Last November, Reverend Okongo and Scott P. were invited to speak at the mosque in Tamale, Northern Ghana. They and the team traveled to the mosque with great anticipation of all that God was going to do in that place, the hearts that He was going to move through the message laid on Reverend’s heart. But when they arrived at the mosque, they were met with overwhelming grief that hung over the dispersing crowd like a dark, heavy cloud ready to pour forth the rain. The Reverend and his team were told to return to their lodges, as no messages would be given that day. Upon further inquiry of the happenings of that day, the team was told that the daughter-in-law of the chief of the mosque had just passed away while giving birth to a precious baby girl and that the people were relocating for mourning and funeral processions. When the Reverend asked of the whereabouts of the baby, he was told that she had been given to an old widow to be cared for as an orphan. It was unclear as to the whereabouts of the father, other than knowing that he is not present or involved.
Let us pause here for a moment to allow for some cultural understanding. Within this Islamic culture in Northern Ghana, men are not present during childbirth, nor are they allowed to see their wives or newborn babies for a variable amount of time after delivery, lasting from weeks to years. Typically, the men move out of the house after the baby is born. This is also where the taking of additional wives becomes very common, as the man is often denied intimacy with his wife for one to two years.
This baby girl was now an orphan, one of thousands upon thousands in communities across Africa who would normally be sent straight away to whichever local orphanage could accept her, sent out from her own community to be raised by other orphan children. So when the Reverend asked to see the baby to be able to pray for her and over her, it sent quite a shocker throughout the community.
But by God’s leading, the door was opened for the team to see the baby and pray over her, her provisions, and her future. A gift of $46 USD was given for the baby’s care and nutritional provisions, as hands were laid on her in prayerful intercession. And a spiritual father was born unto her, this precious orphan from day one, prayed over by the visiting preacher, provided for by the generosity of God, taken in by the community, and given the name Tipaya, which means Hope.
Precious Hope is now 8 months old and has been growing strong and healthy. She was adopted by a widow in the community and has been cared for every step of the way. Upon his last visit to Ghana this past June, Reverend met up with Hope and her mom in the market place, as word swept through the marketplace that Hope’s father had returned to see her. The community as a whole had enveloped this girl, with a man having been designated as her godfather to support them as a family. The community gave account of how the $46 has been used and stretched out over the past 8 months, and is still being used for the growth and health of Hope. The meeting also afforded the Unite 4 Africa team the opportunity to share the God’s Word with the Muslim community, as a relationship had been established through which the message could be received. It was such a glorious reunion of this precious baby, who is no longer an orphan, but is being raised up by her community of origin in a healthy family setting.
You too can be involved in the raising up of these precious orphans in families of their own community, keeping them out of over-burdened orphanages that are not capable of teaching what a family structure should look like. With just a little help, Unite 4 Africa is encouraging communities to take in their orphans, placing them with families and raising them with the help of the village. With as little as 82 cents a day, families are able to clothe and feed an orphan from the community and raise them up in the way they should go. Will you join us in this effort? Will you partner with us so that we may rejoice of more Hope living and growing throughout Africa?