143 million. The estimated number of children in the world today who have lost at least one parent. About 16.2 million of these have lost both of their parents. This overwhelming number begs us to ask the question – how can we even begin to help these children? One by one.
ServLife believes in helping empower the dreams of others. A unique way this has happened is allowing Americans to donate to the project dreamed through Emmanueal Shaw from Sierra Leone and American Rachel Wilson through ServLife International.
Emmanuel Sajor Shaw started Mercy Children’s Orphanage (MCO) in the Fall of 2005 in Waterloo, Sierra Leone, housing only five orphans in a small rent house without furniture or electricity. In a pool of 143 million, five children doesn’t seem like very many, but the only way to start decreasing that number is to start small. Rachel Wilson, (Indiana native currently working as an engineer), had met Emmanuel while volunteering on the Anastasia Mercy Ship the year before. When she learned that he had acquired an orphanage, she set about fundraising to provide beds, school tuition, and Christmas gifts. By 2006, Emmanuel was caring for ten children, had a larger home, and was recognized by the government as a legitimate children’s home.
Since then, the Lord has miraculously provided funds to buy a property for MCO, build an office, a two-story dorm, a well, a poultry barn for 1000 birds, and a garden that sustains them during the rainy season. The children receive education, food, a place to sleep, healthcare, and an environment where they are being shown Christ’s love.
MCO still provides for ten children, and has now been given the opportunity to add five more from the social welfare system of Sierra Leone, provided that they have the funds to care for them. Five more children out of 143 million. It seems so small and trivial, but to each one of those children it’s a new life meeting their physical needs, and the chance to hear the Gospel and be saved spiritually.
In the face of a problem so huge, we tend to dismiss the issue as too big to address, thinking, I could never help that many children! MCO is not equipped to help that many children either, but they are equipped to help ten, and hopefully soon fifteen. One by one they are using their resources, volunteers, and funds from all over the world to bring new life to these children. One by one, Mercy Children’s Orphanage is making a difference. One by one, we could too.