Today’s story comes from the island nation of Madagascar [mad-ah-GAS-car], off the coast of eastern Africa. [Locate Madagascar on the map.]
In any large city there are rich people and poor people. In the capital city of Madagascar many are poor—very poor. Many parents can’t afford to give their children good food or to send them to school. These children have little hope for a better life when they grow up. Let’s meet some of these children.
Natu and Nome
Natu* and Nome are 5-year-old twin girls. They live with their father and six brothers and sisters in a tiny house. Their mother died, and their eldest sister cares for the family. Their father can’t earn enough to give the children what they need.
The family eats mostly rice and some cassava leaves or cabbage. Sometimes they can have beans.
Natu and Nome like to make mud pies that they pretend to serve to the rag doll that their sister made for them. The girls’ older brothers and sisters have been to school for a few years, but their father can’t afford to buy the school uniforms and books the twins need to attend school.
Avotra and Kandu
Avotra is 4 years old. She has no father, but lives with her mother and three brothers and sisters. She likes to pretend that she’s cooking with her mother. She makes pretend cakes from mud and water. “But I don’t eat them,” she says.
Kandu is 5 years old and has five brothers and sisters. She likes to play school with her friends. She’s usually the teacher, even though she’s not the oldest. Kandu has a slate on which she writes pretend lessons with chalk. She would like to be a teacher someday, but her mother can’t afford to send her to school.
Hope for a Better Life
Women from the Adventist church in the city have seen these children’s difficult lives and want to help the families. Each of these children—and many more like them—has lost at least one parent. They are poor, and their greatest needs are good food and an education.
The women are working with a group of these children, teaching them simple health rules such as washing their hands and brushing their teeth. They are teaching the parents how to care for their children. But they need so much more help.
The women want to start a children’s home so that the most needy children can have good food and health care. They will attend a nearby Adventist school and get an education that will give them a chance at a better future. But they need help to make their dream a reality.
Part of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering will help build a children’s home so that at least some of these children can have a chance at a better life. Let’s pray for these children and give a big offering on Thirteenth Sabbath.
*Children’s names have been changed to protect their privacy.