It Takes A Village To Raise A Child…

...& if you are me, a literal one

Welcome back!

How are you doing lately? Great? We praise the Lord. Not so great? YOU are very precious in God’s sight, so again, we praise the Lord! (especially when we don’t feel like it).

Come, let’s take a walk.

SO…back to the point in 2002 when my aunt, aunt Sheila, passed away. I was still in mid-grade 2 at this point, but since my guardian had just passed away, my family members had to sit down again and figure out what was to become of me. Ultimately, it was agreed upon that I was to now go with my paternal grandmother and live in our rural home in Gokwe.

I was truly relieved to hear this. Primarily because at this point, I had started to believe that anyone who ventured into taking care of me died, prematurely, because there must have been something wrong with me. (what a lie from the depths of hell!) As such, in my childish reasoning, at least my grandma was older than all the other options so if it was to happen to her, at least she had already lived longer than everyone else which, in turn, made it not that bad. Twisted? YES, very twisted.

Besides, I was already familiar with my grandma. She used to visit us in Chinhoyi, sit with me and either tell me what the word of God said or sing to me and with me, some of the hymns she felt were appropriate to me such as one that was adapted from that Bible story of Jesus saying, ‘Let all the children come to me for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these’. (SIDENOTE: If you read your Bible regularly, you know which story I am talking about. If you don’t, come on now! I humbly suggest that you start doing so… ) These were some of my most precious memories with her at that time so I knew her, trusted her, and knew she loved me so truly, I wanted to stay with her.

To note, however, is the fact that nothing, whatsoever, had, at that point, prepared me for what living with my grandmother actually entailed! Besides the obvious having to adapt from a city lifestyle (of waking up, going to school, coming back, eating, changing to my casual clothes, going to play outside, coming back to bath, watching a bit of tv, eating and sleeping), to a full-blown typical rural area setup, I moved to my rural area at a time when there was a drought, a terribleterribleterrrrrible drought!


Not to state the obvious, but agriculture was the main source of income in my rural area so a drought meant no source of income, which in turn meant no access to basic necessities, primarily food.

Do you know those types of droughts mentioned in the Bible where people contemplate eating their babies or selling each other dove dung? It might not have gotten to that exact point, but I assure you it was very close to that. When I initially moved to my rural home, it was not yet that bad, but it gradually got worse until I discovered that inside the baobab tree seeds is something that tastes like peanuts and that the soil found close to a well is a bit savory such that you could eat a bit of it and enable yourself to drink lots and lots of water. I will spare you all the details but believe me when I say, without exaggeration, that this drought was traumatic!

When I moved in with my granny, we were a big, happy family. Two of my dad’s brothers and their families were still living with my granny and without much effort, I got close to one of my cousins, Christabel, who was just a few years younger than me in age, making her my age mate that I practically stayed with. It, therefore, goes without explanation that we became practically joined at the hip.

I am introducing Christabel to you because one day when both of us got fed up with the situation, we agreed to pray. Instead of our usual pointless playtimes, we started to ask God to help our parents come up with a solution to the hunger we were facing. These we consistent, somewhat precise, heartfelt prayers to God, and we, (well let me speak for myself, I,) sincerely expected my answer.

Months prior to this point, Christabel’s dad had gone to Botswana to look for work because the situation had just become too dire but we never heard from him. I suppose phones were not yet that accessible at that point.

It is truly amazing what you discover about yourself and your journey when you take time to look back into every single detail of your life. What I have come to realize through this is that God started training me to pray when I was still too young to even grasp it! He did not send this drought to train me, he absolutely didn’t, but he used it anyway to train me. Because God had answered my prayer a year prior to this point, I was confident that He would answer again this time so I influenced Christabel to start praying with me during the day when we were supposedly playing. I am not sure she even understood what that was all about because, to be fair, I was very young and she was even younger than me.

Alas! The most magical thing happened after we had started ‘praying’. You would not believe me if I said a week after we started praying, her father came back, WITH FOOD! Delicacies even by rural community drought standards, such as macaroni, spaghetti, rice, the works! As if, that is the highlight of it all, an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) then came to our community and started donating food until the next harvesting season when they were certain the community could again provide for itself independently! From that moment onwards, we had all the food we ever needed, we never hungered again!!!

Whoever wants to believe that life is full of coincidences, can go ahead and do so, but as for me, I will hold on to my belief that God answered my prayer exceptionally well, again. He answered me, again!

I do not know what it is you are believing God for or how dire your situation might seem, I won’t even attempt to say I understand what you are going through. However, all I know is if you pray about it, you are two steps closer to the solution. You see, nothing is too hard for the LORD, nothing is that big. This drought I found myself in seemed like the most hopeless phase of my life, but I came out of it with renewed excitement that God actually hears me when I speak to Him, He cares, He does actually care!

Anywho, I leave you with this assurance from the word of God that whatever drought you are going through will pass, believe that it will, pray that it does, declare and proclaim that it does and it will…

In fact, God Himself says;

Isaiah 43:2,19,20

2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

19 See, I am doing a new thing!
  *  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?*
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

20…because I provide water in the wilderness
  *  and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21 the people I formed for myself
  *  that they may proclaim my praise

Isaiah 49:8,15,16

8 This is what the Lord says:

“In the time of my favor I will answer you,
 and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people,

15 â€śCan a mother forget the baby at her breast
 and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
  *  your walls are ever before me.*

See? It is not me giving you false hope on things I know nothing about. It’s me just reiterating to you what the good word of the Lord says and Luke 1:37 boldly declares that;

For no word from God will ever fail.

I rest my case.

Delsha Rufaro Lydia
Delsha Rufaro Lydia
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