After our parents abandoned us, we learned that Jesus Christ never would.
When I was 14, my dad left our family, and my mom was forced to flee the country. I was left with my three younger siblings, Ephraim, 9; Jonathan, 6; and Grace, 3 (names have been changed). Nothing could have prepared us for this sudden change. For the first time, we were alone.
Extended family soon offered to take each of us in, but if we went to live with them, we would be separated. It was a difficult decision. How could we reject their well-intentioned help? But at the same time, how could we give up years of playing, laughing, caring for one another, and watching each other grow?
Initially, my brothers and I turned down their help, thinking I could work to support us and we could stay together. But we knew that we could not provide the care our youngest sister needed, and so, with tears in our eyes, we let her go.
For the next few months, I worked as a building painter to buy food for my brothers and me. My income was insufficient to pay the bills for electricity and water, so we had to live without them.