The mission of Family Legacy Missions International is to “transform the lives of Zambian orphans”. It is very specific in its mission and they take it very seriously as a call from God to tend to the least of these. These forgotten children, that in their best circumstance at home, are in just dismal conditions as we would know it. We have only seen pictures and videos and have heard the testimonies of multiple people in my circle of acquaintances that surely do not even prepare us for what we are about to see and experience this summer. But we are ready, God is burning a hole in our hearts and souls for what is coming our way.
Tree of Life Children’s Village – The Next Piece
The vision for Tree of Life Village outside Lusaka, Zambia is to have 50 homes in the village (numbers 34 and 35 opened in December 2013). These 35 homes represent about 420 kids that have been rescued from the worst of the worst situations and now have a safe place of restoration!
The long range vision is to build 12 Children’s Villages throughout the country of Zambia to rescue orphans from abuse and poverty and bring holistic change to a nation in desperate need.
The current village also has a school, Faith Christian Academy, for the rescued orphans that live there to provide first class education for these kids to help equip them to become the future leaders in their country. The school will serve over 1,000 children every day. The school will provide a complete educational curriculum program for children in Kindergarten through the 12th Grade.
There are several curriculum choices to best suit the population of Tree of Life Children’s village at any given time. One follows the traditional model of age-based grades. The other track is a special condensed and accelerated model in order to address the needs of those children who have been delayed in entering the normal educational system by 4-8 years. Many times this delay is caused by the extreme poverty of the guardians and /or early forced labor of the children.
Many of the children rescued are identified during the private and personal interactions we get to have with the 10 children under our watch during Camp LIFE. I said earlier that Camp LIFE is so much more than just a week to feel good with the kids during vacation bible school…it is SO MUCH MORE.
Spiritual Teaching and Support
Full time pastors in the village build on the education by teaching the Word of God and encouraging them in their faith. Remember, the children at the Tree of Life come from the most severe backgrounds of poverty, abuse and neglect. Some are HIV positive, while others come from child-headed households. All are in need of healing, comfort and a fresh-start
How a Community Looks
Each house in the village houses 12 children with 2 house “moms” serving as the parents for those living there. They are grouped in neighborhood clusters of 5 houses with common courtyards with play equipment and space so the the community can gather. For the first time in many of these boys and girls lives they will be able to eat regularly, sleep soundly, relax, be safe, be loved and start to find hope!
In recent months, baseball fields have been added to the village to provide exercise and life experiences for the kids. A chance to let them be kids for the first time! The Tree of Life Children’s Village rounds out the major 3 prong strategy of restoration that supports the Family Legacy Missions International mission statement. Sponsorship dollars from around the world is what makes this successful, when we as believers take a small portion of what God has given to us to make a real and lasting impact on the least of these that have no hope otherwise.
4 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds ; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. 5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.