July 27, 2017
Every summer, Galilee welcomes hundreds of kids to Vacation Bible School and its service-oriented component for older youth, Live Out Loud. What we’re accomplishing at VBS is very modest in one way and very extraordinary in another. We’re opening our doors to Northern Virginia kids and providing a place for them to have fun, make friends, and enjoy activities for a week. But we’re also sitting them down and telling them, “God made you. God loves you. God has a purpose for you. And wherever you go, you are not alone.”
Something similar is accomplished 3,000 miles away in Sierra Leone at Mercy Hospital and the Child Rescue Center. There, it’s not the case that relatively affluent children are shown a good time for a week. There, desperate children who have little food, no stable home, who have been orphaned by war or disease, are literally rescued.
They are sheltered and educated at the CRC. If they need medical care, Mercy Hospital sees them without charge. Some will have a sponsor whose donations will help maintain them in their own homes. When these children are told that there is a place for them at or through the CRC, they hear the message clearly: “God made you. God loves you. God has a purpose for you. And wherever you go, you are not alone.”
VBS kids donate their money (left). The CRC director Mohamed Nabieu (right) says this money will transform lives.
Last Sunday, Galilee was visited by CRC Director Mohamed “Nabs” Nabieu and Mercy Hospital’s Director of Medical Projects, Kim Sprout. It was a joyful occasion, because we were able to tell Nabs and Kim (who are engaged to be married) that Galilee’s children brought their dimes, quarters, and dollars to church throughout the week of Vacation Bible School and raised $765 to build an operating room at Mercy Hospital. The theme for our VBS was “Maker’s Fun Factory” and participants were encouraged to do their best to emulate the Creator by making something truly good.
Nabs was touched by the generosity of our children and spoke to the congregation about the good that the CRC had done for him. He was not just the director, after all, but a former student at CRC. He was brought to the CRC when just a boy, after seeing his father killed right before him and his mother taken away by rebels. He was left with nothing, but made his way to the town of Bo, where he begged in the market for food and slept on the street for three months.
“Don’t ever wonder if supporting the Child Rescue Center or Mercy Hospital is the right thing. It is. I am the proof. I am the proof that your money and your commitment transforms lives!”
Nabs and Kim talk to Galilee members and CRC/Mercy supporters.
Nabs, like hundreds of CRC kids, received first food and love. Then an education. He came to understand that he had security in these things, they would not be taken away from him. He could build a better life, and he did. He went to high school and then college. He got the training necessary for Africa’s next generation of leaders. His life was transformed, and he was given the power to carry this transformation forward by working at his old school. That’s the urgent mission that brought he and Kim to Galilee on Sunday.
The $765 collected by our VBS kids is going toward building an OR for Mercy. When it is completed, the hospital will be able to do caesarian sections, which can currently be done only at government facilities at a cost that most families cannot afford.
Along with the new OR, Mercy and CRC are rolling out new programs to transform children’s lives and the future of Africa. This includes a nutritional supplement program that costs only $25. A donation of $25 will also pay for a c-section. For more information on how you can help, visit our partners in mission at helpingchildrenworldwide.org or click here.
At Vacation Bible School, we told our kids that they were made by God and loved by God. You have the opportunity to do the very same thing for children in Bo, for whom it is equally and completely and eternally true.
Please give generously.