A widow, a mother of three and an AIDS patient, Rose served as one of the most reliable employees to date at the Ashburn Ohuru Medical Clinic. After losing her job in 2012, Rose was subsequently hired as a nursing assistant at the clinic and worked steadily until her death. “Rose was one of the best staff members to work for us,” Wilfred, the Ashburn Ohuru Medical Clinic manager proclaimed. “Rose was the first to arrive at the clinic in Siaya every morning…no later than 7:00 A.M.” Serving as the sole breadwinner for her family, Rose desired and always wanted to prioritize the schooling of her three children. Reflecting upon Rose’s excellent work at the clinic, Wilfred sought to meet the schooling needs of Roses children after her passing-to instill each of them in school and to provide the means and support for each.
Rose had three children: Mackrine, Dickson, and Faith. Each of their faces carry a story much more larger than themselves. Our team had the opportunity to visit Mackrine, Dickson, and Faith at their respective schools across Siaya on Saturday afternoon. Let’s take some time to get to know each child.
Wilfred, Peter, Alisa, Margaret and I began the afternoon at Nyamonye Girls Secondary School, where Mackrine attends. We waited in joyful anticipation as the head master informed Mackrine that she had a few visitors waiting and that she was excused from class for a twenty minutes. Within minutes, a graceful, beautiful girl in a red and white plaid uniform quietly turned the corner. As she walked across mangled roots toward our team, her lips fought hard to cover her smile. Margaret embraced Mackrine’s gentle spirit and figure tightly. Mackrine then reached for Alisa, craving closeness. The weight of the past few years set deep in Mackrine’s dark brown eyes. Her body, her communication, and her demeanor were all covered in a layer of timidity. But Mackrine was growing in strength-both academic strength and physical strength.
Margaret, Alisa and I asked Mackrine a few questions about her school year. She responded softly, but she began to let a smile creep across her face. Agriculture and Swahili were the courses that Mackrine said she enjoyed, while mathematics she labeled as a struggle. Alisa met Mackrine’s gaze time and time again and consistently whispered, “We believe in you.”
Dickson is the youngest of Rose’s children and attends Medula Academy, a private boarding and day school in Siaya. Our team conversed with the deputy and headmaster of Medula about Dickson’s progress over the past year. “He is one of our best speakers, we are very much sure of him. He can take care of his things as well. There is a big difference from last year-he is much more communicative,” the headmaster explained.
Our team was locked into conversation when Dickson peeked through the office door. He stood stoically in his faded green uniform shirt and striped socks. A few fearless nods upward and a couple of soft words were Dickson’s responses to the questions our team asked him. Alisa, Margaret and I extended hugs, but high fives and fist pumps were perfectly o.k. in Dickson’s book. Dickson says that one day he wants to be a policeman; hope is beginning to resound from him one day at a time.
Wilfred confidently drove our team throughout the windy, dusty roads of Siaya county; our team gazed out our windows as we reflected upon the time with Mackrine and Dickson. We arrived to the Lwak Girls Primary School, excited about our final visit, with Faith.
Light in her countenance and spirit, Faith walked into the Lwak office to greet our team. Faith was glowing! Buttoned and dressed in her uniform, Faith swayed from side to side smiling as Margaret, Alisa and I engaged her in conversation. Margaret showed Faith pictures of Mackrine and Dickson that she had snapped on her phone. Faith lit up when she recognized her brother and sister in the photos! April 11th is the beginning of school holiday and is the date that Mackrine, Dickson and Faith will be reunited at their grandmothers house.
Faith expressed that she needed new books, a new uniform for form 5, new shoes and a new school bag. These supply materials are tangible needs that Passion Partners desires to meet. The Lord is providing a means for these three children. Even more so, He is delivering them from the shadow of death and reminding each of them that there are those who are fighting for them. Providence and protection are lavished upon Mackrine, Dickson, and Faith as they are in circumstances that could manifest themselves into uncertainty and fear. What a joy and honor it is for Passion Partners to grow alongside of these children!
*Becca Vinson is a fellow with Passion Partners through the Nashville Fellows Program. Becca is currently in Africa with other members of the Passion Partners staff.