For Duramany and Mikailu, getting to school is quite a committment. They leave the village of Mokpangumba in Sierra Leone just after dawn to cross a river in a dugout canoe, then walk for about an hour through jungle and farmland to reach the Children of the Nations (COTN) junior secondary school in time for class.
In February, after nearly nine months of construction, the girls at the Children of the Nations secondary school in Malawi, the International Christian Academy, were able to move into their new hostel!
All the girls were excited for their new space. In the makeshift building they were using, many of them had to double up on beds to fit everyone. Now, every girl has her own bunk!
I couldn’t wait to go on my first mission trip to Malawi and Uganda four years ago. I spent months preparing for the experience of entering a completely different culture, and I’m glad I did. My team leader mentioned that transitioning back to life at home after a trip might be just as difficult, but I secretly believed I wouldn’t have any trouble. Just in case, I had a little book called Unearth, which was supposed to help with the transition.
If it was not for you, Mariatu would have ended her education years ago. She began school when she was seven years old, but it was a challenge for her parents to find the money to send her. "My parents found it difficult to enroll me at school," she says.
If it weren't for you, 14-year-old Bezita says she would be married by now. In her remote village in Malawi, basic resources are scarce and parents often marry their girls off young in hopes of finding someone to support them.
Two years ago, I stepped into my dream job as a staff writer for Children of the Nations (COTN). In this job, I see the naked reality of the brokenness that was, and the unaccountable, transformative power of the Great Love who is doing a great work in the lives of so many.
Cevenie had eight children when she found out she was pregnant with twins. If you think ten children would be a challenge, imagine supporting that many children in Haiti. Cevenie and her husband Andrenor barely had enough money to fully provide for their family.
“Oh Titus, don’t worry, they are fine. See! I did not wet them.”
A serious, earnest look from the boy in front of me, then we quietly go back to rinsing dishes in front of his wood and mud house. I steal a glance at the head bent over our plastic bowl of murky, sudsy water.
The new school year just started in Uganda. In January, the children all had a break. Our in-country staff used this break as a time to visit some of the Village Partnership Program children, spend time with their parents or guardians, and see what their daily life looks like. They were very impressed by what they found!