Monday, August 5, 2013

Those In Need

Jesus doesn’t say to the poor, ‘Come find the church,’ but he says to those of us in the church, ‘Go into the world and find the poor, hungry, homeless, imprisoned,’ Jesus in disguises.
~Shane Claiborne, Irresistible Revolution~

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Yesterday was dedicated to Jake and the team visiting with families, children and individuals in need in the Asikuma area and determining how Kingdom Cares International can best assist them. Look deeply into their faces, read their honest and humble pleas, and feel the impact of what our King whispers over them to us, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Their stories…

The Ekavi Family


This family had been living in Togo, Africa when the father, who worked for the military police, was tragically killed during fighting. After her husband’s death, the newly widowed mother relocated the family to Ghana which is where she was originally from. They had been living in HoHoe, Ghana for 8 months when a tribal war broke out in their village. The opposing tribe came in and attacked their home, burnt down their house, and also burnt down the widowed mother’s shop where she sold cooking supplies and utensils to make a living. After the attack she and her family fled their village and ended up in Asikuma. Since then, in order to survive she has been borrowing from the community and has become in debt to community members in Asikuma. Our in-country worker, Wisdom, often makes appeals to his church to provide the family with cloth and other necessities. All of her children had to drop out of school due to lack of funds. When the mother explained their situation to Wisdom she shared that she often felt like committing suicide when she looked at her hopeless situation and that she could not provide education for her children. One of the faith-filled women in the community from Wisdom’s church met with the mother and introduced her to Jesus. She accepted Him as Savior and was baptized at the end of June!


We had learned about the Ekavi family by email back in June, and since then we were able to secure a $2000 sponsorship for them via a family in Jake’s Kingdom Hoops program. Yesterday Jake was able to meet with the Ekavi family in person and take care of dispersing the funds appropriately. The $2000 was able to provide and cover:

~School fees for all of the children. Daniel, the oldest (16 years), had ambition to attend a specific senior high school that specializes in agriculture and science. Janet, 13 years old, will now get to continue on with her high school education...she had just completed junior high school when she had to drop out. Christian (11 years) and Courage (4 years) were both in basic school needing assistance for their uniforms and books. Admission starts in September for all of the kids.

~Gave the mother start-up funds to open up a new shop and sell her cooking utensils and supplies again. This will be the main income for the family. The agreement is that KCI will sponsor this year of school for her children so she can get her business going again. But next year she will be responsible for paying their school fees with her business income.

~Paid off the mother’s debt to the community members that she borrowed from. There can become quite a stigma attached to this as you can imagine so KCI wanted to ensure that she could get a free start.

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HIV Cases

In a neighboring village to Asikuma called Apeguso, HIV is running rampant. Our in-country worker, Wisdom, had met two ladies in the community who have hearts captivated by Jesus and have been helping to care/defend HIV orphans, and are actively promoting HIV awareness and education. The plan is that Jake will get to go around with these ladies on Wednesday of this week and meet more of the children they are helping. For now, they have brought KCI two cases of orphaned children with HIV who desperately need financial assistance. It has been determined that the total care for 1 year for an HIV orphan will be approximately $2400. That would cover their HIV medicines (over $100/month for the best medicines – health insurance in Ghana does not give these patients access to the BEST medicines…so this is a cost beyond what is covered by insurance), medical care, schooling, food, and assistance for their caretakers…

The first child KCI has pledged sponsorship for is Anita who is an HIV orphan being cared for by her elderly grandmother…she is pictured here with one of the two ladies in the community helping to defend her cause….


The second is Israel, an HIV orphan who’s mother and father also died of AIDS. Israel is 15 years old and because of the social stigma of HIV he has literally been living in the ‘bush’, fending for himself with no one to care for him. He was unable to come and meet Jake yesterday because he was ashamed that he only had one pair of shorts for clothes that he wears every single day. Jake took the following pictures off the computer that the two women had brought with them. Israel recently fell into a fire and has severe burns which obviously need medical attention.
 



There is a hospital in Koforidua which the ladies believe will treat him. Kingdom Cares donated 200 Ghana cedis to get Israel the hospital visit. Jake was able to gather up some clothes from some of the teenage boys on the team in Ghana currently with him, and they put a little suitcase of items together for the ladies to take to Israel. Jake hopes to get to meet him on Wednesday.

