Stories

Our Logo Child                                                        

ACM-stories-page-logo 2This is Doris. The photograph was taken of her the day we met in Meru, Kenya, the summer of 1990. Doris’ mother was mentally ill – a mad woman, as she was called in the town of Meru. She was unable to protect herself from lustful men as she wandered the streets day and night. Her firstborn child was a girl, Doris’ older sister, who also suffered greatly with mental illness. The mother kept her first child locked in their home, a single, small room made of scraps of wood and tin.

The next birth in Doris’ family was a boy. Their mother murdered that child and spent seven years in prison for her crime. Doris was her third child. When we met Doris she was stunted physically and mentally. She spent much of her time locked in the room with her older sister, living on the peelings of avocados. Another boy, Thomas was born. Then a girl named Purity. Their deeply disturbed mother led the girls to beat, burn, and torture Thomas.

When he was four years old, Thomas came to live with us, along with Purity and Doris. One day their mother demanded to have her girls returned to her. Legally, we could not refuse. A few years later Doris starved to death.

The plight of children in Africa is not always as tragic as it was for Doris, but many of them are in need of food, medical care and education. By sponsoring a child through African Children’s Mission you can change the life of a child forever. »Sponsor a child now!

Sebuyungo Yassin

Sebuyungo Yassin

Sebuyungo is just one of more than two million orphans in Uganda, East Africa. His parents both died from AIDS when he was six years old. He and his two sisters were raised by their grandmother in a grass thatched mud hut home.  They slept on the dirt floor on bedding made of old rags and thin grass mats.

Even as a young child Sebuyungo worked hard at home and studied hard at school, but missed five years of school because his family had no money to pay the required fees.

Sebuyungo and his sisters have suffered from the common health problems and endemic diseases, which children in East Africa typically experience, such as intestinal worms, dysentery, frequent upper respiratory infections, headaches, fevers and deadly malaria.  Most rural families have no toilet facility. Some have an outdoor pit latrine.

Families like Sebuyungo’s usually have no land for growing food and no source of regular income to meet even their basic needs. Meals often consist of a root plant called cassava, cooked outside over an open wood fire in an pot balanced on stones. After a rain a termite hatch-out provides tiny fresh or sun dried morsels of protein.

Sponsorship through African Children’s Mission meets critical needs of children like Sebuyungo by providing education, food, clothing and medical care. You can help us meet those needs by becoming a Child Sponsorship Partner!

Doris the Knitter

Doris KagwiriaThis Doris came from a small village in Kenya. Her father was mentally affected by alcoholism and had a criminal record. Her mother was financially unable to educate Doris and her other three children. When Doris was accepted in the ACM sponsorship program, she was sixteen years old and had been to school only through the sixth grade. Because she got a late start in school, higher education through the normal academic system was not a good option for her, so she was enrolled in a vocational training school of knitting. After completion of her two-year course, ACM purchased a knitting machine, and Doris began making sweaters for all the children supported by the ministry in Kenya. It is cool in the foothills of Mt. Kenya, where ACM serves, and all the children wear sweaters as part of their school uniform. Doris earned credit toward owning the knitting machine as she perfected her new skill. This policy of our vocational schools enables students to start their own business after graduation.

Fred Lubega’s Story

Lubega Fred PL03marIn December 2002, Fred Lubega stepped on a splinter, and his foot became infected.  He went first to the local clinic, but it was closed for the holidays. So, he received treatment from the local traditional healer, the “witch doctor”.  He developed blood poisoning and the day after Christmas went home to be with the Lord. In memory of Fred, ACM opened the Fred Lubega Clinic, which provides medical care 24/7, 365 days of the year, not only to our children, but to our surrounding community of over 3,000 people.

The nursing staff provides excellent first line medical and dental care.  They can perform functions only a physician’s assistant can perform in our country. The clinic offers dental care including extractions and restorative care, for our sponsored children and the community. And babies are born there. Our Head Nurse is a midwife. Fred’s family and friends miss him. He was a precious child, brother and friend to lose. And because of him many lives have been saved.

The Rat Restaurant

This actual incident happened our 12th year in Africa, around 2002.

One night we went out to eat at a restaurant we’d never been to. They serve Indian food, which tasted divine, and the atmosphere was also very good…outdoor dining, candlelight, surrounded by lush tropical plants, even an artificial waterfall. We were enjoying the dinner and the mood when something moving on the low rock wall next to our table caught our eye. At first I thought it was a cat. Many restaurants here, to clean up crumbs and reduce the rodent population, keep guinea foul or cats. In fact, a large cat had just passed that same way only minutes before, so neither of us were surprised until we realized that this was not a cat. It was A RAT, TWO FEET LONG!!! (maybe pursuing the cat!)

When the waiter came over the next time to ask if we wanted anything (note we didn’t call him), we asked if he had ever seen a big rat in the restaurant, and he answered unconcerned, “Yes, it’s ours.”

We laughed about the rat being their “pet” or maybe their “garbage disposal”, then continued with our meal. Later we mused at how differently we reacted to a situation that would have given rise to shock, disgust, complaints and possibly screams in any nice restaurant in America!

We also discussed whether we would like to have dinner there again, but the rat didn’t even merit consideration. We decided the place should be a definite on our regular restaurant list. Have we been in Africa too long? (Sorry, no pictures of the rat available.)

 

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