Zambia (MNN) — Hundreds of thousands of children have been orphaned in Zambia. Now, they struggle to survive, often wondering where their next meal will come from and if they will be cared for, let alone get an education.
Grace Ministries International is ensuring many of them can have all three of these provisions.
"Zambia is one of those countries hit very, very hard with AIDS, so there are many orphans. And our church began figuring out what was the best way to reach them," said Sam Vinton, executive director of GMI.
Pulling these kids away from their remaining relatives and placing them in orphanages has proved to disconnect from their culture. Thus, GMI has established three schools in Zambia to provide education, food and training for these children while they remain with relatives.
Vinton said the program started eight or nine years ago, and Tim and Debbie Meier now head up the program. Today, they have classes up to eighth grade.
"We have found this to be a very effective way of doing this kind of ministry to orphans without pulling them out of their own culture and out of their families," Tim said.
For orphans who do not have any living relatives, GMI helps place them in Christian homes where they will hear about Christ's love; many accept Him as their Savior.
For orphans who do have family members, GMI allows the kids to stay with them. When these children come to school, it is there that they have the chance to learn about Christ. This presents an opportunity for the whole community to be exposed to this message.
"If they're going back into their own families, they're affecting the families who are non-Christians. And so, we feel that all-around, this has become a very good evangelistic tool," Vinton said.
GMI is looking for teachers who are solid in their faith and will be good examples to the children they teach.
Pray for God to provide these teachers and to continue guiding GMI in their ministries.
Interested in teaching in Zambia? Click here for more information. Or you can visit GMI's Web site to help with the ever-present need for funds. So far, Vinton said God has provided for all their financial needs, and he thanks everyone who has and continues to support them.