Feeding children in body, mind and spirit

Lorrin recently took on the role of children's ministry coordinator for Africa Area. Her own childhood experiences inspired Lorrin to provide a safe space for young people where they can be fed spiritually and physically.

Providing for children is something that Lorrin Kasale (Zambia) has always felt strongly about. As a teenager she instructed children how to care for their hair; as a young adult she taught Sunday school; in her 20s she joined missions, and now, she has recently taken on the role of children's ministry coordinator for the Africa Area.

Lorrin joined OM’s children's ministry in 2021, while living and working in a community of fishermen and farmers.

“I looked at the children,” she said. “Most of them were not going to school. Most of them were left at home to look after their younger siblings. They are six years, but they would look after a two- or three-year-old kid, which means they would not go to school because their parents are out there working.”

In response to the need she saw, Lorrin started children's church for the youngsters to meet for an hour every Sunday morning and to hear about Jesus, sing and get something to eat.

“They were always hungry,” Lorrin recalled. “Their parents would leave around 05:00 and they would come back 18:00 so kids had to look for their own meals. My heart was broken. I had someone to look after me when I was young. I had a roof and I had care. But these kids, they don't have that. I wanted to be that for them.”

Filling needs creatively

With limited funding and resources available, Lorrin has found creative ways to support the practical needs of the children in her care, taking inspiration from other communities.

“We heard a story about an Indian community that gives generously out of nothing. They had a place in the church where they encouraged everyone, every church member, to bring what they could. The people would bring a cup of rice every day when they came to church and put it in this big bag, and then when it was full, they would look around in the community and they would share the rice with the people who needed it.

“Mielie meal is something that is in every household in Zambia because it is our staple food. So, my family decided to say every time we cook, we would take a cup and put it in another bucket so that by the end of the week we could make porridge for these kids.

“We saw a lot of kids that were under nourished become happy and healthy again and they would play around. That gave me a lot of joy and I was like, Lord, this is what I can offer.

 “[The people in the community] let their children come to us because they knew they would be fed. But we also knew they would also be fed spiritually with the Word of God.”

The children are also invited to work in Lorrin’s garden, where they grow a variety of crops and also look after livestock.

Lorrin said, “Last year we tried to do grow maize and it was amazing how God blessed us. Even now we are eating from that same maize every Sunday, and we think we will be able to have enough to last to the next season.

“We also do vegetable gardens and we have animals – we rear pigs, chickens, goats and also ducks. They help us to feed these kids when we have celebrations, so we had a goat to eat at Christmas. We also have eggs that we share, so when they come to visit at least they have an egg.

“God has blessed us with so many things that we always see an opportunity to share with these kids and teach them to say one day when you grow up and you have your own space, these are some of the things you can do that will help you in your life and to bless other people.”

God's plan is good

At one point, Lorrin’s life was on a very different path. Her father, a government worker, dreamt of his children getting high-paid jobs in the city. But when Lorrin was 11, he fell ill and died, leaving the rest of the family reliant on the hospitality and care of an uncle.

“It was painful to lose my dad and I never understood why,” Lorrin shared. “But in the life I've led after that time I see Romans 8:28 – ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose’. (NIV)

“If I had to be with my dad, I would have not met this community. I would have not had this influence, and not only that, maybe I would have not even known Christ as my personal Saviour, because I received Christ when my dad was gone.”

Looking to the future, Lorrin is keen to raise up the next generation of children’s workers across the continent.

“My heart is to see that many Africans catch the vision to begin to impact children wherever they are,” she shared.

“My challenge is to get these people who will be able to serve wherever they are without someone monitoring them or depending on someone for finances. My whole ministry, I've seen that it's not about money. God always provides in His own special way.

“We are able to touch so many lives before we go back home to heaven, and I still believe there's so many kids that are waiting to be helped somehow.”

Pray for many children’s workers to be raised up across Africa in the next few years. Pray that through this ministry, children will understand their worth in the eyes of God.

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