A Unique Bond Across Nations: A Sponsor's Testimony

07/09/13

I first met Grecious in the summer of 2011 during a Children of the Nations (COTN) Venture Trip to Malawi with my church. I was immediately drawn to how, well, gracious he was. Soft-spoken and kind, he welcomed me, a fellow brother in Christ, into his home. Grecious and I share a common bond that allows us to relate to each other in a special way—we both have a disability called cerebral palsy. 

 
Michael and Grecious formed an instant friendship when they met. Though they are from very different cultures, they have a lot in common. 
 
Grecious was 16 years old when we met. I was amazed that although we lived so far apart, we had so much in common. We talked about our favorite kind of music (he likes hip-hop and Christian music), the Bible stories that inspire us, and what daily life is like in our respective countries.  He told me his dreams of finishing secondary school, continuing his education, working in ministry, and getting married someday. I realized that Grecious’ dreams for his life were not that different from the dreams I’ve had (and still have) for my life. These dreams were another thing that bonded us together.
 
Grecious is extremely intelligent and has not allowed his disability to stop him from pursuing an education. I remember the challenges I faced during grade school. God has blessed me with a wonderful family and my parents always fought to make sure I had everything I needed to succeed. They sat through countless meetings with teachers, administrators, and counselors in order to get the necessary adaptations for me. God has blessed Grecious with a wonderful mother as well. I have seen the way she supports him, and it reminds me of the way my parents have dedicated their lives to support me in everything I do. 
 
Grecious told me that one of his favorite verses is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all this through [Christ Jesus] who gives me strength.” Indeed, Grecious has discovered the power in this verse. Grecious and I spent several days together, and he always had a smile on his face, always seemed content, and always had an encouraging word for me. His joy is contagious. 
 
Michael and Grecious in Malawi
 
Before going back home, I decided to sponsor Grecious. If our roles were reversed, I know he would do the same for me in an instant.
 
On June 29, Grecious crossed the finish line and graduated secondary school. He was among the inaugural class of graduates from the International Christian Academy, COTN’s first secondary school in Malawi. This is an amazing accomplishment for Grecious. I stand with him as a friend and brother in Christ, anxious to see what’s next in his life and how God will use him. All I know is that God is going to change lives through Grecious’ faithfulness.
 
"If our roles were reversed, I know he would sponsor me in an instant"
 
Last year I received a letter from Grecious that brought a smile to my face. (Actually, it made me laugh out loud!) At the end of the letter he wrote, “My eyes are full with tears because I have missed you, but I think they can dry because you are coming next year.” That kind of friendship and dedication to a person halfway around the world is not common. I am happy to say I am returning to Malawi this summer, and I am excited to congratulate my brother and hear what his plans are for the future.


 
Read Grecious' testimony about how his sponsors have helped him make it to where he is today.  
 
You can change a child's life. Sponsor a child in Africa today!