When my brother in law was asked to come on board with Children of the Nations (COTN), a nonprofit we knew and loved, we could not have been more thrilled. And we wanted to be behind them in this faith venture in every way. As we talked about how to support them, knowing we already had our “give” dollars going several different directions, I sat down and talked with our kids.
Chifundo’s father died in 1997, leaving his mother to care for his family alone. Chifundo was still in primary school at the time, so his education was free. The problem was food. His mother could only do casual labor as a source of income, which didn’t earn enough to feed Chifundo and his family consistently.
Kelly Melton is a Children of the Nations sponsor who’s traveled to Sierra Leone several times with us and other organizations. Earlier this year, she was planning her eighth visit to the country—this time with COTN—when the Ebola outbreak forced us to cancel all Venture Trips to Sierra Leone. Still, Kelly felt compelled to go and use her medical training to help the people there.
“I was more of a herdsman than a child,” Emmanuel says of his life before Children of the Nations (COTN). Orphaned at age six when his father succumbed to a month-long illness, Emmanuel was sent to live with his uncle and aunt in their village in Uganda.
Exploring a new culture with your family can be lots of fun! Here are five interactive ways you can teach your child about each of the countries COTN serves. Discover new food, fun facts, and more. We suggest you begin with your sponsored child’s country and work your way around the world!
With all the media hype around Ebola, it can be hard to get an accurate picture of the immediate and long-term impact this disease is having on everyday life in Sierra Leone. I sat down with Quami Agbermodji—one of the first children COTN cared for, and now a member of COTN–Sierra Leone's board of directors—during his brief trip to the US, to get a better picture of the daily struggle Ebola presents.
As Tim Pelczar listened to his friend describe the struggles of the children he’d met in Malawi, Tim couldn’t help but think of his nine-year-old son, Christian. What if Christian didn’t have enough food? What if he couldn’t go to school? Would someone help his son? “As a father, you don’t want to see any child suffer,” Tim says.
Kari Freeman took a deep breath and kept her head down behind the curtain. The audience— more than thirty Malawian children with special needs and their caretakers—sat completely silent. Kari tried to stay focused on her part in the puppet show, but she was nervous. The children had never heard a story like this before. Would they understand it? Would they like it?
Garrett Norman doesn't think long about what it would be like to grow up in Africa with his disability. "I would not have survived," he says, shaking his head. The resources he has here to live with cerebral palsy are unheard of there.
That's why 13-year-old Garrett wanted to sponsor an African boy with special needs. Garrett and his mom, Lisa, responded to the need for 750 new sponsors this summer and he chose Mohamed—a deaf boy from a tiny village in Sierra Leone.
The night Larry Mitchell died, God spoke to his pastor, Jayson Turner. Jayson strongly felt that God was asking him to do something big in honor of Larry’s life.
After spending time with Larry's family, Jayson prayed into the night, and remembered something Larry said on his death bed: “We need to be concerned about taking care of the kids. We need to be raising them up well. The kids are the future.”