Esther is Back!

Happy New Year!

We hope each of you have had a joyful and HOPE-filled start to 2016. We are so excited to share the results of our year-end campaign soon, but first we wanted to share this story. And if you’re new to our CiH family, welcome!

As many of you know, one of our ladies, Esther, was in a tragic accident a couple months back, resulting in the death of her husband and two of their children. Esther is part of the House of Moses Orphanage partnership class, identified as vulnerable to having her children taken away if her and her husband couldn’t find a way to earn an income. This vulnerable identification was placed on them from the Zambian government before the accident. 

Imagine the past couple of months that Esther has faced. Not only did she bury her baby and first born child, but she also attended the funeral of her husband, housed all out-of-town relatives for months, lost her primary income source (her husband), and struggled to survive. 

After we shared her difficult story, you all stepped up, big time. You donated almost $1,000 to cover her immediate expenses of food, soap, child’s school fees, etc. And together with the community of our CiH classes, Esther and her remaining child have survived. They have been comforted, encouraged, uplifted. They have felt great pain, but they have also experienced great hope through the women surrounding her who have spent hours praying with her, cooking for her, cleaning her entire home. 

We expected Esther to be out of class for weeks, months, potentially a year, until she could get herself out of bed and re-join the group. But just THIS WEEK, the start of a new year and her graduation year, Esther walked back through our doors. Still tender, still hurt, but walking forward, stepping into community, and making progress in her healing process. 

(Esther in yellow, working on her end-of-course practical exams)

(Esther in yellow, working on her end-of-course practical exams)

We are so proud of Esther. We are so overjoyed to have her back at our Chikondi Community Center. Esther thanks each one of you who have played a part in her story of rising from the ashes. It’s just the beginning, but she is so very thankful. 

And also just as exciting, Esther is looking forward to the future now. She is dreaming of ways to care for her child, not out of desperation but out of pride and hope. With your contributions made in 2015, we are able to provide Esther with a seed for her to launch her own business, a long-term solution to her immediate needs. 

Esther will receive a sewing machine and materials, an opportunity given to her by you. A rare occurrence in our programming, but a bright solution to a tragedy in our family. Esther will graduate this March, and she has already started working on her final examination sewing projects. She will start sewing and selling curtains as her business, and she is so excited about it. 

We are, too! For a woman to grasp a long-term solution rooted in education and independence, especially coming out of such a dark situation, is incredible. Her forward thinking and desire for dignifying work is such an encouragement to us, and I hope it is to you also, as Esther paves a new way for women in Zambia. 

Esther’s story has touched more lives than we thought possible. And she’s just one woman in our program. Thank you for being a part of a movement so impactful in the lives of so many. 

With Chikondi,