Responding to Tragedy
In September, Miyambo brought Charity’s story to us, and gave his account of what has been happening in Chifunabuzi village.
Charity was one of two wives to her husband and together they had two children. She became pregnant again and, to everyone’s surprise, gave birth to septuplets. As a result, she suffered a great deal. Her husband told her that she could not have so many children and chased her away. After that, the local authorities intervened and took six of these new-born children from her, leaving her with just one.
She returned to the village where her family lived, but as her mother was no longer alive, and her father had remarried, she found herself staying with her grandfather. For a while, he was able to look after her and her children, but he couldn’t support them for long. Life became more and more difficult, and Charity’s second-born tragically passed away.
‘Whether practically or spiritually,’ Miyambo said, ‘it seemed like no-one was able to help her.’
At this point, a member of the Chibose Life Group heard about what had happened to Charity and learned that she was unable to afford a coffin for the child she had lost. They brought this need to their group, and everyone agreed to give what they could to support her. Together they bought a coffin and stood by Charity at this traumatic time.
‘Just two weeks later,’ Miyambo said, ‘Charity’s house caught fire and everything was destroyed.’
When they heard about this, the Chibose group reached out to two other Life Groups in the vicinity, and together the three groups helped Charity clean up her home and rebuild the roof. Now, each week, group members send Charity and her children 10kg of cassava meal to help support her.
‘This has affected others in the community,’ Miyambo says. ‘Other Christians in Charity’s village were challenged by what they had seen the three Life Groups do. They saw the example of Christians working together and loving their neighbour and were so inspired by it that they have started a Life Group themselves.’
Charity’s story is marked with tragedy, and we can only image how difficult this time has been for her. We are so grateful and encouraged that a group of God’s people saw her and chose to respond with loving action, surrounding her and sharing the burdens she carries.