This is the story of four lives forever changed. It is the story of four new brothers and sisters. It is the story of a new future for four Children who now call Project Samuel in Zambia, Africa their home.
In July of this year, after over a year of working and waiting, we finally received the paperwork from the courts giving us custody of our first eleven Project Samuel Children. This was cause for celebration because in order for us to bring more children to Project Samuel, we had to ensure that the first eleven were legally in our custody. For over a year our second Children’s House set particularly filled waiting for five more little “Samuels”. But before I tell you about their arrival, let me tell you a little about how we came to know of these beautiful little children.
I met the first two of our new children, Bridget and Oliver, through Paul Mutwega, the young man employed as Project Samuel’s social worker. He had heard of two children within the Chibombo District who were in desperate need of a home. Lovemore, the littlest and youngest, is Getrude’s nephew. Getrude is one of our employee’s wives and her sister Passed away last year. And Alick, is Isaac’s (one of our first eleven children) brother. We believe in trying to keep families together whenever possible and when we first brought Isaac to Project Samuel, it had always been our intention to bring Alick as well.
All four children where living with single elderly caregivers, who had no employment and no income source other than small scale farming in the rainy season. Most lived in a single grass huts with at least four other family members. In fact, Bridget is twelve years old and has never been to school.
When we saw the poverty and need of these orphans it was a “no brainer” as to if and when we would bring them to Project Samuel. Vincent, the man who works with Social Welfare, a government office that locates and helps children in need, went with me to asses the children and help with the paperwork. Project Samuel works alongside Zambian Social Welfare to ensure that we stay within the legal requirements when accepting new children. We want to make sure that when a child like Lovemore comes to Project Samuel, we can know that he will be here as long as he needs to be.
When Lovemore finally did come to Project Samuel, he was very shy. He had lost his mother the year before and was now separated from his grandmother. Its understandable that he didn’t seem to know why or what was going on. But after a few days, Lovemore went from unsocial and unsure to happy and joyful. He is now giving us all thumbs up and greeting us like he has known us for years.
Oliver and Bridget have also adjusted well. Bridget is beginning to work with Rebekah (missionary from Houston, Texas) and Paul Mutwega so that we can help her get caught up in her school grades. Being twelve years old and being in classes with seven year olds can be difficult for any child. The sooner and faster we can help her progress, the better it will be for her.
Oliver loves to play. It doesn’t matter what, you name it and he will play it. But he is insecure and doesn’t like to get too far from his sister. I’m sure that when facing a new environment, any child wouldn’t want to get to far from an older sibling. I was so happy that we were able to see them come to Project Samuel together and I know it wont be long before he makes the adjustment.
Alick is much like his younger brother Isaac who was already here at Project Samuel. Alick is a reader and a very bright child. I’m sure that when school starts up next month, he will do well. He shows a great interest in learning how things work and can often be found watching to learn how things are done. For instance, when shelling and cleaning our sunflower this year, Alick was right there with us asking question and watching and even helping a bit.
Pray with us this week as we are still looking for that fifth little girl who will fill the last spot available in our second children’s home. We are meeting with the families to assess those with the greatest needs. How I wish we could take all of the orphans in Zambia, but until God provides a way for that, we are looking for those that need our help most. I believe the day is coming when there will be hundreds of little “Samuels” impacting the world for Christ! Thank you for all you do and God Bless!