A woman I don’t even know, who lives far, far away, changed the lives of some children very close to my heart this week.
She said, “Yes”…
And, with that one word, the story of a little girl and a family changed.
You’ve probably heard about Neli and her family.
Neli is the head of her household, raising her 4 siblings. All of them are labeled with the euphemism “sick” and will be taking medication to control incurable plagues for the rest of their lives. They have lived in some of the worst circumstances we’ve ever seen, and somehow still know how to love each other and shine like a beacon of light in the dark, dangerous corner of the mountain they’re tucked into.
Last year, we built Neli and her family a home. And we stayed family.
This year, we helped her biggest dream come true. Neli went back to school!
|Photo by Carly B|
And her empty eyes filled with that light of hope and a future. She started believing tomorrow doesn’t have to be the same as today.
But there’s a baby sister. Neli left school to care for almost-3-year old Lethu. As I celebrated with Neli on her first day of school, I asked where Lethu was.
“She’s at home. Locked in the house by herself.”
It’s summer. It’s so, so hot.
And there’s no food in the house.
What else could she do? She didn’t know.
It’s too much for a young woman to manage.
But what about Lethu?
I told her it wasn’t safe for Lethu to stay home alone. So Neli tried was leaving Lethu with a neighbor. She had no money to pay the neighbor or even provide food for Lethu. So the neighbor beat that sweet baby girl, and she was afraid every day when Neli left for school.
But that far-away, faithful woman said, “Yes”.
On Tuesday morning, we picked up Neli and her whole family. We drove through Dwaleni like an early-morning parade and pulled up into a preschool. A house full of giggles and joy.
I had enough money in my hand, from that one, “Yes” to register Lethu for safety, protection, education and play for the next four months.
We waved goodbye all saying, “YES! And THANK YOU!”
Today Lethu is safe and Neli is able to go to school without her fears vying for her attention. Because of one, “Yes”.
Yes changes everything.
It changed everything.
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:20
We were designed in the image of the “YES”, with the honor of being His “Amen”.
And we have the delight and the duty to say, “Yes”.
What could have been Lethu’s lament, a childhood of darkness and despair, is now a psalm of provision and praise. Five sweet lives have a home because of a “Yes”, a safe toilet because of a “Yes”, new school uniforms because of a “Yes”, and hope in the “YES” for tomorrow.
There are a thousand question marks waiting to be responded to.
And even more ways to say, “Yes”.
I was so moved by this “YES” that I couldn’t not tell you, nor could I not respond. If you, the image of the “YES”, can say “Yes” – why wouldn’t you?
|Last year for Christmas, Lifa and I |
decided to say, "Yes"to taking Neli, her
little brother Mpendulo, and Charity
to get new uniforms so they
could go to school this year.
If you don’t know of any ways to say “Yes” from where you’re sitting right now, here are some ways:
Currently, Ten Thousand Homes is not set-up for individual child sponsorship or for donations specified for certain people or projects (beyond our feedings and houses). HOWEVER, you can give a life-changing “Yes” here.
Through that link, you can specify to “Yes” to many different parts of TTH, or you can select General Donation and leave a memo, designating your “Yes” for Community Development. Community Development funds can reach out to stories like Lethu’s and respond to needs as we find them.
Another way to say “Yes” is to invest in my personal funding.
God is increasing my vision to build a home and a lifestyle that can be a “Yes” for the lost little ones He’s calling to come Home. God is beckoning me to live with doors wide open, to buy bigger pots and more plates, and to believe that there are enough faithful ones to say “Amen”.
I cannot faithfully live the way He’s inviting me to without the yeses and amens of prayers, encouragement and financial giving. I am asking for more monthly supporters, people to come around me, even from far, far away that I can say “Yes” with.
What do you say?
Hope has no price tag, yet there is a deposit of it living in us. And it’s worth investing in.
“…He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 2 Corinthians 1:21b,22
Abba, let me always be Your Amen.
If you are interested in partnering with me, becoming an “Amen!” in my financial needs, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Thank you!