Sometimes it is interesting to take a look back and see where you began and all that God has done. The scriptures says, “Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy.” (Psalm 107:22, NIV) When we first started Hope for Grieving Children nearly 12 years ago, we held training sessions specifically for pastors so that they would understand the orphans in their midst. We did one training a year for the first two years with testimonies such as these coming forth:
"I am thankful because the workshop opened my eyes on how to respond to grieving children in my youth class and my own relatives. I also faced my own grief for the first time during the workshop."
2010 - Reverend Mudenda shared that the training opened his eyes to the truth of the orphans’ struggle and moved him into action. Since the training Rev. Mudenda has counseled 16 orphans using the HGC material. He then taught the material in church during the month of November. 76 people were trained by the end of the month. People in the church were so moved that they have responded by donating money, clothes and food. Some of them have taken orphans into their homes. He has also shared the HGC material in board meetings, Fountain of Hope meetings, charity committee meetings and with visitors (corporate/global partners). The Reverend is looking after one orphan and has seen improvement in the child’s behavior since having the HGC material shared with him.
2010 – Pastor Chilufya shared, “My dad passed away when I was 10 years old, while I was in my fourth grade. Attending the first workshop helped me understand grief. I was able to relate my life challenges and difficulties I faced with my academic performance during the workshop. I am thankful because the workshop opened my eyes on how to respond to grieving children in my youth class and my own relatives. I also faced my own grief for the first time during the workshop.
Wow! That was back in 2010.
News spread and we now find ourselves training caregivers, social workers, young adults, teachers, and community workers. Trainings have gone from one to up to six a year with follow-up visits in between. We continue to receive testimony after testimony of participants whose lives have been changed by the training, both for themselves and how they view the orphan and vulnerable in their midst.
We are so thankful that God has added the increase and we are seeing caregivers and the orphans they care for healed of past grief with a renewed hope and purpose for their futures.