I was able to spend two nights at the village of Chamadenga and see firsthand the ministry of Bright Vision. Here are some quick thoughts:
- The needs of the village are great if not overwhelming. Add to their material poverty the common broken family situation and it makes the situation dire. Today we visited two child-run households. These are orphans who take care of their elderly grandparent(s) and so most are not able to go to school. It is heartbreaking.
- It is good to know therefore that Bright Vision sponsors such households and also sponsors older children to go to secondary school (it’s not free)
- Shirley Ogata brought two soccer balls from home and when I kicked one to the children, they were so excited. I will never forget the look on their faces. These children don’t even have a ball to kick around.
- It’s strange that households don’t have running water but some people have cell phones! (They manage to disrupt meetings even there)
- There is need for biblical training for leaders. I assumed the leaders I trained knew the Bible but quickly realized some had heard the passages I taught from for the very first time.
- What makes a ministry like Bright Vision thrive is a key leader in the community who has the trust of the people like Stanley and a leader who can provide administrative insight and outside perspective like Kellen Hiroto. The village is being transformed because God brought these two men together.
- Though I led training sessions for leaders of Bright Vision, I told them that they trained me in what it meant to be faithful, diligent, content and committed to demonstrating sacrificial love to the children. In many ways, I learned more from them.
- Getting away from the distractions of the city, the biggest lesson may be realizing just what it is we need to live. Hint, it’s not much.
I’m grateful to God for my time in the village and experiencing firsthand the needs of the people and how God is moving there.