"I Will Pass On What You Have Given Me": Francisco's Story

09/03/15

Francisco remembers the last straw. He was eight years old and there was no food in the house. The walk to school was long. He couldn’t do it anymore. 
 

He also remembers his sister’s response. “She gave me courage,” he recalls. “She told me, ‘You can go to school without food, because this is your only hope of a future.’” The words clearly have an impact to this day. “I remember one day I cried in the middle of a lesson because I was so hungry,” Francisco recalls. But it didn’t matter. Education was his only way out. 
 
One day he saw dozens of children in his village eating a meal together. A group of Malawians and Americans from Children of the Nations had come to identify children in need of assistance through child sponsorship, and brought food for the children. But Francisco stayed away. He laughs when he explains why. “I was terrified of the white people.” 
 
Eventually his hunger was greater than his fear, and Francisco ventured close enough to get a meal. “It was the best decision I ever made,” he says today. It wasn’t long before COTN staff members recognized Francisco’s need and offered him education, meals, and other assistance through COTN’s Village Partnership Program. “I know now that it was God using COTN as my family to rescue me,” Francisco says. 


When the other children lined up for meals, Francisco stayed away at first. He was too afraid of the white volunteers who were helping establish COTN in Malawi. 
 
Making it through school got easier for Francisco after that. But his life didn’t. When he was a teenager, his mother, who had been sick his whole life, passed away. He and his siblings had no one to care or provide for them.
 
This was the lowest point for Francisco. “I had no one to go to, no one who could help me,” he says. But it was out of this low point that he says the best things happened. “I had no one to turn to but God,” Francisco says. “That’s when I started loving God the most.” It was also when he came to live in COTN’s new Children’s Home. “Everything became different,” he says. “We had time to do devotions, we showered every day, and never missed meals. We had beds ... so many things.”
 
Francisco looks back on the little boy who cried from hunger in class, and wonders how far he would have made it on determination alone. “When I look at my friends from the village today, it’s hard for them to just wake up in the morning and have a plan for the day,” Francisco says. “They end up doing nothing for their lives, nothing for their families.” 


Francisco graduated from college this June and says that unlike most young men in his vilage, his life has purpose and direction.
 
Because of the support people like you provided for Francisco, his days are not empty and hopeless like so many uneducated, unemployed young men in his village. Instead of doing nothing, Francisco is looking for ways he can pass on the blessing you gave him. When he graduated from African Bible College with a teaching degree in June, that goal got easier. 


Francisco and his COTN sister Promise both graduated from African Bible College through COTN's university program this June. 
 
This summer, Francisco had the experience of his life, teaching American students at a summer camp in Washington State. But he’ll be back in Malawi soon, looking for a job as a teacher.
 
Francisco has dedicated his life to helping others, but he wants you to know that was only possible because of people like you.

“I want to encourage all the people who support COTN,” he says, “In every little thing you give, it changes our lives. I am an example—your support has made me the person I am today. And in every little thing I do, I will always do it to serve others, to pass on what you have given me.”
 

Comments

This is priceless. Its amazing how a single act of love can change someone's lifetime.To God be the glory