“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
- Joshua 24:15
Our dream to build a home for vulnerable children in Zambia began years ago. We had a vision to create a safe haven and family environment for orphans who have never had a place to sleep at night, a family who cared for them, or even one meal a day.
We met a girl named Hope. Her story is not unlike a million other children in Zambia who are orphans and battle the HIV/AIDS epidemic. These children are thrown into a vicious cycle that their parents and grandparents have faced for generations—and they are just desperate to survive. And that’s the key word—survive. These kids have learned to scrape by in life with very little education, no nutritious meals, and have adapted to fend for themselves at an early age. This cycle must be broken.
Arise Home is meant to accomplish exactly that. This home will take children out of the cycle, all they have ever known, and put them in an environment where they can thrive. We are committed to raising godly children, who are well educated, healthy, and gracious—empowering them to make a difference in their country.
Arise Home is run by two adoring housemothers. These women truly love these children as if they are their own. They alternate shifts so there is always one present in the house. A beloved gardener, Jeffrey, has taken on a father-figure role for the kids. He teaches them how to plant fruits and vegetables, he takes the boys out for haircuts and cokes, and he lovingly confronts the kids when needed.
The kids who live in Arise Home will stay there until they complete high school—whether that is when they are 18 or 25 years old. After they graduate, we hope to help them apply to universities, attend a trade school, and become productive citizens of Lusaka. At present, the home has 9 children living there, but it has room to hold more. We want to be careful that these children receive the attention they deserve. The Arise Africa staff that serves in Zambia helps us choose the kids who need to be placed in this home. They know the children in the most life threatening circumstances who quickly need to be placed in a healthier environment.
In 2014, Kershaw’s Challenge raised funds to purchase land for a second children’s home. Arise Africa had the exciting vision of having two homes—one for boys and one for girls. This will allow more specific care for the children as they grow up. We love this vision and opportunity! In 2015, we raised enough funds to completely build the home. By God's grace, the second home opened at the end of summer 2016 and now serves as the girls' new home. Now that two homes exist, Arise Africa will be able to care for even more children—what a gift!
Lord willing, these homes will last for many, many years to come. It is exciting to be standing at the beginning of something filled with such Christ-centered hope.
To discover more about The Arise Home and read the bios of each child, visit here.