Blessing Times

Little Matthews' Blessing Time. He's 9 years old and lives with both parents. They eat once a day, he sleeps on the floor, and they get sick a lot. He wants to be a Policeman.

I was so excited when I read in our counselor manual that we were to do a “Blessing Time” with each child assigned to our group!  But I was excited for a different reason than what the “Blessing Time” was meant for, even though their reason was great as well.

James' Blessing Time. He's 9 years old. His parents are divorced and he lives with his dad and aunt. His aunt doesn't always give him food so he walks to his mother's home for food. He sleeps on the sofa. His best friend's dad is a Pastor and he wants to be a Pastor when he grows up. (I was actually able to visit James' very humble home and meet is father when we served in their compound. His home is about 15x15 feet with a corrugated tin roof held on by rocks).

In Camp LIFE, a “Blessing Time” is when one of the Zambian partners and the counselor takes a child aside for a short conversation to learn more about each child’s situation and how to pray for them.  Finding out their story is useful in sharing with someone who might want to sponsor them. Or if the child is in a potentially life threatening situation (not uncommon), then we would have the chance to recommend that child for assistance.

Lwamba's Blessing Time. He is 9 years old. His father died and he lives with his mom, uncle and sister. His brother got sick a lot and he died. He sleeps on the floor. He eats 2x a day. His mother beats him. He wants to be a Truck Driver.

However, my reason for being excited for “Blessing Time” is based on Numbers 6:24-27 which says,

“The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord Make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.”

My own father used these verses to bless my brother and I. And my brother and I have used these verses to bless our own children.  So the “Blessing Time” was especially meaningful time for me to share with the boys.

Joseph's Blessing Time. He's 10 years old and lives with his mother, step-father, 3 sisters, and 2 brothers. His father died of which he cried about. He does sleep on a bed but probably shared. Both parents work (a maid and a guard). His best friend's name is Blessing. And he wants to finish his education so he can be a teacher.

These kids experience a lot of death. They are on their own a lot because their caregivers are busy trying to survive. So they don’t get a lot of attention, hugs, and reassurance.

Lubinda's Blessing Time. He's 11 years old and lives with his dad and step-mother, 3 sisters, and 1 brother. His mother died. He sleeps on the floor. His daddy is a brick layer and they all get sick a lot. He wants to be a Teacher.

I began “Blessing Time” by taking each boy’s picture, so I could see their faces when I prayed for them in America. I also traced their hand. As they answered my questions, I would write prayer needs on each finger. I’d then pray for the child’s needs, fears, concerns…, and would end with laying my hand on them and saying the Numbers 6 blessing verses over them.

The kids really loved the one-on-one time, the prayers, and the special blessing. When they caught on to what we were doing, they started vying for the next in line.

Matthews T. Blessing Time. He's 10 years old and lives with his mother, 4 sisters, and 2 brothers. His dad died. He eats 3x a day probably because his mother is a maid for an American, which is a good thing in Africa (thank goodness, considering our history!)

Jacob's Blessing Time. He's 12 years old and lives with his mom, 1 sister and 3 brothers. His dad died. He needs prayer for temptations. And he wants to be a Pilot.

Enos' Blessing Time. He's 12 years old and lives with his mom, and has 3 sisters and 1 brother. One sister is away at school, one has a baby and the other is violent. The brother lives elsewhere. His father died. His mother is a maid at a clinic. He sleeps on the floor. He doesn't eat every day. Sometimes just a bit of rice. He wants to be a Bank Manager.

If you would like to prayerfully sponsor one of these boys for $40 a month, contact me and I’ll let you know how.

Kennedy's Blessing Time. He's 11 years old and a complete orphan. Both his parents have died and he lives with his aunt, 3 brothers and 1 sister. His brother is a Taxi Driver and provides for them. He eats once a day and he wants to be an Engineer.

Benson's Blessing Time. Benson turned 13 at camp. He lives with his mother, grandmother, 4 brothers and 1 sister. It's obvious he's the oldest sibling, as he's a true leader. His father died. He sleeps on the floor and eats 2x a day. His mom is a maid and his grandma sews. He wants to be a Doctor.

At the end of the week, each of my boys received a certificate with our pictures on them. On the back of each certificate, I traced my own hand and wrote, “The Lord bless you and keep you.” The boys cherished it.

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