“There’s No Place Like Kwathu”
“The word Kwathu means “my place” or “my home” and home is exactly what I feel the minute I step into Kwathu Children’s Home in Livingstone, Zambia. I was blessed with an opportunity to visit there this past June and the experience has changed my life forever.
Having been a volunteer with Grace Klein community for over a year now, I had heard many stories and seen many pictures of the children at Kwathu. I even had several opportunities to help at events raising funds for the children there. I quickly developed a heart for these kids and longed to one day meet them.
Finally, an opportunity presented itself to head out with a team to Zambia and meet the people and children I had already come to love though I had never met. Having never flown before, I was a bit nervous but completely excited at the same time.
After nearly two full days of travel, we made it to Zambia on June 2, 2016. At the Zambian airport, we met Jeanette and Agrippa Phiri. The wonderful couple who run Kwathu Children’s Home. Along with them, a few of the younger children who live at the home tagged along to pick us up as well. They made us feel like family, it was like we had known each other all along. As we were leaving the airport, a little girl named Nelia reached up for me to hold her and she then sat in my lap holding me tight the whole ride home.
Being a pre-school teacher, I naturally gravitated to the “babies” of Kwathu; the six children under the age of 6. One little girl named Anna in particular completely stole my heart. Anna is a vivacious four-year old who has already been through so much, even though she is so young. Anna taught me so much about life and how to live it. She is so bold and tenacious and is still so trusting even after everything she has been through.
The ten days we had there went by way too fast. The Heavenly Father taught me so much while there and really challenged me in so many ways. He challenged me by allowing my suitcase to stay in the Johannesburg Airport the duration of the trip. This was a lesson in learning to accept help and not always being the one to take care of everyone. Through this, I was also reminded that there is a big difference in what you need and what you want.
God also used people and scriptures to hit home what he needed to teach me while away on this trip. The passage that challenged me the most was Isaiah 43. The passage talks about us being made for the glory of the Heavenly Father. We are not to fear for the Lord is with us and we are His witnesses. This passage along with a bold message from a new found friend challenged me to examine my life and really see what God’s plan for my life. I was challenged to be bolder, fully surrendered, without hesitation, and no holding back to let God use me and complete His work in me. With lots of prayer and reading I was able to discern that God doesn’t just want parts of me, He wants all of me and he wants me to go back to Africa and teach there for at least a year.
I had always felt called to go on overseas mission trips, but convinced myself short term trips were all God wanted from me. God used a short term trip to help me realize that He really does want me on long term trips to fully and completely rely on Him for everything.”
“You are my witnesses, declares the Lord and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior.” – Isaiah 43:10-11
On June 12, 2017, Rebekah will be returning to Kwathu Children’s Home to serve for 1 year alongside Agrippa and Jeanette Phiri, Directors of Kwathu Children’s Home.
If you feel God leading you to contribute towards Rebekah’s necessities during her time in Africa, here is a breakdown of her expenses, and areas where you can commit to sow:
Water / Power:
- $10 daily
- $70 a week
- $280 per month
- $3650 per year
- $50 a week
- $200 per month
- $2,400 per year
Emergency Medical Fund:
- $500 per year
Personal Expenses / Fuel:
- $200 per month
- $2,400 per year
Travel / Entry Visa / Work Permit:
- $120 a week
- $480 a month
- $5,760 a year (excluding personal expenses, medical and travel costs)
Total plus personal expenses, medical, travel, visa and permit costs: $11,450 a year
Together, for less than $12,000, we can send a surrendered heart to serve the least of these, for a full calendar year.
Here’s how you can give:
1. Check donations can be mailed to: Grace Klein Community, 1678 Montgomery Hwy #104, Birmingham, AL 35216. Please indicate “Rebekah Lowrey” in memo line.