Now it's time to meet the girls...
Natasha Chibuye is 13 years old and in the 5th grade. Natasha's father died before she was born and her mother died in 2006 from Tuberculosis. She has an older brother and 2 older sisters. After her mom died, Natasha and her siblings went to live with her mom's sister who was very harmful towards her and did not feed her. The Lord rescued Natasha and her siblings from that situation and they now live with another aunt and uncle. Although this is a much better situation, her aunt and uncle spend most of their time drunk, bitter and angry. Unfortunately, their destructive behavior and anger is usually taken out on Natasha and her siblings. Natasha is very tall and thin and suffers from daily stomach pains...most likely caused from malnourishment. Natasha loves school and enjoys learning new things. Her aunt and uncle pay for her school fees when they can. It makes Natasha very sad when her school fees are not paid and she cannot attend school. Her walk to school is 30 minutes each way, a fairly short walk compared to some of the other girls in my group (some of my girls have a 2 hour walk to and from school each day). Natasha would like to be a doctor when she grows up. She became a Christian last year at church...praise Jesus! She says that she knew it was God who delivered her from her horrible living situation after her mom died. Natasha enjoys singing, dancing and going to church....and as you can tell, she has a beautifully contagious smile! She is such a joy!
Mevis Ngambi is 15 years old and in the 6th grade. She is the first born of five children. She lives with her grandparents and her four siblings live with her parents. She really loves her grandmother and likes living with her. Her grandfather on the other hand, is a drunkard and physically and verbally abusive towards Mevis. Mevis visits her parents and siblings every once in a while. She did not open up and tell me why she lives with her grandparents and her other siblings live with her parents. Her grandparents sell fruits and vegetables to support the family and pay for Mevis' school fees when they can. Mevis helps her grandparents sell produce and she helps around the house. She suffers from stomach pains which cause her to not be able to walk sometimes....she does not have any medicine to help with the pains. Mevis usually gets to eat 2 small meals a day, which her grandparents provide for her. She really enjoys school and wants to be an accountant when she grows up. Her favorite subjects in school are English and math. Mevis became a Christian in 2007 at Camp LIFE! Her grandmother is a Christian too and she enjoys going to church with her each week. Mevis loves Camp LIFE, playing with her friends, singing and dancing.
Ezelina Tembo is 16 years old and in the 6th grade. She lives with her mom, dad and five siblings in a three room house. She is the 4th born in her family. Sadly, Ezelina does not always feel safe at home because scary things happen to her at night...most likely nightmares/witch craft (witch craft is very rampant in Zambia). Her mom sells food and her dad does not work. Ezelina typically eats two times a day. Her mom use to pay for her school fees but she does not pay them anymore, so she is currently not attending school. Ezelina really wants to go back to school so she can finish her education and become an accountant. She loves learning new things and enjoys studying math the most. Ezelina holds a special place in my heart, because she accepted the Lord as her Savior on Tuesday of Camp LIFE!! I will never forget listening to her sweet voice as she prayed for Jesus to come live inside her heart. It was definitely one of my favorite memories during my time in Zambia. This was Ezelina's first year to attend Camp LIFE...and she absolutely loved it! She was very shy and quiet at first, but towards the end of the week her personality really started to shine! Ezelina loves singing, playing with her friends and learning the word of God. She has such a sweet and gentle spirit.
Eunice Phiri is 14 years old and in the 5th grade. She lives in a three room house with her parents and seven siblings. Two of her sisters are married and live on their own. There are ten children total in her family...Eunice is the 6th born! Her father was in a bad car accident and lost his leg, so he is unable to work. Her mom does not work either, so the first born daughter provides for the family as well as pays for Eunice to go to school. Unfortunately, her school fees do not always get paid. Eunice loves school and wants to be there everyday so she can gain knowledge and become a nurse so she can help people. Eunice is anemic. She takes medicine sometimes, but has never seen a doctor. She eats 1-2 times a day. Eunice is a Christian...her family attends church together and they pray together. Eunice has nightmares of someone taking off her blankets and standing over her. She enjoys playing with her friends, singing, dancing and helping out with chores around the house. This was Eunice's first year at Camp LIFE.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." -James 1:27