Eleven-year-old Kafui was given her name by her older brother, who had no choice but to raise her. Kafui means "Praise Him" in the Ewe language (the Ewe are a tribe from the Volta region of Ghana). Kafui's name is surprising, because this little girl was an orphan before she was even born.
Kafui's suffering started when she was only seven months in the womb. She had to be prematurely delivered before her mother's pregnancy reached full term. Her mother was at the point of death, having innocently eaten food poisoned by her rival, another wife of Kafui's father, who died in a motor accident before she was born. After spending time in an incubator in the hospital, Kafui was released to her single, unemployed brother.
Mawunyo, age 19 at the time, had no experience with child care, let alone with a premature baby. He first saw God's mercy when their mother's younger sister, who was away with her husband and had given birth to a baby, returned to town.
This aunt agreed to nurse Kafui alongside her own baby. However, after just three months, her husband came and took her away again. Kafui returned to her brother, Mawunyo.
Vulnerable and Alone
"I was scared. She was very small; too tiny even to handle," Kafui's brother recalls. "Friends made my fears even worse when they kept telling me that she would die if I did not give her to an experienced elderly woman. But we did not have anybody."
The two lived in a very old, small kiosk that leaked in the rain. It was not suitable for any baby, let alone one so vulnerable.
God intervened again when a distant relative agreed to nurse Kafui for a few more months. After that, Mawunyo started feeding her adult food, unable to afford the expensive baby formula Kafui needed.
As Kafui grew up, Mawunyo could not bear to watch other children go to school while his sister missed out on education. With no money and only faith, he took his sister to a Christian nursery and preparatory school, where he talked to the headmistress and got Kafui accepted into the school.
Everyone at the school was surprised because the headmistress had never accepted a child into the school without the registration fee. This actually drew focus to Kafui, which was exactly what this shy, timid, undernourished girl needed. Then a teacher, Mabel, took special interest in Kafui.
"Kafui was always a sad-looking child who would never play with the other children," recalls Mabel. "I wanted to know more about her. I drew her to myself and made her relax with me, and then she opened up and started telling me about herself."
Kafui began spending more time with Mabel and her two children. Mabel supported Kafui and her brother, giving them food and providing books and extra lessons to help Kafui catch up in school. Shortly after this, Mabel's church, the Rohi Global Evangelical Church, became a partner with Compassion. Mabel registered Kafui at the center, assuring her education.
Today, two years later, Kafui is happy, active, and full of smiles. Her brother, Mawunyo, is overwhelmed with how God has rescued him and his sister. "I can only thank God for telling me that day to send Kafui to that Christian nursery and preparatory school, because that is where it all began. I believe it was God, and I praise Him."
And so does his little sister, whose name bears their testimony.
(Story from www.compassion.com)
James 1:27 says, "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble..."
There are a lot of orphans in the world- just about 143 million. A lot of those oprhans have HIV/AIDS or were orphaned because of it. Oftentimes, because orphans are so vulnerable, they're abused. In Russia, 60% of orphaned girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become criminals. In Africa, young orphaned girls are forced to sell their bodies for a few scraps of food, just to stay alive.
The number of orphans and the suffering they endure is a bit overwhelming. However, more overwhelming to me is the fact that we (the church) are doing nothing about them. Why? Maybe because we're uninformed, maybe because we don't know what to do, maybe because we just don't care (though I don't understand how this could be possible). When I first heard about the widespread orphan crisis, I wondered how I could help. Of course, adoption seems like a good idea, but it may not be for everybody...and as a young girl, it's not even an option. Another idea is to be an orphan advocate- someone who speaks up for the orphan...kind of what I'm doing right now. I'm telling you about this in hopes that you will do something about it and maybe even tell someone else. Another thing you can do to help orphans is prevent them. Right now there are about 143 million orphans...what will keep that number from escalating in the years to come? Children are becoming orphans every day. So...instead of trying to put a bandaid on a on a broken limb, let's try to completely eliminate the problem...
Now, even as I say this, I don't know quite what I'm doing...this is something I'm exploring myself as well...however, the ministry of Compassion is a really cool ministry. It is giving hope to children (orphans and non-orphans alike) and their families. By providing financial support and the love of Jesus Christ to families all over the world, Compassion is holding families together- keeping countless children from becoming orphans.
My family supports 2 children through Compassion. We are able to write letters and communicate with our Compassion kids and learn about what their life is like. We are able to pray for them and help provide for their families. I think that's pretty cool. If you'd like to support a child through Compassion, click here.
Let me know what you think. The next post will be about writing letters and encouraging your Compassion child.