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Mrs. Sakala: A Mother’s Day Story of Water, Hope and Dignity

Mrs. Sakala and son

Mrs. Sakala with her son, Dalisio

Continents and cultures divide us, but Mrs. Sakala is a lot like many moms we know: She cares deeply for her six kids, and she does what it takes to meet their needs.

However, Mrs. Sakala faces challenges that most of us can barely imagine. Unable to work due to illness, her husband cannot contribute much to the family. Their dilapidated living area includes a one-roomed “house” a little smaller than a single-car garage, a scraggly vegetable plot and a vacant lot. Homemade paper dolls crafted from recycled magazines and a broken toy truck lie scattered about under the shade of a tree, while a cooking fire smolders in the front yard.

For 19 years, the Sakalas have lived with no running water on their property. Moved by their plight, their neighbor, a ministry leader at Ellaine Brittel Brethren in Christ Church in Livingstone, Zambia, has allowed them to draw water from her home. Recently, this neighbor advocated for the church to assist the Sakalas through a custom plan supported by Forgotten Voices.

Hose2Through its partnership with Forgotten Voices, the church funded a small project to open a water line on the family’s property. Now, an in-ground spigot connected to a hose provides the family’s means for cooking and cleaning. They still lack indoor plumbing and toilet facilities, and sometimes have barely enough food to share.

Nevertheless, the provision of water near their home has filled the family with a sense of hope and dignity. To ensure that the family can afford to pay its modest water bill, the church helped Mrs. Sakala find employment as a maid. Although the job doesn’t provide enough income to cover her children’s school fees entirely, the job has helped to stabilize the family’s situation. Meanwhile, the church continues to pay the school fees for two of the Sakala children, urging them to pursue excellence through educational opportunities.

As we approach Mother’s Day here in the U.S., may Mrs. Sakala’s story remind us to pray for spiritual encouragement and strength for mothers in southern Africa who face an especially heavy load of daily challenges. May we be thankful for God’s provision of our basic needs – food, water and sanitation – and may we not take these basics for granted! And finally, may we pray that children who are living in dire situations would nonetheless excel at school so that they can fulfill their dreams of becoming doctors and teachers and whatever else they aspire to be.

Mrs Sakala - Zambia - Ellaine Brittell BIC 01-12-2017 (56)

Mrs. Sakala and some of her family surrounded by those who are ministering to this family – including her neighbor Ramona and other church ministry volunteers from Ellaine Brittel BIC, along with Forgotten Voices team member Chilobe Jongolo

 

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