Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Possibilities...

Here is a glimps into some of what will hopefully be involved with while in Zambia.
There are thousands of "hidden orphans" in Lusaka. These are children who have lost one or both parents, and are living with relatives (or sometimes neighbors). They are last to get food or clothing or education. They are often treated like Cinderellas. Street Kids often get help because they are obvious, and obviously in need. But many of them (probably half) have chosen to run away and run their own lives. But there are ten times (if not a hundred times) more children who have not run away from home. These suffer abuse, rape, hunger, loneliness, grief, and a sort of lonely neglect. Parents and relatives here don't speak much into kids' lives. There are thousands of young girls (early teens through eary twenties) who are aching for an older sister, a mother, someone to come alongside and listen and give time and advice. Currently there is no one to do that there.

Youth activities is a great way to get into their lives. Many churches have you
th programs, but have little idea how to mentor the kids. A few years back three visiting young women organized a meeting through AZ (Action Zambia) with any young women interested in meeting with them. They expected about 20 girls, and about 100 showed up. The visitors gave a small devotional, then opened the floor to questions. The girls pelted them with everything from how AIDS is spread to how to fend off an uncle who demands to sexually abuse them. They were starving for input. However, real ministry to these girls can only be done on a discipling, mothering/sistering, long-term basis, with plenty of cultural understanding and some local language thrown in. There are programs, but the relationship is what is most needed.

Second, there are girls who have gone into orphanages who are very inter
ested in such relationships. Megan (an AZ missionary) went to a huge orphanage to check on two girls who have been placed there. They were brought in, and didn't look at her face (being polite, as all children are expected to do here). But when she shook their hands, they saw the white skin and looked up. JOY! The first girl jumped into Megans arms and wrapped her legs around Megan. They are so hungry for attention and an older sister.
(Provided by Liese Ripley-AZ)

As well I am hoping to be able to record the local music as part of raising awareness and support for different needs there here in North America. As part of this I hope to kee a solid connection and awareness with those at home through regular audio/video updates and establishing a connection between my youth group here and youth in Zambia. That's the dream anyway!

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