Zambia – Last year at this time Matthew*, who was born with a circulatory problem that forced doctors to amputate both of his feet and one hand, couldn’t walk. He couldn’t run and play with his friends or go to school to get the education he needed to break out of extreme poverty.
One year ago, Matthew had no Hope of ever living like a regular kid.
Almost a year later, as Bright Hope staff pulled up to the village where Matthew lived, Ivor Mwansa, Bright Hope’s project coordinator, pointed out the car window and cried, “Look! Here he comes.” There was Matthew, marching down the path to meet us, surrounded by a dozen friends that he had been playing with.
Ivor shared: “Seeing him walking towards us was one of the best feelings I have had in a long time!”
In these cases of dramatic physical transformation, it’s not just the family that feels grateful and celebrates—it’s the whole community! The first time we met Matthew, no one wanted to be around him. This time, at least 60 people gathered around us as we met with Matthew and his mother, everyone sharing in the joy of seeing the lame walk!
Matthew lives in Zambia, one of the poorest countries in Africa. Millions live on less than $2 per day, teetering on the brink of death due to malnourishment, lack of water, and other health crises. One of these crises is the many kids who are born with physical deformities.
Kids born with clubbed feet, cleft lips, or limb deformities face an uphill battle. On top of their physical limitations, they face sociocultural criticism and are often viewed as cursed because of their disabilities. Kids who were born to run, play, smile, and learn often stay confined in their homes, out of school, isolated, ashamed, and hopeless.
Often the biggest hurdle kids like Matthew face is the difficult and costly multiple-day journey to the hospital in Lusaka for appointments and surgery.
So, we asked our Allies to step up and stand in the gap for Matthew and hundreds of kids like him in Zambia who desperately needed medical care. We asked our Allies to give generously so that Matthew could make the trip to the hospital to get prosthetic limbs.
And our Allies said YES!!
Today, Matthew has new prosthetic legs and can walk! He now joins his friends, laughing and playing! Matthew goes to school and walks to class every day!
Because of many generous ministry partners like you, Matthew has Hope and a bright future!
Thank you for investing and honoring God with the treasures He has entrusted to you!
*Name has been changed to protect the child’s identity.