Barbara Finds a Home
The day I heard about Barbara broke my heart. I was sitting at my desk when I received her story and picture in an email. She was just four-years-old, so tiny and young. Yet, she was walking up and down paths, with a little jug on her head, fetching water. With great determination and courage, this little girl not only fetched water, she gathered firewood, searched for food, and daily bathed her sick and dying mother.
I wondered, “Where were all the adults in her life? Why wasn’t there anyone there to help Barbara? Really, could there be any excuse for such neglect? Surely people all around could see the plight of this child.” But it seemed that no one did.
Barbara's mother had offended the people in her village many years before and moved away, cutting off all ties with them. Now that she had come back to die, her parents were dead and no one wanted to help her or her daughter. The only act of kindness they received was the use of a small hut for shelter.
So day after day Barbara took care of her mother. Then one day, whimpers that turned into wails could be heard from the little hut. The nearest neighbor found Barbara inside, cradling the head of her dead mother. The one person Barbara loved was gone and now who would want Barbara.
I thank God that we want Barbara, and today she lives in our children’s home. It has been a joy, a privilege, and an honor to love and care for this precious child. Her life is now filled with brothers and sisters, and a mother who loves her like her own. She goes to school and is learning to read and write. Her frowns are turning into smiles and her health is growing strong. While it will take some time for this little warrior's heart to heal, we have no doubt it will.
Thank you, child sponsors, for making it possible for us to take care of destitute children like Barbara. You are the love of Jesus . . . a powerful love that lifts them up and redirects their lives!!!
Betty Jo McLelland