Monday, September 17, 2012

Amazing Grace

George outside their home.
Today I finally got to go and experience another organization we are working with called Amazing Grace Ministries.  It was founded by a husband and wife, George and Beatrice.  They truly have a heart for serving their community.  Amazing Grace works with families in their local community that are struggling to provide for their children or need counseling and parenting skills.  I have had the opportunity to meet with George and Beatrice a few times since I have been here, but today was the first time I got to see what they are doing on the ground and meet the people they are working with.  They live in a place called Santack Estates and it is right next door to a village/slum area called Ngando.  The families they work with all live in Ngando.

Clifford. His hand and knee are bandaged from the burns.
When I arrived at their house George greeted me and told me they actually had a boy there who was an emergency rescue case.  His name is Clifford and he is 6 years old.  George and Beatrice were called by the District Children's Office a few nights before because neighbors had reported Clifford being abused.  When something like that happens the police will take the abuser into custody and remove the child from the home until they can go to court.  George and Beatrice provide a temporary place for the child until they can be moved to a children's home and then with time and counseling for the parents hopefully the child can return home.  George and Beatrice provide the counseling for the mother and father.  Clifford was badly burned with a spoon by his mother and was about to leave for the hospital to get new dressings applied to his wounds when I arrived.  He did not speak much English, but we were able to communicate a little and spend some time together.  There are many cases like Clifford and the social worker that was there to take Clifford to the hospital also told me there are many rape cases of young girls in the community too.  Those are the main issues they deal with at the rescue center she works for.  Please pray for Clifford and his family.  As I get more information I will include updates.

Frederick and me in Ngando.

After Clifford left we headed into Ngando and
met up with Frederick, one of the mentors who works with some of the families.  He took us into the village and showed us an informal school and introduced me to 3 of the 20 families Amazing Grace is currently working with.  (Informal schools are schools that are not recognized by the government, but exist to get children who can't afford to be in school off of the streets and learning. Even though they are not recognized, the government will not shut them down because they do not want to deal with the children when they do not have a place to go.)  The first family was a grandmother named Pauline who is taking care of her 7 grandchildren.  They lived in a small rental room that is next door to an informal school called Brosis Integrated School, where brothers and sisters can learn together, hence the name.  Next we went to see a family with 6 children living right next to the railroad tracks.  Unfortunately the mother was not there because she was out looking for some work for the day.  The last family we met was a sweet family that was displaced from their home during the post election, tribalism violence.  Mama Lucy, her husband, and their 7 kids live in a tiny room.  Their oldest child is in class 7 and they have one little girl who is deaf.  Beatrice told me the first time she went to visit them,  they hadn't eaten in 2 days so all of the kids were just laying on the bed.  She said those are things you just cannot sleep on so she immediately went to get them food from her house.  They seemed to be cheerful today.  Only four of the kids were around, but they welcomed us warmly.

Beatrice(middle) and me with Mama Lucy(left) and her family.
Anita is another mama that Amazing Grace works with.  She was not at home today because she was at the hospital.  Anita has 6 children and is HIV positive and suffering from breast cancer.  She wants to move back out to her home in the country because she has a plot of land there and if she just had the money she could build a small house for her family.  She worries every night that she will go to sleep and not wake up and then her children will have no where to go.  George and Beatrice are working with her to make that move happen as soon as possible because right now she is stable enough to make the journey.  Once they are moved out there her children will be taken care of by other family members if anything were to happen to Anita.  Please pray for Anita and her children.
Looking out over Ngando.

This is long and it is not even all that happened in the short time I visited Ngando today.  Amazing Grace has great mentors in the community that are advocating for all of these families and more.  They are working on getting all of the children in school and coming up with income generating projects to stabilize each family economically.  Frederick discussed many of the challenges they face, but he continued to stress that they will not give up and do whatever they can to encourage and give each family hope. I am amazed by people I meet everyday here.  Their strength and love for their communities is incredible.  Thank you for reading, I will try not to be so long next time.

1 comment:

  1. Clifford is such a cutie! You're doing such great work Jenny and I LOVE reading about it so much! I don't always comment though so I'm trying to get better about that :) You look so cute in that outfit with the boots and the scarf!! ;)