Joyce is an HIV orphan who lives in Asikuma and is being taken care of by her aunt.  KCI is hoping to raise $2400 for her support.  She has not had any previous access to medical care.



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Princella


In July we had received an email from Wisdom about Princella. She was having troubles in school because she was appearing to be mostly deaf. KCI sponsored her to go and get a hearing test back in July. It was found that she was not completely deaf, because when they put a hearing device on her and tested her she completely lit up with a huge smile plastered all over her face….with the aid she could hear! However, her family was not able to buy her the hearing device which cost 400 Ghana cedis ($200). Yesterday Kingdom Cares International donated the funds needed so the device could be purchased for Princella.
 
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Alfred


When Jake arrived in Asikuma on Friday he received from Wisdom a hand written letter in brail which had been translated to English. The letter was from a man named Alfred who was hoping to come to the hotel to meet with Jake and ask for KCI’s assistance. Jake got to meet Alfred yesterday and heard his story. Alfred explained that he had suddenly gone blind at the age of 18. Tragic as it was, God came to him one night and spoke to him about his condition. What Alfred heard from God: “You may be physically blind but you are not spiritually blind. Use what I’ve done to you to share the gospel.” And so, Alfred is a missionary. He brought his brail Bible with him and told Jake to pick out any verse in the Bible and he would read it to him. This is not the best video because of the all the background noise - it’s really hard to hear….but it will paint a picture for you of what it is like to be Alfred….

video

Alfred’s desire is to go to a specialized blind school in which he can get his social worker degree and pastoral training degree. But he needs a special typewriter to type in brail. He can’t do actual college level work handwritten in brail….the typewriter is a necessity if he wants to further his education.  The total amount needing to be raised for Alfred is $2500...$1200 of that covers the typewriter and the rest would cover his school fees. 

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Seyrum

Seyrum’s father brought him from a neighboring village to seek KCI’s assistance (in the picture he is being held by one of the ladies who cares for HIV orphans). It is believed that Seyrum was deprived of oxygen during the birthing process. Jake said his condition seemed to be like a version of cerebral palsy. Seyrum has normal breathing but can’t move his own body parts, yet he laughed and giggled when Jake tickled him and interacted with him. Seyrum’s father asked if KCI could provide assistance to purchase a special medical chair that can help Seyrum to sit up on his own and hold his neck in place. The chair can be picked up at a local hospital and costs only 50 Ghana cedis which is $25. Kingdom Cares was able to give the family 60 Ghana cedis to cover travel to the hospital and cost of the chair.

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The Donkar Family


Eight months ago the father of this family passed away unexpectedly. The mother was left with her 2 month old baby (at the time) and 4 other children to care for. We received word on her desperate situation back in June via email from Wisdom. That same day, Jake received an email from a mom in his Kingdom Hoops program. She said, “God has put it on my heart to donate $2000 to KCI. But I don’t know if I should donate it now or save it aside to come to Ghana as part of a team sometime in the near future.” Jake forwarded her the email of the Donkar family and said the decision was up to her, but that this was a need he had just gotten that same day. The Kingdom Hoops mom knew God was giving her an answer and she donated the $2000 in sponsorship of the Donkar family. One of the best supports we can provide widows is giving them capital to start their own business. The Donkar’s are living in a decent house that had been earned by the father which just happens to be right along the roadside. Momma Donkar wanted to go into selling fresh fish for reasons that she could do so right from the roadside….not having to leave her house or her children during the day. In order to do this she needed to purchase a small freezer to keep the fish in. Yesterday KCI was able to purchase the freezer for Momma Donkar as well as the first round of fish to get her going on selling. KCI also sponsored each of her children for the year in school. When the children went to get dressed for the picture taken above, it was noticed that the little boy in the red could not get one of his arms through his shirt. Upon a closer look Jake realized that the little boy’s elbow was extremely swelled up and enlarged.

When Jake asked about it he was told that it happened by some sort of accident about a month and a half ago. Now the little guy won’t let anyone touch it, let alone wash it, because it hurts so bad. While Jake was inspecting it he did touch it and said it is on fire temperature-wise. The plan is to take him to the medical clinic in Asikuma today and it seems likely that he may have to make a visit to our ever beloved FOCOS hospital after that depending on the diagnosis......



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