25 October 2015

Our Watoto

Hey y'all, it's been awhile since I've written about our precious Mattaw watoto (children in Swahili).  Our current focus and need at Mattaw is within the school.  I wanted to share a little bit about some of the testimonies of our children in case you're new this year to Mattaw Children's Village.  We are blessed to have some of the most brilliant children on the planet.  They've pressed against all odds to defeat labels society put on them.  In order to protect the children's privacy, I won't be using names or pictures of them.  So join us as we continue to walk with these children through life and see them raised up as leaders.

Some of our children started out school for the first time at 12 years old.  Some sat in crowded classrooms, being pushed along through each grade and going unnoticed.  They weren't actually learning and often had to miss school due to school fees, lack of food or because those in charge of them would make them work instead of go to school.  This has been a common story for our children.  One girl in particular, also faced abuse everyday on her way home from school.  By the time she was rescued, we found she hardly knew her abc's at 10 years old yet had been attending school since she was 4.  Abuse and neglect has a huge negative affect when it comes to school.  But what a beautiful transformation takes place when a child is placed in an environment where they're safe and loved.  When they are accepted into a family and called sons and daughters.  When they are given an opportunity to thrive and let go of the past.  It's a work only God can do in someone.  We've seen God breath new dreams into children and they have a determination in them that no one can stop.  One dream belongs to a girl who almost died at a young age due to aids.  Her mom died of it then she herself became hospitalized.  God miraculously restored her and she's been thriving and healthy since we brought her into a home at Mattaw 7 years ago.  She now dreams of being a nurse and helping children that are like she once was.  Education is of huge value in this culture.  It gives children hope in their future.  It helps them see that they can overcome poverty and be a leader in the area of influence God has called them to.  A lot of times, when we first rescue children, we ask what they want to be when they grow up and they can't answer us.  This is often because they've come from such a fight in life that the option to even dream was taken from them at a young age.  Once we see just a glimpse of God's healing at work in them, we start to hear them begin to dream.

Several weeks ago, we took our oldest children to Nairobi for the first time.  This was called a field trip but it was more of a vision trip to help expand their dreams for their future and inspire them in their school work.  We visited the school that we get our school material from.  We have our children on the A.C.E (accelerated christian education) curriculum.  It's not common in our region for children to have this type of schooling so it was helpful for them to see so many students in Nairobi doing what they are.  This school was incredibly kind to host our students for two nights.  Our students were paired with host families who have children in this school.  It was huge for our children to see how much we value their education, to the point of pay a higher price for their schooling.  They saw many well known people who have placed their children in this school and on the same curriculum as them.  It build up their confidence and most importantly let them know they're loved BIG.  We also took them to a university so they could see where a lot of students that go through this curriculum go and where they too could go.  It was this huge beautiful campus full of opportunities.  It was all a good type of overwhelming to them.  So they were very quiet most of the trip as they just soaked it all in.  It spurred on some great conversations though.  The mission of the trip was accomplished and they went back home to Mattaw full of hope.  

So here's where we are asking for your help!  We need so much prayer over all of our students and our school.  Please pray for their minds to continue to heal from their past so they can continue to thrive in school.  Pray that they would be able to dream God given dreams and fulfill them.  Pray for their teachers who are also key in helping raise our leaders.  Another way to get involved is financially.  For our next order of books for all of Mattaw students, we need $3,000.  Any amount helps!  You can donate on the website:  www.mattawchildren.com and go to the donate tab.

To all of those that have been walking this journey with us for a long time, we can't say thank you enough.  And for those new to walking with us, we are so thankful God has led you to us!  Our mission is to Rescue a Life, Redeem a Soul and Release the Kingdom of God.  We can't do it alone so THANK you for hearing from God to walk the walk and not just talk about it.


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