Giving Their Time

Mar 16, 2017

Steph Duff

Children walked forward with bundles of bananas and watermelons and loaded them in the car. As fruit and bundles of art supplies filled the car, the children at Rukuba Children’s Home spoke excitedly en route to House of Recab, a local refugee home taking in orphans from Northern Nigeria.

Director of the Rukuba Children’s Home, Katharina Akpa recounted, “Every evening, we sit with the children and read the Bible together. We tell our stories from the day by discussing highs and lows and end in prayer.”

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Recently, Katharina shared with the children Northern Nigerians are struggling as a result of the unrest in their region. They seek safety in peaceful Jos, which is centrally located in the country. As many as 200 refugee orphans have come to the House of Recab.

After they listened to Katharina share, Ruth, Melody, Elkanah, Shem, and Noro, (the older children from RCH), insisted wide-eyed, “We have to do something. We have to visit the children!”

Katharina was touched by the sensitivity of the children and their desire to visit the home. She made contact with the director of House of Recab, asking how they could help and planned a visit for the following Sunday.

Initially, House of Recab felt overwhelming. It was big and crowded. But then the children from Rukuba Children’s Home were assigned a “friend,” and shown around the home.

“I think it was a sobering experience for the children,” recalled Katharina. “They have gotten used to a certain lifestyle – two children to a room, comfortable beds, their own blankets, and plenty of healthy food. When they saw the children slept thirty to a room, spreading out the stack of thin mattresses in the corner, they shared later how stuffy the room must be.

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As the children said their goodbyes and left House of Recab, they shared their hope to return.

“It was a great blessing to see the children have a heart to come once, but to want to return, was very heartwarming. Who knows what friendships may develop as they continue to give their time and hearts to others,” said Katharina.

As the children at Rukuba Children’s Home continue to pray for those they know, and those they don’t, they are learning their time is a gift worthy to be given.

Steph Duff is a writer, daughter, sister, and really loud laugher. By day she lends her voice on behalf of orphaned and vulnerable children with Back2Back Ministries. By night she is readily found with her nose in a book and spending time with her dachshund, Addy. At all hours, she can be found consuming copious amounts of coffee. She feels most herself in the heat of India and prefers her mugs big, her books long, and her words intentional.

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