Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Needs
After Peter’s* parents died, he and his siblings were going to be sent to live with distant relatives in Zimbabwe’s rural areas, where there is little access to good education, healthcare and opportunities for their future.
This broke his grandmother’s heart, but she could only afford to take in one child. She chose 4-year-old Peter. And even then, she struggled to feed and clothe the growing boy.
Cowdray Park Brethren in Christ Church saw the elderly woman’s struggle to care for her grandson and stepped in to help. Through Forgotten Voices, they have been able to assist her with school fees, donations of clothing, and regular food hampers.
I like my family because it is full of grace and my grandmother cares for me a lot. She has never let me miss school.
Peter is now 14. He is healthy and strong. He helps his grandmother in the garden after school. And attends church with her every week. He works hard in school and loves math because its challenges him. When he grows up he wants to become a pilot. His grandmother sees his potential and hopes he will be the first person in his family to attend university.
Peter is finishing primary school and will start high school next year. The church hosted a special orientation day for him and his age-mates to help prepare them for this big transition, encouraging them spiritually and emotionally.
The church has played an important role in Peter’s life by introducing him to Jesus, providing discipleship and support, but also by partnering with his grandmother to ensure she is able to meet his physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
“We [the church] have a huge role to shepherd and lead children to Christ in the community in order to protect them…we have to make sure that they survive the childhood challenges of peer pressure and abuse.” – Pastor Sibanda, Cowdray Park BICC
Orphaned children are vulnerable because they lose the primary adults who are meant to care and advocate for them. Many caregivers are themselves, vulnerable. When the church is well-equipped, it can help restore the caring support system that all children need to flourish.
Please pray for Peter as he starts high school in January.
Please pray that the churches would be able to take in more children.