When Joyce was just 2 years old, her mother died. Just a few months later, she lost her father. She had no one except her grandparents, who took her in to raise her and give her the love she so needed.
Her grandparents are more than 60 years old, with no reliable source of income. Her grandfather had 20 children through two wives; currently, he and his wife care for six children of their own.
Just two years after her parents died, Joyce was diagnosed with tuberculosis — the disease that had taken her mother’s life. She was hospitalized at Kibong’oto hospital to receive TB injections and other medications.
Her health did not improve easily because the family could not afford the meals Joyce needed to support the strong medications she was taking.
Then Joyce was transferred to a government hospital, Mount Meru, where she continued treatment. Here, her grandparents did not have to pay for her bed and meals.
It was a great financial help to receive the TB treatment for free from the government hospital. Joyce continued with medication and prayer, and her situation improved significantly.
As they look back on what Joyce went through and her situation today, her family is full of gratitude. They confess it would have been very difficult without the support of our ministry during this time. Joyce’s grandmother shares,
“We are very thankful to God. It was the prayer of God’s people and the help we have received through the church that has made it possible for Joyce to be alive and thriving today. The pastor is very close to us as family and has been encouraging us a lot.”
As for Joyce’s grandfather, his joy was more in seeing what has happened since Joyce started attending the child development center. He tells us,
“We are blessed and have a lot of things. We have received food, sugar, clothes, a bed and a
mattress. We have tap water at home and two milk cows we bought with the money Joyce’s sponsor sent as a family gift. Joyce’s sponsor gave us another family gift and we have prepared cement blocks ready to build a brick house for Joyce.”
And the family’s cows have increased — they now have three! Tap water has also become a source of income as the family provides water service to the neighborhood at an affordable rate. Joyce’s grandmother explains,
“We charge those who take water from our home’s water source, Tshs 25 per 20-liter container (approx 15 cents USD), compared to Tshs 50 (30 cents USD) which other people charge. We consider this a service we can give to the community since we have received this water facility for free.”
Joyce is now a pupil in Ekenywa English Medium Primary School, a school owned and run by the local church. She is doing well in her studies and interacts well with other children at school and at the church.
The relationship with our ministry has had a positive impact not only on Joyce but also on her grandfather, who was not a member of the church. Today he attends church on a regular basis and thanks God for what He has done in their lives.
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Oh My Gosh! This is my child, Joyce!!! It has been such an honor and a privilege to be her sponsor! We met in January 2011 in Tanzania and she stole my heart and best of all she didn’t yet have a sponsor! ! I will be returning in March 2013 to visit again. I am so excited to see in person all the progress that has been made, to give her and her grandparents a big hug, and together give praise to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! My goal has to help them become self sufficient..to ‘give a leg up not a hand out’…and I am so happy to see it working out!
It is Darcy!! I’ll e-mail you soon because I have a few extra photos to pass along to you. 🙂
Praise God! The story is truly amazing. Will share with my girlfriend. The more children and families supported the better!!
Praise God! What an amazing story – Joyce’s story really brings the possibilities into light when we let Him lead our steps and direct our path. The impact we can have on those around us is immeasurable!