Have you ever heard of “cassava”? According to the dictionary, it is “a tropical plant with thick roots that are used to make small white grains (called tapioca) that are used in cooking.” In the Central African Republic, it’s one of the main foods along with green sauce and sometimes meat. Often, people in the Central African Republic like to eat meals with their hands, and they speak a language called Sango.
Lina is an 18 year old girl who lives in the city of Bangui in the Central African Republic. She lives with her father and does not have a mother or siblings in her home. Lina enjoys many of the same things you and your friends do like reading, storytelling, art, playing soccer and running.
In April of 2013 there was fighting between the soldiers in her city. As she was inside her home, a stray bullet from the fighting came through the roof and struck Lina in the stomach. Lina was rushed to the hospital right away to have surgery. Many people prayed for Lina and her injuries while she was in the hospital and recovering. The Lord raised Lina up and she is now at full health.
Lina is now involved with VisionTrust which has given her a hope for the future. Prior to VisionTrust working and serving in her community, Lina may have dropped out of school at a young age and had children like many of the girls in her community.
Through a program that teaches sewing, Lina learned to use a sewing machine and how to make things she can sell to earn money. She graduated from the sewing program and has been provided a sewing machine and basic resources to someday launch her own business. This will help her to take care of herself and not stay dependent on others for food, clothing, and meeting her basic needs.
While in the program to learn about sewing, Lina also learned about Jesus. She has grown to know the Bible well to help equip her to live for the Lord and to love others. Even though she has had difficult things in life like growing up without a mother and getting shot in her own home, she has seen God provide and help her. She now has HOPE and purpose.
- Has anyone in your family ever had surgery? What are some of the reasons children have to have surgery? How can you help or reach out to someone you know this holiday season that is struggling with a physical ailment?
- What are some of the best ways to help those in need? How is teaching them a skill and providing things (like Lina’s sewing machine) so they can earn money better or worse than just giving them money?
Prayer Requests: Pray for protection for her and for the children of Bangui who are often innocent victims in the fighting going on. Pray for her business. Pray for protection for her heart and mind-that Jesus will be near and personal to her as she grows into a beautiful young woman.
Fun Fact: “People eat with their hands, although visitors will normally be offered a spoon.”
Ways you can get involved: Have your family eat dinner with their hands tonight or one day this week. Talk about life in the CAR and pray for Lina during your hand eating dinner.
Scripture: Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.