Zambia (MNN) — In a country already ravaged by HIV/AIDS causing hundreds of thousands of children to be orphaned, ancestral worships customs threaten to kill thousands more.
Teen Missions International has 15 rescue units throughout Zambia, providing aid since 2002. However, among the Ushi tribe and other people groups, they have developed another ministry to help dispel lies, geared toward mothers.
For generations, these people have practiced ancestral worship, or witchcraft. They believe that when children are ill at birth, they are possessed by evil spirits and cursed.
Kathy Vanderpool with Teen Missions says, "When children are born, many of them don't survive. And that could be because of lack of food or medical issues. If they are not well, they are immediately taken to the witch doctor. Usually it's difficult for them to survive, so they continue to be sick."
The witch doctors place charms on them, and the mothers hope their children will improve. However, when the babies continues to get worse, they again return to the witch doctor, who is unable to give the babies the proper care they need.
That's why Teen Missions has set up nutrition seminars to teach mothers the correct way to care for young children.
Vanderpool said the country does provide some basic care for moms when children are born, such as shots. However, the mothers' seminars are the only programs aiding the mothers with nutritional information.
At the seminars, mother's are taught about the importance of a clean water sources and what food they need to give their babies for proper nutrition.
For many babies, it is the difference between life and death.
"It's a real need, and the facilitators have an opportunity to share Jesus Christ through nutrition and the health classes they have. They also have a Bible study with moms when they come for this nutrition seminar," Vanderpool said.
In fact, one mother brought her baby to Teen Missions for prayer and healing.
"And the Lord was gracious and healed that baby," Vanderpool said. News of the event spread to other young mothers, and soon they were bringing their babies to Teen Missions for healing, instead of the witch doctors.
Through this, Teen Missions has been able to share with their mothers the salvation message and introduce them to the true Healer of their children.
It costs $4,000 to continue these seminars for a six-week period and fund the units across Zambia. Consider donating today by clicking here.
Also, pray for more mothers to come to the seminars and for blinders to be removed from their eyes that they see the truth of Jesus Christ.