Nagawa is 7 or 8 and attends Maranatha Schools. She is just about to graduate from the “top class” they call it, which basically is graduation from the Preschool section of the Primary school. Next year she will be starting on to Primary 1. She has a smile that will just captivate you, and the most comforting and loving presence. She’s a great actress and is ticklish mostly around her tummy. Each morning Sarah and Patrick wake up and see her sprinting down the road to jump into our arms and give Sarah the sign language sign of “I love you” as she says “KWAGALA SARAH” (I love you Sarah)! Each child here deserves this kind of love and this kind of laughter that God has given Nagawa, and our prayer is that her story will speak for many other children who are in similar situations and need sponsors like Nagawa.
When Nagawa was just a year old, her mother passed away. Burdened by the idea of raising a child on his own, her father dropped her off at her grandmother’s here in Mityana. He has not been seen or heard from since. Her grandma has 10 children, 4 of which are deceased, and the rest of them she has no idea where they are, as they cut ties with her long long ago. She lives just outside of Mityana in a mud house where her chickens and animals stay in one room of the 3 room house that she has. Just this past week Nagawa has been running to school every morning right on time, but it hasn’t always been that way.
Nagawa was often late for school, if she even would make it there at all. Often times, her grandma would make her get up in the morning to fetch the entires supply of water for the day before she needs to be at school at 7:00am. Sometimes she would make her stay home the entire day because there were too many chores to do…she couldn’t go to school that day. On top of that, her grandmother is a drunk who beats her physically and emotionally. Nagawa has scars on her body from the beating, and I can’t imagine the emotional scars on her heart that will haunt her for who knows how long. She will often times be denied food, and made to sleep in the pen with the chickens and hens.
Surprisingly, Nagawa told someone about this. Many children who go through these types of situations are too afraid to tell anyone. Nagawa went to a neighbor and told him about her situation a couple weeks ago, and since then, has been living there since. Every time she sees her grandmother approaching, she runs in the opposite direction.
Patrick and Sarah had the opportunity to visit the home where she is currently staying as well as her grandmother’s house just this past week. When they went to where Nagawa is staying, Sarah pulled her up in her lap, gave her the biggest hug and kiss that she could and gave her the sign language symbol for “I love you”. That seems to be their own little personal handshake now. She beams with excitement and a huge smile every time they do it. Sarah is still trying to help her with it, she can get her pointer finger and pinky up but is still working on learning how to get her thumb up at the same time. Pastor Patrick talked with the family about Nagawa’s situation and circumstances. Our goal for next school year once it begins in February was to get Nagawa sponsored and to get her the funds to not only attend school and get medical coverage and food, but also to live in the dormitory on site of the primary school. That prayer was just recently answered as we have found the funds to cover Nagawa’s first year starting in February. Praise God!
We continued talking to her caretakers, and Sarah showed her pictures on her camera of pictures of her that Sarah had taken. Her smile completely erases and distracts from thedishrag of a dress that she’s wearing, discolored and torn all over. Every time you see that face, it’s so easy to see the joy of Christ shining through. See the love of Christ. See the comfort that we can find in his arms. The fact that she can even express joy after going through what she’s gone through is amazing. That is Christ. That is Jesus shining through her heart and giving her hope. They prayed before they left the house, and Sarah couldn’t help but open her eyes during the prayer only to see Nagawa, kneeling on the floor with her hands folded in front of her face, eyes closed and brow wrinkled so intently on what she was praying. This girl gives so much hope and joy and pray that God is working through this ministry to give it back to her ten fold. They left as Nagawa gave them one last “I love you” sign and a huge hug.
They were driving out on the path that the house was and a local student pointed out where the grandmother lived. Right then, her head peered out from the doorway of the mud hut.Patrick stopped the car, and said “Let’s go.” Without hesitation they hopped out of the car as the grandmother approached. They warmly greeted her as she motioned for them to go inside of the house. She explained her story and told Patrick her frustrations with how Nagawa is no longer in her care. To hear her story and to love her was a great experience, and it’s clear that she has some brokenness to be healed just like all of us do. Because in order to do those things to a young child, you definitely have some hurt of your own to deal with. They didn’t have long to talk, but prayers to continue ministering to her grandma and restoration of relationships would be greatly appreciated.
God can deliver. He can heal. He can restore. He is in this situation. He will use it for good.
“But you, O sovereign Lord,
deal well with me for your name’s sake;
out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.
For I am poor and needy,
and my heart is wounded within me.” Psalm 109:21-22
Nagawa showing Sarah her new uniform
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning: great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion, therefore I will wait for Him.” Jeremiah 31:3
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
Pray for Nagawa to know how incredibly special she is. How beautiful. How loved. How capable. God is going to use this girl for great things, and pray God is able to work through the people here to give her the slightest glimpse of hope.
We are determined to change the lives of children in these types of situations. If God has laid it on your heart to be sponsoring a child, to help with food, medical care, housing, and education, please prayerfully consider sponsoring. As far as costs go, it would be around $500 per year to sponsor and cover everything. More detail surrounding payments can be discussed if anyone responds and wants to move in the direction of sponsorship, but above all the story needed to be share. If you are unable to sponsor please know that prayers have no numerical value. We would be thrilled to have so many praying for these children. If you are interested in investing or providing sponsorship for any child, please let us know.These children are so important and loved. Thank you so much for your prayers and for taking the time to read. God is so good!
Nagawa’s current caretakers