Esther gets up at 6 each morning to study her books by candlelight before the sun comes up. By dawn she is washing her clothes, mopping the floor of her house with a rag and sweeping the yard. Then it is a 45-minute walk to school. After school each day she walks home in time to help her mother dig in their garden. They must get a good crop of cassava if they are going to have food to last throughout the dry season. Esther is grateful that their chickens are healthy right now; they will help to pay for her school fees this year.
Esther is happy with her life right now, but sometimes she worries when she thinks about her future. Since her father left, things have not been so easy. She struggles a lot with why he left them and when she thinks of her future as a young girl, she does not have much hope. She very likely will end up marrying young, perhaps not even finishing school. She just hopes that she will get a kind husband who will not beat her and will help her some in the garden.
Esther’s story is an all too common scenario for many children in the communities surrounding Musana Camp, but there is hope! Just a few miles away from Esther is Musana Camps.
Each year Musana hosts camps that help youth navigate from childhood to young adulthood through “Rites Of Passage ExperienceS” (ROPES). We address many cultural lies, definitions, and traditions that can create bondage. We help campers to see who they are in Christ, particularly in their roles as men and women through the incorporation of significant experiences to further emphasize the teaching. ROPES is truly a life-changing experience.
One former ROPES camper said, “I thought this was going to be tough…but I sit here as a different person…You took us out there and taught us what trusting in God really means…I wasn’t very happy to be here; I made that very clear! But I am glad that I submitted, and the Lord has changed my life.”
Children like Esther need to hear the gospel and the hope that Christ brings to their day-to-day as well as to their future. The impact of ROPES and other camp programs at Musana could truly help Esther to mature into a young lady of strong character, making wise decisions as she seeks the Lord in all things, secure in who God has made her to be.
However, because of rising prices in the country, there are many children like Esther who cannot pay the full price to attend camp. Please pray as we seek to establish more profitable enterprise projects that will help subsidize the operational expenses to run camp. And if the Lord leads you, one way you could help someone like Esther go to camp is to give towards our scholarship fund.
We pray that we will be able to impact more lives with the gospel in the years to come so that other stories like Esther’s will be beautiful stories of grace, hope, and transformation that only Christ can bring!