God Always Provides

It is raining. Mud splashes onto the window of the van. There are hundreds of broken down shacks along both sides of the old railway line. It is 10 in the morning and the track is filled with people staggering through the mud.

Brian, the social worker for Ebenezer and I are driving down the pothole lined dirt road into what the people here call the ZSM compound. The Zambezi Saw Mill compound is named after the old Saw Mill that built this settlement for their workers a couple of decades back.

Today only the run down homes remain. The families have been out of work since the mill closed down and now new generations of children are growing up in an area that won’t be able to give them a good chance at life. It is said that this is the most neglected place in Livingstone. This place has the highest HIV rate, crime and theft rate, alcohol and prostitution rate, and worst sanitation in all of Livingstone.

As we pull up to our destination I notice a latrine dug in the front of this run down house. There are bags that had once been used to hold cement, now sown together to form a sheet trying to give a bit of privacy from the masses walking past. Next to the latrine is a small pile of charcoal. This is the only source of income this family of 9 has, generating less than 50 cents per day. As we walked to the door the husband and wife came to joyously greet our unexpected arrival. We greeted the family and sat down to hear their story.

The father is deaf and mute, but it hasn’t always been that way. Excited, he runs into the house to get us a letter he has been holding onto for the past 10 years. It is a recommendation from one of the big hotels in Livingstone where he worked as a steward with the highest praise. He wrote into the dirt, “I am willing to work for anything”.

The wife began to show us around so we could see the house and its dilapidated condition. Plastic bags covered holes in the roof and over the walls that had collapsed from the rains, while rocks were stuffed into other missing areas to try to meet with the roof. There are partially erected walls on a foundation, completely exposed from the top, in the back yard. Here her sister’s family lives.

Ebenezer enrolled two of her children just last week. Mary, grade 2, and Munalula, grade 0, two beautiful children whose smiles reached ear to ear. She had 5 other children, 2 sets of twins (one recently died) and a single child, who are all too small for school. She tells us that they have not eaten for 4 days and the children are so hungry they could barely get up for school this morning. Her giant smile transforms into weeping as she tries with all she can to hold back the tears. Brian and I sit speechless for a moment, then he encourages her and reminds us that God always provides.

As we drive back to Ebenezer I ask Brian how he handles experiencing these cases every day. He says, “Each time it breaks my heart. But I feel honored that I was called to help the one who is placed in front of me. Through Ebenezer Child Trust I can bring children hope and watch as the school and the word of God begins to transform their lives.”

When we get to school I tell Mrs. Chara how devastating this family’s situation is. I tell her about the father of these children who would never be able to find a job in his condition. Without hesitation, Mrs. Chara told Brian to offer the man work at the orphanage as a grounds keeper and to start the next morning.

My heart leaps with joy! I am reminded again that God truly does provide. He takes people in the worst conditions that seem nearly impossible and within an instant changes their futures. At the same time He uses the faithful and obedient to be His hands and feet.

I thank the Lord for Ebenezer and the hope this school gives to the hopeless. I am excited that I get the opportunity to watch how Mary and Munalula lives will be transformed in the coming days, months, and even years. I praise the miracle of today and anticipate the lives we will get to touch tomorrow, and it is possible because people care enough to open their hearts, reach out, and partner with us to assist in giving these children a second chance at life!


One Response to “God Always Provides”

  1. Cynthia Says:

    My name is Cynthia. I go to Christ church of Orlando and am working at our VBS next week. I would like to share this story with the children, Can you provide me with some background information on this story, like more info on Ebenezer and your involvement with them.

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