by Mary Anne Westeringh
Voice of Hope team 2023 had another eventful and impactful day. Today I’d like to share a few short stories about the beautiful people we have the privilege to know.
Loice is an 86 year old ‘koko’ (grandma) in one of the nearby villages we visit. Her endearing wrinkled and aged face breaks into a huge smile when she sees the team come to visit. Bent almost double, Loice insists on walking independently to join our little circle for a time of singing, prayer and sharing bible texts. The little group of homes here house her sons, daughter in laws and grandchildren. It is a joy to meet this godly family who love and care for one another. Sadly we often find elder widowed grandmas left alone with the burden of raising grandkids. When we leave this home, we cannot help but wonder if our dear Loice will still be with us when we return in a year.
Rhoda and Yvonne:
Young Yvonne hardly looks older than 8 years, but is actually 20! It is incredible and miraculous that Yvonne has reached her second decade. Yvonne was born healthy and strong. Sadly she was smitten by a serious case of malaria. She suffered life threatening complications of a brain infection. She had a stroke and was left very disabled. Her young mom, being overwhelmed, left her daughter Yvonne at Grandma Rhoda’s. As Rhoda ages, she struggles to change Yvonnes diapers, feed her and transfer her from bed to stroller. Rhoda welcomes some new bedding and pretty quilts made with love by another grandma in Chilliwack. Rhoda was shining with joy as we spent time together hearing about her joys and challenges and showering Yvonne with some beautiful but practical gifts.
Twenty-one year old Brian faces a prognosis and diagnosis that is shattering. Brian was trying to find a way of gaining income and entered a mining cave that proved to be dangerous and life changing. Eight feet of earth collapsed on him and his spinal cord was seriously injured. Brian’s mom, Jennifer, is one of the Voice of Hope widows. She struggles to feed her family and there is no emergency fund for such a time as this. To say she felt overwhelmed and afraid, would understate how she was feeling. The hospital bills were mounting by the day after a big surgical procedure to stabilize his spine. Her community has assisted in the best way they can. After careful consideration Voice of Hope has assisted Brian and his family with the hospital fees. Today he was brought home to a very joyful family and community. As he arrived home, the family and neighbors thanked the Lord in prayer and joyous song.
Will you join us in praying for these precious souls?