In 2009, Cassy & Steve DiLeo, organized a clothing drive that pulled in churches and businesses including PJ’s Coffee, who allowed boxes to be placed in all of their St. Tammany stores for a month or more. hundreds of boxes of clothes were shipped to Zimbabwe. This morning I was blessed to receive the first pics of orphans at Melfort Children’s Home in Zimbabwe receiving some of those clothes!
Thanks to Steve and Cassy for your AGAPE-like leadership and initiative to take on the task. Along with the clothes, this orphanage has received new life through a new water pump and system for the on site well, thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the desire of Jonathan DiLeo, Cassy & Steve’s youngest son who passed away last year due to complications with a brain tumor. His last wish was that Melfort have clean water. I was privileged to travel to Zimbabwe and visit Melfort Orphanage with Steve, Cassy, and Jonathan in 2005. It’s just a snapshot of the plight of millions of orphans in Zimbabwe and other parts of Africa (estimated 25% of the population in Zim are orphans). Peter Mabasa, Pastor of Global Life Ministries in Zimbabwe writes about the children at Melfort:
We paid a visit to Melfort Children’s Home this week to distribute the clothing you and others donated to us recently. It was such a beautiful sight seeing many of these children smiling and happy to get a new pair of shoes, dress or perhaps a warm jersey to counter this year’s severe winter. Most of the children at this home have their own story to tell. They come from dysfunctional families some shunned by their families because they dared report a case of sexual and or other abuse resulting in the arrest of a family member e.g. an uncle. Then there are the orphans as a result mostly of the HIV pandemic. Other groups comprise children abandoned at birth by young mothers not prepared to take the responsibility of motherhood. You sit down with any of these children and you hear harrowing tales that will bring the most hardened person to tears. Making a small difference in the life of these children is one of the most fulfilling things one can ever do and for that we are grateful to you brethren for making this possible.
Along with aid to orphans, churches are being planted, medical aid provided, and leaders are being trained in rural Zimbabwe in partnership with Global Life Ministries and churches on the Northshore and in Central Louisiana. This weekend we are praying for Global Life as they trek to remote Binga, Zimbabwe, for a medical outreach. Also, praying for teams from Central Louisiana currently on mission in Zimbabwe. I’m looking forward to getting back to Zim in 2011. Let me know if you’d like to get on board.