Steven's Testimony: How Sponsorship Changed the Course of My Life


I was born in a family of three children and I am the last born child. I was being brought up by my parents up to the time my mom breathed her last breath. My mom died when I was just three years old.

My mother died of many diseases and suffered for quite a long time. My mom would go here and there to seek help. Since my family was a non-Christian family, she even went to seek help from witch doctors. These witch doctors also failed to help her. She did not recover from her sicknesses and eventually she died. This was the most painful moment in my life. I was just crying, asking where momma was. It was really painful not knowing where mom was and to grow without her love.  
Steven remembers wearing rags to school every day
                   Steven remembers wearing rags to school every day because his family couldn't afford clothes. 
After my mom died I stayed with my dad. Whenever my dad went to work, my granny looked after me. After a few weeks passed, I faced another big challenge. My father declared that he was tired of me and my friends and that he was leaving the house to marry another woman. As he was leaving, he took all of our property with him. It was also very painful to see him leaving, since I depended on him. 
After my father left, I started to stay with my granny, who was so old. She could not afford to meet my needs since she was very poor. She even failed to meet my spiritual needs just because she was a non-believer. Sometimes when I cried of hunger, she would even start crying also, not knowing what to do with me. My brothers would go to find a piece of work to earn some money to buy food so I could eat. I also survived on the food given to us by well-wishers, especially our neighbors.  
After a year passed, my uncle came to pay us a visit. My granny told him all the difficulties we were facing and that she could not afford to care for me. After my uncle heard this, he decided to take me to Lilongwe, the capital city.  
I began to stay with my uncle and in 1997 he enrolled me at a certain primary school. Although I was learning, I could not read and write. Because of this, the teachers would shout at me and even give me punishment for failing to read and write.  
Since my uncle was also very poor, he could not afford to provide me with the basic necessities of life like food, clothes, and a blanket. Because he could not provide me with clothes, I used to go to school in rags and my friends would laugh at me. I felt ashamed and embarrassed and sometimes they would even deny me chatting and playing with them. Because of this, I felt lonely in school.  
Due to all these circumstances I developed a negative attitude towards school—that school wasn't for me. Eventually I dropped out. After dropping out of school, I was just staying home. Sometimes I would go to find a piece of work to find money which I used to buy food. I would also go with friends into the bush to dig mice and catch grasshoppers, which mostly made our money. At night, my uncle’s house leaked. I would get wet and all my ragged clothes and blankets would be sopping. This caused me to have sleepless nights.
It was 1998 when COTN came to our village with Dad Chris and Mum Debbie [COTN Founders]. They gave us food, clothes, and blankets. They also taught us Bible stories and songs, and they really showed us the love of Christ. After a year passed, in 1999, Dad Chris told us that they have opened a children’s home for kids like me. He promised to take some children in our village. 
Praise God! I was chosen to be one of the first occupants of this house. But before I went to the home, they took me for a medical checkup. They found that I was malnourished, and I had a problem with one of my ears. They also found that I had horrible sores on both legs. These sores were very painful and if anyone tried to touch them I would cry. The doctors gave me the treatment for all my problems. After the treatment, I was driven to the house by Dad Chris himself.  
Steven (left, in blue) was welcomed into a new family at COTN's Children's Homes
                              Steven (left, in blue) was welcomed into a new family at COTN's Children's Homes. 
Upon reaching my new home, I was welcomed by my new friends and the house parents. They hugged me and sang songs for me. After that I was provided with a scrumptious meal. It was my first day to taste such luscious food like that. Soon after having my meal, I was given clothes, shoes, and blankets. Then I was shown my house and was introduced to my parents. The house was like a mansion as I compared it with my previous mud house.
When evening came I was shown my bed. It was unbelievable that I, Steven, was going to sleep on that exquisite bed. When I was stepping onto the bed, it was like I was stepping on heaven. I was taught how to use the flush toilets and how to switch on and off the lights since it was my first day to live in a house which had electricity. That night I whispered to myself that I was starting a new life. I dreamt a lot and I even woke up very late because the mattress was so comfortable.  
Steven says he couldn't believe his eyes when he first saw his new home
                                      Steven couldn't believe his eyes when he first saw his new home. 
The next day, my parents taught me how to pray and about the Word of God, a thing which my guardians failed to provide me with. At first I was surprised to learn who Jesus and God were. After a short while, little by little, I came to know them more and better. I started attending school; that was grade four. I was given a school bag, school shoes, and new clothes, and all writing materials.  
Since I was finding it difficult to read and write, my house parents did not leave me like that. They did their best to teach me how to read and write. After school time, there were remedial classes and I benefited a lot from these classes. By the time I developed a skill of reading and writing, I started performing wonders in class. In grade five, I took first position. From that day, I took first position every year up to high school. It was in this year that I received Christ as my personal savior. Now that I know Christ, I can preach, and we usually go for evangelism to the nearby villages surrounding us.  
The Lord even healed my sores and my ear problems through the care given to me by my parents. And all this is because of COTN.  
It wasn't long before Steven began receiving letters and photos from a group of people on the other side of the world—the people who made his rescue and restoration possible. Steven's sponsors have their own story of how God called them to sponsor, and how He knit their lives together with Steven's. Stay tuned next week to hear their story and find out where Steven is today!
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