Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving Thanks for Margaret!

In this week of Thanksgiving, we remember and thank the Lord for the things we are grateful for. Justin and I would like to give thanks for Sweet Margaret Tucker and would like to tell you why. So many of us in the same situation may have hardened our hearts and turned our back on a God who may seem to take away the things and people we love the most.  Margaret will tell you that she gives thanks to and serves an almighty God that provides for her every need and loves without limits. 
In 1992 Margaret and her husband were living in the Kono District, in eastern Sierra Leone when rebels invaded the area.  They fled and settled in Freetown, living life with their 4 children until everything changed January 10, 1999.  Rebels stormed the city that day leaving hundreds dead.  One of Margaret’s neighbors ran to find her during the attack to say that Margaret’s husband had been killed.  Margaret gathered her children and ran into the bush to hide.  Unfortunately Margaret never got to say good-bye to her husband or even see his body.  She and many others made their way to Grafton Village outside of Freetown where hundreds of people were being set up in displaced camps.
Margaret was approached by an old priest Reverend Father Berton in 2004 about taking in 15 children that were alone sleeping in an old building.  He offered to raise funds to help feed and house them.  In 2005, the Father brought a severely handicapped boy to Margaret, they named him Martin. He had been discarded in a heap of trash. Father Berton passed away leaving Margaret with no official or consistent funding since. Margaret has continued serving the Lord by loving on His children with open arms to this day. One of her youngest girls was found wandering the streets just this year.
In addition to protecting and caring for these precious children, Margaret leads a large group of fellow war widows.  There are 85 families that have joined together, hand in hand in support and love.  She leads a bible study with these ladies weekly and together they work a farm and participate in skills workshops that provide some amount of food and money for their families. Projects including sewing, soap making, and jewelry production.   
Margaret and her Widows
For the last year Margaret and her widow families have been receiving food parcels with the Restore Hope Project, these food distributions will come to an end after November 2011.  Margaret will be forced to once again beg for help in caring for the children.
In an earlier post, I shared about Margaret.  In May of this year I was introduced to Margaret and her children by Tom and Becky Brockelman, (see their blog listing on the right) missionaries from Texas, that live walking distance from her, in this case loving their neighbor is easy.  While I was with her in May, on Mother’s Day Margaret took in a newborn baby whose teen mother died from childbirth complications.  A short time after our June team returned home, this sweet baby passed away.  Here is a link to those blog entries, if you want to read them.

With the gracious donations of the Sierra Leone Association of Jefferson City, Missouri (a local group of Sierra Leoneans who have a heart to help people in their country thrive) and a family from our church, Memorial Baptist.  All of the fees for these children to attend school, and even skills training & continuing college education for the oldest of Margaret’s crew have been provided for this year. Praise the Lord! These children are bright, driven and have hearts that seek after the Lord.  Investing in the education of these and other children will shape the future leaders and the direction of the entire country.
Also through 2011 mission teams from McKinney, Texas and Jefferson City, Missouri this year we have been able to provide among other things roof repairs, medical attention, beds, clothes, love and support for Margaret’s group.  We join Tom and Becky with hearts to walk along side Margaret and her children and see them prosper and grow in both physical and spiritual health.

In our next blog we will tell you about these wonderful children! Would you like to meet Margaret or help her is some way? You can! Our church will be taking two teams to Sierra Leone this year, April & June.  Ask me about details, but the truth is God has all the details worked out for His own Glory, we just need to surrender a willing heart.
Thank you to our friend Michelle & her girls,
who made these head bands for these beautiful ladies,
each one handmade, loved on and prayed for.

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