While in Swaziland this summer I had a unique opportunity to visit the home of Tengetile, my sponsored child.
The way to Tengetile’s homestead lead us down a path and through a barbed wire fence. As we approached we saw a gogo (grandmother) perched on a worn fleece blanket on the ground. Through Musa, our driver and translator, it was discovered that the gogo was Tengetile’s biological grandmother, and much to our surprise, Khetokuhle (my parents’ totally unrelated sponsored child) was living with them also! What a wonderfully small world in which we live.
We learned both of the mothers and fathers have disappeared entirely from the children’s lives. One mother has died, but the remaining parents decided they just didn’t want to be parents, so they left. Fortunately, this particular gogo had a couple goats and chickens, meaning that the kids have eggs to eat and milk to drink regularly; unfortunately, the gogo had severe cataracts in both eyes and was largely immobile during our time on the homestead.
I thanked the gogo for taking care of my sweet Tengetile while I am away, and in response, she said, “I make it through each day and take care of them and thank God every day because I know that when I die, you will keep taking care of them.”
Seeing the harsh living conditions hurt. Not knowing is worse, I guess … but now I know for sure what home looks like, and that makes me so, so glad I sponsor.
If you are not yet sponsoring a child, I urge you to prayerfully consider it. Over the course of my three trips to Swaziland, I have been an adamant supporter of child sponsorship because I have seen first-hand that it works. I have watched Khetokuhle and Tengetile become healthier, stronger, smarter, more outgoing and grow in their faith.
Sponsorship works, and it is worth the sacrifice. Instead of thinking about the sacrifice, I think about my kids, how much they mean to me, and I pray for them.
It IS worth it!