A few days ago we were privileged to meet a young girl named Flomina and her family. She’s a timid girl with a beautiful smile and though she didn’t say much, her eyes spoke volumes…and so did her smile. Flomina’s mother is blind and her older brother, Oliver, does his best to care for the family. The family welcomed us into their home where sheets of art littered the walls. Drawings of churches, houses and sports cars, hand-drawn and colored were displayed from one clay wall to the other. At first, we’d thought Flomina to be the artist but those pictures had been drawn by her brother, who stood quietly in the corner as we learned more about Flomina.
She is 13 years old and has been to school before but because her family could not afford the school fees, she could not continue, despite having good grades. American kids balk at the idea of going to school everyday but these kids dream of it. We told Flomina and her family that we’d work hard to try to find her a sponsor so that she could grow up and pursue her dream of being a doctor. Each member of the family smiled and neighbors had flocked to the house filled with Muzungu’s (the term used to describe Americans) to see what the commotion was about. We brought large bags of food for the family and some gifts for Flomina, giving her a soccer ball, some pads of paper, pencils and other school supplies for which she’d been happy to receive. Her family expressed much gratitude and then we all held hands and prayed together. Afterwards, we played mash-up game of volleyball and soccer outside where Flomina began to let down her timid walls and laugh and play with us. We took selfies and group photos with her and other neighboring children and watched them fade as we drove away down the road, thinking we’d never see her again.
Well, God, as always had a different plan. That night, we found a sponsor for beautiful Flomina. We were excited! Ali’s sister decided to become her sponsor and it speaks volumes of her heart in Christ because she doesn’t make a lot of money but still she answered the call Jesus put in her heart to give this young girl a better life, beginning with her education. Flomina will also receive a school uniform, shoes, meals, school supplies and medical care, none of which come easy in Rwanda. In a never before opportunity, Africa New Life, allowed us to go back and deliver the news ourselves to let this family know that this girl would get another chance. Without much delay, we told them all that Flomina had been sponsored and presented the girl with her uniform. I can’t remember if the translator had told her yet, but once she saw the uniform no words were needed. She threw her arms around Ali and she held on tight to the clothes and books in her hand and then she made her rounds, giving each of us hug. What a moment!
If you’ve never sponsored a child, now is as good a time as any. Being “on the ground” here in Rwanda has given us all a first person view of the power of sponsorship. It’s given us a rare glimpse into how it works, how the money is spent, and the beautiful children who receive the benefits of your donations. It doesn’t fatten some executive’s pocket, or provide camera equipment so someone can create “sad” pictures of needy children. It really does give these kids a start, a fighting chance against the conditions they were born into. We’ve even met some adults who were sponsored as children and now volunteer and serve within this organization because of how it’s changed their lives. There is much need here and many more children who need you. Please consider sponsorship. It means more than you could ever imagine.