19 January 2016

Love looks like something

Hey y'all, 

Greetings from across the big pond.  At the Mattaw Children's Village, our mission is to rescue children that really have no other option than to be brought into one of the Mattaw families.  We have social workers and a network of people to really investigate if there are safe parents or relatives to ensure that Mattaw is the best option for the child.  There's been a few times where God has brought us children then later the mom comes and is now able to be restored with their child.  It hasn't happened much but when it does, we rejoice as it is always beautiful to see a mom love her child and the child want to be back in her arms.  We have a few of these stories to share soon.  This story is one that we were able to help put the children in school and help encourage the mom to make choices that keep the family together.  This is one of those stories I've put off writing until I could articulate my heart well enough.  And well, that's not happening.  But I know several would love an update on Frankline.  He's the boy we shared about almost two years ago to date. 
You can read from two years ago here:

And here:

These were pictures from the first time we met him...

 He was living in a very dangerous and dark slum.  The first time we visited him, we saw hope break through the darkness.  We instantly fell in love with him and his mom and siblings.  It was just one of those rare families you come across that you know their hearts are good and genuinely hunger for Jesus and for help that only Heaven can bring.  His mom grew up most of her life an orphan.  She was forced to be a house girl and watched a lot of tragedy happen through tribal clashes up on Mt. Elgon.  Not ever wanting to get married because she had a bad view of men, she was then impregnated against her will several times while living in the slum.  But from day one, she's loved her children and done the best she can.  There's no doubt that she's so proud of her children and loves them deeply.  Thanks to many of you, we were able to put Frankline in high school.  He was one of those kids that just stood out.  Super sweet, smart and humble.  He never asked us for anything and has always been so grateful for every bit given him, even down to a pencil and eraser.  At first, you could see in his eyes the hopelessness when it came to his future.  We began to see God breathe life back into him as we were able to share the news that so many friends were going to pay for his first two years of high school.  There's really nothin like those moments and we are blessed to get to see God radically move in lives and alter the destiny of a child in need.  

Last month, we were in Kitale around Christmas time, rushing all over town to gather up goodies for our Mattaw's Christmas party.  It was when we had to fill up with fuel for the car that God stopped us in our tracks.  Frankline's mom found us as she had just been in a court case for her daughter.  No longer were "things" for Christmas as important as we heard her share what happened recently.  Her neighbour deceived her young teenage daughter into going to town to buy vegetables.  Instead, she quickly found out that the neighbour had arranged for her to go and be a customer to an older man in a bar in a nearby slum.  She was scared and felt she had no other choice.  The man did unspeakable things to her.  We could see the hurt and guilt in this moms eyes as she told the story.  Not only was she now having to fight for justice for her daughter but now people in the slum were threatening to kill the mom and her children if the mom presses charges.  You can bet that put a fire in our belly for justice.  So we prayed and asked God what to do and how.  I've faced SO many challenges lately where you REALLY have no other option than for God to bring a heavenly solution.  All of these situations REALLY make my heart long for Jesus to come back.  Like tomorrow would be a dream come true.  The injustices we hear and see are unbearable without knowing Jesus has an answer.  So we made sure she'd be safe overnight so that she could then come to the mattaw Christmas party with her kids and we could have more time to think of something.  There's so many hurting and dying in this world, so many needing help, but when God puts the one in front of you....  you might know who I'm talking about.  A situation where God says "THIS one.  This one I want you to fight for -- to stand for -- to push against the odds and see them walk in victory".  Just as Heidi Baker says "love looks like something".  So we asked God, how do you want us to love this mom and her children.  They came to the Christmas party and we all had such a good day celebrating.  I observed how they had genuine smiles on their face the whole time and weren't concerned that they were about to run for their lives.  There was no worry that they had no clue where they would go.  Long story short, within the following week, a place was found for them.  They are now tucked away safe.  For now.  This week we went to visit them and the mom was beyond happy to have us come in the little two rooms we're renting for her.  One room empty with firewood she had gathered and the other room with their beds.  Just enough to get by with filled a corner of the room.  She pulled out passport size picture of her children to show us and brag on them again as she's always eager to do.  She showed us the picture from Frankline's school when she visited him on parent's day.  The school had taken a picture of her and Frankline and printed it for them.  These little treasures she holds dear to her.  She then shared how people are telling her about evil people from the slum who are looking for them.  So we're asking God again, what now?  We're asking for your prayers in a situation that we believe that God will once again bring hope in dark times.  One way to also help is by donating funds to support them.  Frankline has finished his first two years of school and is now in need of this years school fees.  He has excelled in school and is in the top 15% of his entire grade.  He still dreams of being a surgeon one day and helping lives physically.  We also put his little brother in a school.  The daughter was placed temporarily in a rescue centre until the mom can secure a safe home but she's wanting her daughter back.  Any amount would help but our goal is $50 a month to cover rent and a few basic needs.  Frankline's school fees are $450 for this year.  The little brother's schooling, uniform and school supplies is $120.  Any amount is a huge help.  You can donate through paypal on the mattaw website:  mattawchildren.com.  And thank you for praying.  We believe precious ones like this will make an impact on the world.  An impact that helps to prepare the world for the return of Jesus.


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