A Widow’s Plight

Leah with her three boys who are sponsored. Sixteen-year-old Ekai, pictured right, wants to be a teacher when he grows up. Seventeen-year-old Ewoi, pictured left, wants to be a doctor, and 13-year-old Benjamin wants to be a pastor.

by Leanna Summers

Forty-year-old Leah Aiyo sits on a blanket outside her mud hut with her six children and her mother-in-law. It is 7:00 p.m., and dark. Leah has just finished cooking the family’s dinner of maize and beans on an open fire and starts to scoop their portions into bowls. Since they have no electricity, they will eat in the dark. This is the way most families in Turkana eat dinner. The heat is more bearable once the sun goes down. Had it not been for the help Leah and her family have received from OCM, Leah would be filled with uncertainty about how to care for her children.

Leah’s husband was gunned down more than a decade ago in a raid while he was herding goats. Leah, who stayed home with their children, didn’t know what she would do to take care of them. She considered gathering wood to make coal to sell, but this is a sporadic job that does not pay well. That’s when OCM’s Child Champions at her local church rallied around her.

They registered three of her boys in OCM’s child sponsorship ministry and offered Leah a job as a cook at Lokori Hope Center.

She gladly accepted and is thankful for this steady income and the other help she and her family have received from OCM over the years, including mosquito nets to combat malaria, school uniforms, and bed mattresses. Her son Ewoi, who has a sponsor, also received crucial medical care for a foot infection, an issue that can turn deadly without medical treatment.

Leah’s sponsored boys enjoy getting letters from their sponsors. Because of the love and care they have received, the boys are thriving. Thirteen-year-old Benjamin dreams of being like his Hope Center pastor when he grows up. “I want to help people to know the Word of God,” he says, “and show them how to grow in faith.”

The church’s influence and help in sponsoring her boys have been a lifeline for Leah. “I am happy,” she says. “It is all because of God’s mercy.”

Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes, with the princes of his people.

— Psalm 113:5-8 —