A Child's Story – Hellen Apio of Uganda

04/16/09

Nine-year-old Hellen Apio comes from the village of Barlonyo in Uganda. Her parents were both killed in a rebel attack in 2004 when the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebels burned down their hut. Hellen herself barely escaped the fire, with scars to remind her of what had happened. With both of her parents gone, she was left to an aunt who eventually could not properly care of her.

"During my time in the village," Hellen remembers, "the grass thatched hut we slept in didn't even have enough basic facilities such as beds, plastic chairs, sofa sets and electrical lights. I also didn't have shoes or nice clothes to put on or a piece of soap to clean with. I was rarely able to go to school for lack of money to pay for it, and getting enough food was also a problem I had to overcome. We were very poor in the village."

Hellen had to work hard to take care of her own family, and because of this she was denied time to study for school—a priority which the aunt wasn't concerned with at all.

Life has changed a lot for Hellen Apio since joining Children of the Nations (COTN) in 2006. "Since coming to COTN," she says, "my school fees are now being paid, I have good clothes to wear, and we get to sleep on nice beds and enjoy having good lights as well."

Hellen knows exactly what she wants for herself. "In the future, I would like to be a nurse and have a well fenced home like COTN. My house will be nicely furnished, with my pictures hanging on the walls, and a gate and window. My children will be able to study and be as brilliant as I am. In my compound I would like to have trees planted as well as fruits. I would be very smart at all times, and welcome whomever comes to visit my home through the gate, though I would also be careful to watch for the bad people who might want to come in."

God has certainly blessed Hellen with confidence and hope for a very bright future. Praise God that she can have such high hopes despite coming from such tragedy. Join us in praying for her continued spiritual growth, that she maintains a strong relationship with Christ her provider and that she passes along her optimism to everyone who comes into contact with her.

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