Granny's House - Calabar, Nigeria
Granny is a dear friend and a wonderful woman of over 85 years in age. For countless years she has been taking in children who have nowhere else to go...a different kind of orphan. We have all heard of kids who are orphaned as their parents have deceased. But these kids are 'orphans' because the parents have discarded them. Lots of reasons: they need a scape goat, someone to blame for the bad things happening in the family/village, etc and a child is singled out, perhaps b/c of the behavior, traits, etc. They then need to be 'removed' in order to gain the favor back from whatever gods or leadership they believe in. The kids are either outright killed, sent into the jungle, sometimes bound and left, thrown into rivers with crocodiles, some families pay to have someone take them out and kill them. Others who are more blatant will simply have the child mutilated for sacrifice or sell their body parts to witch doctors or others for fetishes.
Some kids 'hear' from concerned others of the upcoming plan of their demise and run away. These are called running children. They usually run to a city and live on the streets. They know if they are found, they will be taken back and killed. Their parents are also at risk b/c the child 'got away' and wasn't killed, so the gods aren't pacified and their original troubles will still exist.
Other kids are those born to young girls, mad women, or inconvenient births. They are usually thrown into the gutter or garbage can at birth. Some are found and are given to people willing to raise them. In 2009 while we were living there, there was a single week in which 8 babies were found in the dustbins or gutter in our city. It is an epidemic.
And so, that leads me to back Granny's House. This is her actual home and she has over 20 kids with her there. She houses and raises them all in her own way. They have food and a safe place. Some go to school. Others just grow up and move away. Jon has always had a heart to help her and those kids. On his most recent trip to Nigeria he worked to include some of the older kids at Granny's House in his Seeds of Life Program. It was a wonderful opportunity for the older ones to participate in gainful employment, be given an opportunity to prove themselves and establish a work ethic. We hope to have Granny's House be an integral part of the Seeds of Life program and we will keep you informed as it continues to develop.
So why are we telling you of Granny? Well, we don't know what else to do. We are asking for prayers and that God will show us what's next. Perhaps someone will hear of this need and step up to help. They really need a different place or where they are, totally redone. There aren't any funds and it's such a big project that Jon and I don't know where to turn.
There is much more to tell in this story that we did not feel to place in the website. Should you be interested in this project, please contact us. Thank you.
Jon stopped by for a visit in March. These are the kids that were at Granny's that morning.
A few years ago I tried to put together some of our pictures and video to show a bit of what we experience in Africa. I used the music of Jason Upton to speak for us.
Granny's kids are near the middle of the video.