Every story starts with dream and every dream starts with a hope for something better. This story started with a spark of hope in the heart of a pastor who wanted to see the area, where he lives and leads a church, changed and impacted for the better. His desire is that every child in his local community would have a chance to get an education. He wanted to do what he could to break the mind set of poverty and hopelessness, by offering them a way to get to school.
Many of the youngest children in this community come from very young and single mothers because of exploitation during desperate times. There is so little food from the ongoing drought and many children have been abandoned or left with their very old grandmothers or grandfathers who have no means of supporting them. Some of the children are living without any adults to care for them and many homes are orphan led families. Where the oldest sibling is the main carer and is themselves still a young child of 12, or even younger.
The dying trees with branches like old men’s fingers stretch towards Heaven as if reaching out in prayer for an answer. They seem to echo the desperate cries of the people for rain to fall on their parched and arid fields. The people have been ploughing their fields and planting what seeds they still have in store. But the rains have failed for so many seasons that it is hard for them to keep hoping and keep working the dry land.
But one Pastor fought against the hopelessness and made a decision to do something. He was concerned and saddened at seeing the children out in the fields instead of being at school. He wanted to break the heavy sense of hopelessness for their futures. So he allowed hope to stir a dream in his heart and he let his dream became a call to action.
In 2015, the ICBC he leads had a beautiful pre-school with only 14 children in it and he wanted to see it full of young minds ready to absorb knowledge. So he travelled around his community visiting all the families with young children who we knew were not in pre-school. He agreed that he would pick the children up every morning and drop them off in the afternoon. This meant that the children would be able to attend the pre-school even when the walk there was too far for their little legs.
Rising with the sun each morning, Pr Vusi drives the dusty, bumpy roads to pick the children up and bring them to the ICBC (Church Community) preschool where his wife and her 3 support teachers teach the children. His car is filled with little smiling faces excited for another day of education, food and fun. This sacrificial gift has meant that in 2016 the pre-school attendance went from 14 to 56 children and in 2017 it has increased to 84 children. Every life is being allowed to grow and learn and hope is being restored to their hearts, that one day they will be able to thrive and not merely survive. They will have opportunities and possibilities that their mothers never had. They are learning that their life has a purpose and a God designed destiny.
Through the love and devotion of this one ICBC pastor all these little lives now have endless promise and possibilities to dream big dreams and become the leaders of tomorrow.
One cannot help but smile when you see the faces of these precious little ones whose lives have been transformed by one man showing them the kindness of God.
Hope lives here, dreams are made here and changed lives leave here.