Almost everyone on Chelsea’s Venture Trip to Malawi already sponsored a child there. At the team meetings and on the flights over, they gabbed cheerfully about what it would be like to reunite with their sponsored child or see them for the first time. But not Chelsea. She still didn’t know who she was there to meet.
Ever wonder what your sponsored child eats every day? If your child is from Sierra Leone, chances are this rich, fragrant peanut stew is part of their staple diet. Peanuts—or groundnuts, as they call them—are a major crop for small farmers in Sierra Leone. They are also a great source of protein!
George Faucher has a dream—to help children in Uganda by climbing Africa’s highest mountain. Today, he and his son, Aaron, will begin an eight-day journey to scale Mount Kilimanjaro. They’re using the trip as a way of raising money to help Children of the Nations (COTN) send much-needed supplies to Africa.
Today I visited with a family in what is called cultural immersion training. I, along with my translator, Steve, went to visit a young mother named Lenia. She and her husband have three children—two daughters and one little boy. With Steve's help, we asked questions back and forth. That visit was nice, but it was only part of the adventure.
Marleny has never known her father or her mother, and yet she says her life is full of love. How is this little orphan so full of life, love, and hope? The answer has to do with you—the Children of the Nations (COTN) family.
I work for Children of the Nations, so I thought I knew what to expect when I went to meet my sponsored child. I've answered tons of questions about child sponsorship, written countless appeals for letters and love, and put together several stories about sponsors meeting their kids. But when the day came for me to actually meet my sponsored child, there were a lot of things that surprised me. Here's what I wasn't expecting:
Every day after practice, the I Love Baseball (ILB) players heap their plates high with rice, beans, and meat. And almost every day, after he's served himself, Darkin walks over to ILB program director Ruddy Suero and asks if he can take his plate home, to share with his family. Ruddy always says yes, and Darkin tucks the food away to bring home to his mother and five siblings. Then the seven of them share his meal.
The sun has just gone down as Josie Graybeal and her Venture Team arrive at the Children of the Nations ministry center in Sierra Leone. A little ways off, in the dusk, you can just make out a group of the white jerseys—Seattle Pacific University uniforms—that Josie brought last year. In the center, beaming and proud, are twenty-six African girls. Flanked by the boys' team, they perform a short "soccer" dance, jumping and slapping their feet like calisthenics. Then they break out into song, welcoming their inspiration back.