There are people in your life that come and go, but family always remains. Sisters, brothers, parents, grandparents, granddaughters, grandsons, nieces, and nephews. Family is a constant. For me, my nephew and Grandson are two that hold a very special place in my heart. I know you are asking how on earth do I have a grandson? Grandson is a person… Yes, that is his name! He is a boy that I met when I first moved to Zambia eight years ago. Grandson was that little kid that got under your feet. He would be waiting at the gate every day after school to come and spend time with me if I was home. He wanted to go everywhere with me.

Time passed and during April of my second year in Zambia, my sister and her family came for a visit. Cameron, my nephew, met Grandson and they have been friends ever since. On Cameron’s very first day in Zambia, we walked about four miles to Grandson’s home. The heat was unbearable! I remember Cameron making the observation that this was Grandson’s walk to school every day. 

We finally reached Grandson’s humble home. It was a former pig sty that they had converted into a two-room home. My family sat under the mango tree and spent time with Grandson, his five brothers, his sister, and his parents. They shared with us what life was like—the struggles of life and the joys of family. Little did we know, they were slowly becoming part of my family!

Cameron left Zambia and went back to life in America and Grandson and I stayed in Zambia. Grandson would go to town with me when he wasn’t in school. We talked a lot about life, his future, and his heart. He knew there was a God and he knew that there was a heaven and a hell, but he thought he had to be perfect in order even consider accepting Christ. We spent time looking at the Bible and reading and discussing things. He finally accepted Christ as the Lord of his life.

Life went on. Grandson, the inquisitive young man, would study his Bible and always be knocking on my door to ask me questions. He would go with me to work from time to time and he began to see that life was about more than just going to the local bars and idly sitting by and watching days go by. Another two years quickly came and went and Cameron headed back to Zambia. 

This time around, Grandson’s family had moved next door to the farm where I was living. Grandson and Cameron were inseperable. Grandson would take Cameron to play football or to help him carry water to his house. Grandson’s mom was working as a housekeeper on the neighboring farm. They were given a home that didn’t have a roof on it. At night, they would all sleep in the kitchen if it was raining. My family and I decided that we should do something to help them. We, along with our guards from the farm and Grandson’s family, put a roof on this house. It was fine for a while until the owner of the farm realized he could get a rental price for the building now that it had a roof on it. He promptly fired Grandson’s mom, leaving them without an income and without a home. His father found part-time work and they moved once again into another home. Cameron again left Zambia and went back to America. Tears were shed, but life went on.

Grandson finished Grade 9 and it was time for him to go to high school. Unfortunately, out on the farms, there wasn’t a high school for him to attend. By this time, I had moved further into the city of Lusaka and after much discussion with my family, we decided to put him into a high school in the city. This meant that Grandson would have to leave his family at the age of 14 and move in with total strangers. The sacrifice was made.

Grandson had to repeat Grade 9 because the government school he came from was not so great. With a wonderful attitude, he started at the Gospel Outreach Center High School. Life was not easy for him. He lived away from his parents and he persevered through many challenges. One time, when he was on his way to meet me for tutoring, he was arrested and thrown in jail for walking across the University of Zambia Campus. I can’t even imagine being 15 and being put in jail for following the same path everyone else uses. I would have given up and I would have insisted on going back to my family. But not Grandson. He kept plugging away at his education. During his time at school, his mother got pregnant with her 8th child. Both mother and child were diagnosed with HIV, along with Grandson’s father. This is more than any 19-year-old should have to bear. 

This young man has been an example of humility, perseverance, and courageousness to his family and classmates. He is a young man who comes from a difficult background and he has ended up going to school with the middle and upper class children of Zambia. He has been made fun of and he has resisted the peer pressure of his fellow students. I couldn’t be more proud of this young man and the example he has set for other children like Cameron. 

Cameron and Grandson in 2013.

Cameron an Grandson playing football, 2013.

This coming week, Grandson will be graduating from Grade 12 here in Zambia. No one in his family has ever accomplished this (his mother is now finishing her Grade 7 exams) and Arise Africa will now need your help to support him as he continues on in his education. 

Grandson has been selected to enter into the Arise Africa Scholarship Program. He will be attending two years at Rhema Bible Training Center and then he will move on to a University. He starts at RHEMA in January.  Grandson hopes to become a Pastor or a Social Worker, and he has his sights set on changing the lives of others. He needs your help to do so. 

I am asking that you join us at Arise Africa by supporting this young man in this new chapter of his life. He will always be a part of our family, and we have been able to love him, support him, and see him grow over the years that we have shared together; however, we know that we are now in need of more partners and supplies if we want to make his future the very best it can be.

We are looking to raise funds for Grandson's tuition for Bible College for two years as well as living expenses.  In total we need to raise $6,000 to cover these costs.  School will be $3,000 for two years and we will use the additional $3,000 for books, a place to live, food, and transportation.  We want to make sure Grandson doesn't have to worry about a job or anything else but use his time to study and do the best he can in school. 

Please consider partnering with us so that we can support Grandson in this new and exciting endeavor. Any donation is much appreciated. You can sign up to monthly support Grandson or give a one time donation. He is a godly man with a passion to learn, and we have the utmost confidence that he is going to do well in school and then set out off to change the future of Zambia. If you choose to partner with us, we will send you updates on how Grandson is doing in school along with the opportunity to communicate with him.

Megan Bloemker

Country Director

(Megan is originally from Chicago and has lived in Zambia for 8 years)