When my children were small, one of their favorite Christmas rituals was setting up the Nativity scene. They’d carefully arrange the figures of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus in a little cardboard barn as they explained, “There was no room for them at the inn.”
The plight of any family without a place to call home seems especially sad at Christmas time. For a widowed grandmother looking after five orphaned grandchildren, the situation is even more painful. That’s why I’m sharing Lingowe’s story with you today.
Lingowe has spent a lifetime coping with loss and heartache. Through poor health and poverty, she has outlived all seven of her children. Her husband also died. Without savings or a sustainable source of income, Lingowe can no longer afford a home of her own. She and her grandchildren are currently staying with a kind neighbor who is also struggling.
The family relies on small donations of corn meal and beans, but the grandchildren often go to bed hungry. Lingowe grows tomatoes in a small garden to sell at the market. The little she earns doesn’t go far. Like so many grandmothers in her dire situation in Zambia she asks, “What can I do?”
Mother Teresa told us that, “It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you.” I hope you’ll embrace the true spirit of Christmas by sharing a gift of love and hope with grandmothers like Lingowe. With your help, we can provide women with the tools and economic development programs they need to break the cycle of poverty. Surely their devotion to family has earned these grandmothers the loving rewards of dignity, health, and joy.
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Each Christmas, we remember that there was no room in Bethlehem for Mary and Joseph. This Christmas, can you find room in your own heart for a needy family, searching for a place to call home?