Zambia, as many of sub-Saharan African nations, is faced with a serious problem of orphaned or disadvantaged children, several of whom are roaming the streets begging for help. It is estimated that Zambia has between 900,000 to 1,000,000 children who are orphaned and disadvantaged due to difficult economic problems compounded by the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the region.
In the year 2000, Pastors George and Beatrice Mbulo, who had moved to the USA in 1987, visited Zambia, the land of their birth. Whilst away from their home country, they had heard and read about the scourge of HIV/AIDS and its impact on the Zambian families and society. During their visit to Zambia in 2000 they saw for themselves the debilitating and degrading conditions in which most of the orphaned children were living.
As they drove around some parts of the city of Lusaka, they saw the great need among disadvantaged children, as evidenced by the large numbers of kids begging for help on the streets of the capital city. They interviewed some of the kids they met on the street to find out what had brought about such difficulties in their life. When they asked them were they lived, one of them pointed up a tree, near to a shopping Centre, where they had made some makeshift hammocks on the tree branches. Others showed them a large water drainage pipe were they spent their nights.
The Mbulos, could not easily walk away from such devastation which they had witnessed in their home country, to get back to their comfortable life in the USA where they were pastoring and had made a home for themselves as permanent residents of the USA. After much prayer and reflection, they decided to respond to the Lord’s call to come back to Zambia, after 14 years in the USA, to come and make a difference, not only in the lives of these vulnerable and disadvantaged children, but also to impact the continent of Africa through a vision that had so strongly gripped their heart.
Upon returning to the USA, after their short visit to Zambia, the Mbulos, with the help of few of their friends in the USA, began to prepare how to rescue these children from the alleys, back roads and garbage dumps. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress. (James 1:27).
Who are these kids that the Mbulos could not walk away from? They are first of all, God’s creation made in his image and likeness. They are also victims of the HIV/AIDS pandemic (they themselves are afflicted, infected or orphaned by the scourge).
Against this background the Mbulos, in July 2001, launched LifeNet Children’s Rescue Mission, which is a humanitarian arm of Capital Christian Ministries International, a Christian ministry founded by the Mbulos in 1999 in the USA and later launched in Zambia in March 2000, and now expanding to other parts of Africa.
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