In the most beautiful, mountainous landscape you could ever imagine, the Rift Valley of Kenya is a land of contrasts.
While waterfalls, canyons, and wild monkeys complement glorious sunsets, not all who find themselves in this land have time to appreciate its beauty -- at least, not when basic needs aren’t met.
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Through the crazy red dirt and rocky “roads” in Bartabwa, we found ourselves sitting in a church with no walls in front of a glowing woman who, though shy at first, was excited to share her story.
“Life was very tough; we didn’t have anything,” Rospela tells us. This 26-year-old mother of four struggled to care for her family until something miraculous happened: World Vision entered her community, and her son, Brian, was sponsored.
Brian is a delightful kid with a big smirk on his face and a proud soccer ball in his hands. (It was made from garbage-collected string and plastic). In addition to loving ball games, this bright kid enjoys learning about lions and dreams of traveling overseas one day.
Through the sponsorship program and a special gift from Brian’s sponsor, Brian’s family now has a house, bedding, blankets, clothes, a lantern for studying at night, and even a cow.
Though the house doesn’t have much in it, Rospela is thankful because the iron sheet roof protects her family from the rain -- and in the few days we spent there, we learned that when it rains, it certainly pours.
Rospela hopes that Brian will have a “bright future and be a responsible man.” Her smile speaks of the joy that she “cannot express” as a result of the blessing Brian’s sponsor has been to her family.
World Vision is just two years into a 15-year plan for community development in Bartabwa, so Brian’s future indeed is looking bright: a wonderful contrast to the difficulties his family previously faced.
Jonathan Lo is a part of World Vision's social media team. He recently traveled to Kenya with the 2012 True Spirit of Christmas Tour.
Become a World Vision child sponsor today. Your love and commitment for a boy or girl in need will help provide basics like nutritious food, clean water, healthcare, education, spiritual nurture, and more. You'll help form the foundation for a future of hope, while building a special relationship with a child who will know your name and feel your prayers.