us have exhausted their resources, that I wont say no.  (and in my husbands heart, he doesnt either!  I know him all too well too!)  So I go to these deep dark places and hear these heart wrenching stories and when I see their sweet faces it's like the love of Jesus just EXPLODES in me and well, I can't keep silent on certain cases that literally JUMP in my face and scream "Jesus is ALL over this, HELP this kid".  So that's pretty much what happened in this situation.

At first, the original plan today was to go meet with this social worker to check up on the paperwork being filed for some children that will be in house five.  Then she brought the news of these children in desperate need.  I wasn't expecting my heart to hit the floor.  And I didn't intend to hear such stories today when I woke up this morning.  Kinda hit me like a ton of bricks actually.  When she first said that one needs school fees for high school, in my mind I rolled my eyes.  Yep, guilty of it.  But I felt Holy Spirit nudge me to keep listening to this story. She shared about Franklin and how he is 13 years old.  They shared about finding him last year when his mom brought him to their center because he was so sick.  They thought he had some serious condition but it ended up only being lack of food.  After several months of rehabilitation, he was able to walk better and go to school.  The mom didn't want him in school because in her mind, he would just finish the 8th grade and have nothing to do after.  But these women encouraged her to let him go to school so she did.  They also shared how the mom was a part of the post election violence of 2007.  Meaning she witnessed some pretty brutal violent attacks in the slum.  She saw bodies hacked with machetes and people beheaded.  So since that time, she has suffered with post traumatic disorder and everyday she wakes up thinking the events she saw have just happened yesterday.  We were told that if you didn't know her condition, you would really believe her that something serious just happened yesterday.  She also has always been used to going to the streets and vegetable markets everyday to collect scraps of food to bring home and feed her children.  Even though this organization supplies them with some food on Fridays, in her mind she still has to go to the streets.

In the middle of her telling us this story, Franklin comes in and I'm surprised to see how small and short he is, questioning if he really is 13. But I remembered them sharing how malnourished he was and near death.  His smile lit up the room though and he was very polite.  He had just come from home where he collected his test results from the 8th grade that would show what high school he could go to.  He had a handful of schools send him letters of acceptance but his teachers wanted to take the letters and give his space to other children.  The women from the organization we were at pleaded with the teachers to give them a chance at seeing if they could find him a sponsor.  I asked Franklin what he wanted to be when he grew up.  I could tell he was caught a bit off guard when I asked but he looked around the room then sat up confidently and said "I want to be a surgeon".  Yeah, he had my full attention by then.  The thing that really brings tears to my eyes is how much he reminds me of our son Caleb that is currently in his second year of University in the states.  This sweet boy has obviously had to fight off many temptations of the life he's been brought up in and has succeeded this far.  He knew exactly which schools had invited him to be part of their school, how much each one was, what needs were required and what dates the first semester started for each one.  He was ready to go, determined to push through the grain and succeed in his education no matter what society was telling him.

We got in the car to go visit his home.  We discovered he lived in a one room mud shack.  His mom was paying rent of around $4 per month.  They are currently getting this amount from a catholic priest who helps those that were affected by the post election violence.  He was very humble and invited us inside.

He apologized for the pile of food scraps on the floor, the social worker explaining to us that its probably the food the mom collected the day before.  Oh how that hurt to see.

The social worker then asked if he has the acceptance letters from the other schools so we could look at the fee structures so that I would know how much sponsorship he needed.  He pulled out this homemade flashlight he had made.  The social worker explained this was the only source of light they had at night and this was another reason she felt he should go to boarding school where he would be guaranteed three meals a day and good lighting at night to do his homework.  Another reason we were amazed, knowing he succeeded this far in school in these conditions.  So this is the light he made.  Its a rolled up piece of cardboard with two batteries inside and outside is pieces of tire stripped down and wrapped to hold it all together, then theres these wires on a spoon that is wrapped around this as well, with a little light bulb.  What?!

We were getting ready to leave and I assured Franklin that he's not a burden, he's not poverty, he's a child with a hope and future and that God clearly has his favor and protection on him.  He smiled and said "I know", then we parted ways.  

It's time the cycle of poverty be broken in Franklins family.  I fully believe the Lord is giving him the chance to be the one to be pulled from darkness, despair and hopelessness and be planted in a firm foundation of Jesus where he will fulfill the destiny God has for him.  The restoration of his life will change many lives and generations ahead.  Bwana Asifiwe!  


We are so thankful for those that have responded to Frankline's need for school fees!  We received everything he needs for the year!  


Post a Comment


Design by Custom Blog Designs/FreeStyleMama Creations