Sekouba was one of the first street children to come to our weekly program that started in September 2005. He gave his life to the Lord and soon moved onto our property, into a tent. He was baptized in water at our first anniversary service end of November 2005. In May 2006 he moved into the house with one other child. Sekouba plays the drum in our meetings, and God has spoken to him in dreams and visions several times. He has a heart of compassion for those less fortunate than him, and does not hesitate to give the little he has.
Abdias has the most radiant smile, and now we're seeing more and more of it. Abdias is also the one who requires his daily dose of love, being held and feeling safe. He loves worshiping God, and has a loud voice to make His praises known. It's not always been that way. When Abdias first came, he had demon friends he had grown up with, and in Jesus' name we set him free.
Abdias was beaten by his teachers in school for many years, until his health didn't allow him to go to school any longer. In the meantime his mother had been divorced, and there was nothing to do in his father's house, so he ran away and lived on the streets, until we invited him to our weekly program. Abdias was injured, so we took care of his wounds and let him spend the night. He never left after that.
Fousseni has put on weight since joining us, and is slowly starting to accept that somebody really cares about him.
Fousseni hasn't known anything but beatings all his life - by his father, by his Muslim teacher, and by his boss. When his father not only beat him up but also stopped giving him any more food, he ran away. He spent about one year on the street, before he first came to our weekly program. The Lord highlighted him to me to take him in.
Sarata is my guard's daughter. As a girl, her chances in life in Mali were very bad; female genital mutilation, married by 12, raising kids and working hard the only thing in life.
When Sarata came to live with us, she was severely malnourished, and we're still working on teaching her Mom to feed her right. Sarata loves clapping her hands when we worship God.
Hama is my guard's firsborn son. Having been born crippled on his left side, Hama has from the beginning been doomed to a miserable life. Rejected by his parents and by society, he had to live without love or attention, being beaten and his parents leaving him alone frequently.
Today Hama knows how to laugh. Today Hama DEMANDS his daily hugs, squeezing so tightly you can't imagine his age. Hama is a cheerful dancer during worship, loving to praise God, and "Hallelujah" has become one of his favorite words. Hama is very dear to my heart, and he has also become the older boys' little brother, spending the whole day with us.
Saloum was one of the neighbors' kids. His violent father used to beat him up, and constantly threatened to kill his firstborn son. When he first kicked him out, his Muslim neighbors forced him to take back his son. The second time, Saloum sought refuge with us again and stayed. He is a very intelligent and well-behaved kid, and an example to the others.
When Abdiel was 7 years old, a marabout (Muslim teacher) came to his home and took him with him to Bamako. He had to beg for money for him, and was beaten constantly, his scars being the proof. After around 2 years he'd had enough and ran away, first living around the train station and then the bus station. An older street boy took him under his wings, and finally brought him to us in September 2006. Against our usual rules, we took him in that very first day, and he spent several days in hospital getting rid of all the sicknesses he brought, before coming home and starting his new life.
Paul's little brother.
Paul's little brother.