Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Meet Nwabisa

I want to introduce you to Nwabisa. (Nwa-BEE-suh)

She is one of my fab five in the classroom. Nwabisa is one of three sisters. She's the one in the middle.

We're not sure how old Nwabisa is, or when her birthdate falls. We guessed she was about five years old and decided to celebrate her 5th birthday in September.

Nwabisa and her sisters joined us around June.

When I met Nwabisa, it was late August. Her English language skills were at the bare minimum. She just smiled.

In August, she was very much not-adjusted to living in a home of love and food and gentleness. When I saw her, she was instantly adhered to me in some form. Touching, holding, squeezing my legs, my arms, my neck.. anything she could manage. It was as if she was very much afraid that this sweet attention I was giving her, would up and run away at any given moment.

Nwabisa has too much history for any five year old. Her little heart and little body have witnessed more than they ought. All three sisters have different dads. Nwabisa grew up in Markman, which is a township outside of Port Elizabeth.

Township life is rough, to say the least. During the Apartheid (the separateness of black and white), the townships were built by the government to house the black people. They are way out of town, and usually you can smell them before you can see them. Its just a flood of one-story crammed shacks for miles. The violence and danger in the townships are like no other. The poverty, the disease, the starvation and the uneducation are trademarks of township life. So that's where Nwabisa called home for the first five (?) years of her beginning.

Luckily, Nwabisa and her sisters' story was found out. She was rescued from her living hell and taken to a place of refuge. She is now trying to figure out what it means to not live in fear.

Nawbisa is raw. She has Markman still on the brain. There are moments in class when she leaves. Not physically, but psychologically she retreats to some god awful place. Her eyes stop being curious about life; they go empty into a blank stare.

Nwabisa is a living example of the tragedy that befalls so many young African children. But her story now has hope written at the end. She now has a fighting chance.

The change I've seen in this young girl over the last 3 months reminds me that God is still here. God hasn't deserted this continent. When the apathy, the primal condition, the backwardness of this land makes me wonder where its headed and why I'm here, I can look at her and see the flicker of change. The flicker of hope for this dark land.

Nwabisa's heart is softening. She is sweet, eager to please, eager to discover if the love I give her is leaving tomorrow. She tries desperately to keep my affection. She's still fighting fear. She's still fighting rejection, abandonment.

I must be proactive with her. I must be the one to initiate the hugs and kisses. I must be the first to tell her ndiyakuthanda. I love you.

So this is Nwabisa. A beautiful girl, fleeing the grasp of close disaster and looking towards the Light.


Casey Dawn said...

Brooke! I'm so excited that you started a blog! Thank you for sharing about Nwabisa. I'm so glad you are in such a position to be Christ to those little kids. I hope you tell more stories often. Praying for you...

Jill said...

Thank you for sharing the children with us on this side of the earth. Our hearts are there with you and the beautiful children you are so blessed to teach. What a wonderful and impacting mission!

Anonymous said...

Hey Brooke!

So good to hear from you. Great Pictures. We are all so proud of you! I just wanted you to know that you can be expecting some support from your Art Professors as well as from the Art Club. We will be sending financial support to your org. before the end of the year.

Keep up he great work and God Bless your efforts. Keep Safe!


Nicholas Evans said...

Hi Brooke, WOW, what else can I say, I hope that you are enjoying yourself and learning a lot as well as teaching these children. I'm sure you will help them through everything and they will grow up better for your influence. It's such a wonderful thing to be doing and I wish you all the best for the time to come.

“You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can't forget. Those are your 'friends.'”

Hope all goes well

Nick Evans UK

Crystal Renaud said...

you absolutely amaze me. you write with such passion and detail. i look forward to these posts to get to know these beautifully amazing little ones that you are allowed to impact and who impact you daily. you are in my constant prayers, dear friend. as are these little ones.

can't wait until we're doing ministry in that country together.

squeeze on PhaPhama for me.

Tammy said...

Brooke it was so good to read your blog and see pictures of sweet Nwabisa. You are in my thoughts and prayers friend and so are those sweet children God has entrusted you with. The boys send their love and hugs! They miss you. Seth still talks about Brooke's socky 1 and socky 2 song! :) You are leaving your mark on many! Thanks for loving Jesus!
Love You!

Traci said...

You are amazing woman doing incredible things with these children. You are touching their lives in ways you will never even realize! I can't wait to see your school in March!

Shauna said...

What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. This is a very real and moving story. It touched my heart.
God bless,