Today I received two letters from a child I sponsor. His name is Baraka Maboga Kurungunya. Baraka Lives in Tanzania, Africa. I got two letters because of a mix in our communication, so one time he sent me two and i replied to both. He sent them about a month apart from each other and I got them both today. I read them and my heart broke. I’ve written Baraka a couple of times and he, to me, but today was different. For the last few weeks I had been meaning to send him a letter. It’s on my dresser right now, sealed up, just waiting to be stamped and dropped in the mailbox, but for quite a while I have forgotten about it, and forgotten it’s importance. Today quickly reminded me of it’s importance. Baraka wrote this in his letter on Jan 29th, “Tanner, Baraka greets you and your family. He is thanking you for a nice letter you sent him after a long time since he heard from you…” I just received this letter today. For what was probably months this little boy waited for a letter and when he finally got it he so greatly valued it. And now its been about four months since I’ve received it. And he’s been waiting again.. He then went on to say this, “His sister is 12 and completed standard 7 last year. Since she has no sponsor to take her to school she is just staying at home with no school to go to due to lack of school fees…” Baraka is eight years old. He and his sister don’t have a mom or a dad. They live in an aids infected area with their uncle. Everyday Baraka’s sister who’s name I don’t know watches her little brother go to school because no one sponsors her. She stays home. Every once in a while her brother brings home a letter from someone in america who professes to love him. She has no such letter. When I read this it broke my heart. I looked for her today on Compassion International’s website. I searched for her by name.. Age.. Country.. I couldn’t find her. I couldn’t find Baraka’s sister. There’s nothing I can do for that little girl. I called my best friend today and cried. I told her, as I tell you even now as i’m tearing up that there is nothing I can do, and that little girl doesn’t have near the hope she sees her brother come home with every day. All day I’ve been thinking about her and every time I do I start to cry because she is an ocean away but I so want to help her. I start to wonder how many Baraka’s sisters there are in this world. The HFGF (Home for good foundation) answers my questions with heartbreaking statistics. Like, “Every 15 SECONDS, another child becomes an AIDS orphan in Africa.” and “Every DAY 5,760 more children become orphans” also “Every YEAR 2,102,400 more children become orphans (in Africa alone) ” This is just africa. On December 1st 1999 the UN told us this sobering statistic, “UNICEF and the Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) say the number of AIDS orphans is expected to reach more than 13 million by the end of 2000.” It breaks my heart. It also breaks my heart to know that right now, just a few miles from me, there is a home filled with kids who’s families are not around. Thank God for the folks who are dedicating their lives to show them love and take care of them. I cried today when my eyes were opened to just one little girl, but please just take a second to imagine every “one little girl or boy” who cries everyday because mommy and daddy aren’t coming home. Or Because they don’t have enough food to eat. I know you’ve heard this, and I know we can become numb to it, but if this doesn’t break you please read it again and again and ask God to break your heart for what breaks His. I know not everyone will loose sleep over this, or actually shed tears. God burdens everyone’s hearts with different things and it works best that way, but still, please just ask Him for a glimpse.
Each one of us were orphans before Our heavenly Father adopted us. We were lost, alone, broken, without hope. And then Christ, our Redeemer and Rescuer died for you. For me. For my best friend. He took us from the sin that we ate and the pain that we held and brought us into His house to call us His kids. I think I cried today because I was looking at this need and I realized I couldn’t fix it all. Jesus looked at our need and fixed it all. But then He fills us with His Spirit to do His work. Since He has remembered our pain us let us remember the pain of others. There are millions of kids in the world dying for a lack of food. As the UN estimates about 30,000 kids die everyday of hunger. But there are also millions of kids dying spiritual deaths and going to hell. These kids need the love of Christ shown to them. My heart just broke again as i typed that. Please Pray for the kids you know who do not know Christ.
Brothers and sisters, please don’t forget the adoption with which each of us have been adopted. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Rom 8:14-17
The second letter that Baraka sent me inspired me so much and I pray it does you as well. Baraka wrote, “Tanner Smith, Baraka greets you saying that he is fine, and he hopes that you are fine too. He thanks you to receive your letter once again so recently. He feels very good that you remember and care for him so much. He says that he is going well in his studies and he has now joined standard one, he enjoys his studies and his favorite subject is mathmatics. He is so much eager to speak english he hopes that he will make it. He to his surprise you also like to speak swahili. He is so much happy to know that..” haha I told him I would like to speak it.. not that I did.. haha “… he is very much thankful for the nice picture you drew for him. They are so beautiful, he has also drawn for you.” … At the bottom of the page he drew me a picture of a tree and what looks like a human haha 🙂 “… He is also very thankful that you prayed for him to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He prays so much for you that God might bless you abundantly. Your love, Baraka”
Please Pray for baraka and his sister. And pray that she gets sponsered and that they both know Christ, most importantly. And I want to publicly thank my best friend for being broken with me and letting me vent it out today. You are amazing, and I thank God for you erin. Also I’d just like to say how awesome it is that I sponsor a kid who, at least in his letters, refers to himself in the third person 🙂 Keep these kids on your hearts folks and trust that God hears their prayers. And if there’s anyway you can help. please do.