…from the life of Diana Lesire Brandmeyer
So many times I think I don’t have enough. I need more, I want to have that, could I please?
Then I go to a Bible study and hear Reinhild Niebuhr speak about Themba (pronounced Temba) and I am humbled.
I have so much, my children had more than they could imagine. Why are we so blessed? I don’t know, but I am thankful.
I wish I could tell you first hand what Themba is like the way Reinhild did, holding you captive wanting to know more, but I can’t. I can only offer a website and second hand information.
According to Reinhild Niebuhr these are the facts:
In Africa 50% of the population is under 15.
In Africa, 30% of the population is between 15-25.
The life expectancy is less than 42 years old.
In Africa, because there are so many children, it’s very difficult to run these countries. Orphaned children are raising children. Who will teach these children positive values and basic life knowledge usually handed down from generation to generation? In South Africa, at 16 children can stop going to school and so does government support for these children. So millions stay home, often because there’s no one else to take care of the younger children. Some of them have babies in order to have monetary help from the government.
Why does this matter to me? I’m pretty comfortable in my little world. But it does, this shouldn’t happen and I want to help.
Themba means ‘hope’ and has dormitory schools where children are taught skills and the gospel. The Themba Trust has a plan to help these children, most of who are orphans.
Another point Niebuhr raises is that worldwide, out of the almost 7 billion people alive today, 4.8 billion are children and youth, mostly in developing countries. She says, “As Christians, we believe that God does not place any child on earth without a purpose. So we need to ask the question: what is God’s Plan for all these billions of children and young children?
Youth are open for new information, more so than adults. Could it be that God is preparing for a major shift in the way the world works? As Christians, we need to make use of the opportunity to help share God’s Love with all these children in the absence of other adults. We are challenged to love all the world’s children and youth and to find ways of reaching them with our love.
Just imagine, if the estimated 300 million youth between the ages of 18-25 in Africa would be connected in faith to Christ! The whole continent would shift from a place of desperation to a place of inspiration.
There are some things you can do to help. The children of Themba love to sing. Erin Bode has joined with them to produce a CD. The proceeds go to the Themba Trust, the nonprofit foundation that operates the girls school and other education and youth development programs that server South Africa’s rural poor. Go and listen at The Temba Girls
Niebuhr has also written a book if you would like to know more bout the children of Africa. It’s titled Young Africa-Policy Blueprint for the Continent of Youth.
4 thoughts on “Temba means ‘Hope” in South America”
Reinhild, thank you, but I'm so thankful the difference you are making is so much bigger! Diana
Chris, you are ahead of me on helping. I was unaware in my own tiny world of such problems. Bless you for your praying and giving.
I traveled to Kenya on a mission trip in 2006, so I have seen these children. It breaks your heart. They just want to love and to be loved. Wherever we drove, we'd look out the windows of our bus and children would be running after us, waving and smiling, not even knowing or caring who we were, just wanting us to know that they were there, believing somehow that if only we looked at them, we could bless them. When we walked the streets, the children would reach out just wanting to be touched by us, by muzungu – white people. Pretty tough stuff.
Now, sitting in my comfortable home, all I can do is to offer what money I can, but more importantly, to pray without ceasing.
Thanks so much for the post, Diana! It's people like you who make a real difference in the world. – Blessings, Reinhild