When I met Sharon in November last year, we were delighted to discover we were the same age as one another… but as I sat in the hot, Kenyan sun and listened to her story, my heart broke – our lives are worlds apart.
Here’s what she told me.
“My name is Sharon, I am 34 years old and I have four children.
When I was young, my life was full of hardships. I never finished school due to lack of school fees. I felt very troubled for it was like I was the only breadwinner in the family, everyone looked upon me, but I had not much to offer them.
This led me into an early marriage and having children while we were not yet stable. I was struggling to start a life which I was not yet fit for. I was only seventeen years old.
My husband was not working, and I was going out to look for casual work to help me get food for my children. There was a lot of starvation.
I had a lot of problems and always thought back about my life and how I started as a young girl. I thought if I had finished school, maybe I would be a better person. But when I heard about a development project starting in my area, I thought about how my life would be in the future… and with courage and determination, I believed this could change our lives.
I have now been able to receive a lot of trainings that have really transformed the life of my family. We have doubled our household income and improved food nutrition for the family.
All my children are in school now and I feel very happy. I give thanks to God that I am always able to make sure my children have a good education to avoid future struggles in life. I keep calling my Lord to look into the lives of my children, to have a better and bright future and pass well in school.
I have seen God’s wonders in my life, for whatever I pray for is provided in Jesus name. Always, with great efforts, I see His deeds in my life.
We are very grateful to them who have seen our problems.”
Sharon’s quiet strength taught me volumes about faith and perseverance. Hers has been a life of struggle and poverty, mine is a life of boundless opportunity.
How much I have to be grateful for. Not the least of which is this… that I have the privilege of expressing generosity towards mums like Sharon – of actually seeing her and responding in love.
Will you join me?
Your generous gift to the Matching Grant Appeal will be matched with an Australian Government Aid grant – and that means up to six times the impact for mums like Sharon! Don’t miss this once a year opportunity. Give before the June 30 deadline and support mums like Sharon to end poverty for their family and ensure bright futures for their children. Go to: baptistworldaid.org.au/matching-grant.
Samara Linehan has worked for Baptist World Aid Australia since 2015. She is also a current member of the Donate Your Day board. Samara is passionate about telling stories which help people to connect with one another.