When we pulled the van into the village the first thing I saw was her running towards us, dressed in an adorable dress with a smile practically falling off her face. My mind flashed back to when I first met her a year and a half before. Her smiles were rare and usually only used when she wanted something from someone. She would use her smiles and charm to get volunteers and visitors to pick her up and then cry when she was put down. Today I scooped her up in my arms and when I put her down she skipped over to her Jjaja (grandmother) as content as could be. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a child heal from her past hurts simply because she is surrounded by a loving family.
Gift was brought to Amani when she was a baby after her mother died from AIDS. Her dad is not in the picture so her Uncle brought Gift to Amani for the next 2 1/2 years. When we enrolled her in the sponsorship program we at first returned her to her Uncle. The uncle told us that her Jjaja was not interested in caring for her so we didn’t pursue that option at first. The first few home visits we did unannounced Gift was not at the home so Susan (our social worker) put her case on priority and visited every two weeks. When Gift continued to not be at the home during unannounced visits Susan talked to the neighbors and discovered Gift was staying with the Jjaja and the Uncle had been taking her home with him when he thought we would be visiting in order to take the sponsorship money for himself. We quickly took away sponsorship from the Uncle and met with the Jjaja. The Jjaja loved Gift and was taking very good care of her so we started giving the sponsorship to the Jjaja.
Today Gift is doing beautifully and we are in awe of the work God is doing in her and so grateful He is allowing us to witness it. Thanks Katie Parker for sponsorship Gift and helping to bring this transformation about!