Butterfly Sparks Designs

Monday, August 18, 2008

Zipora Iyabo

I would like to introduce you to Zipora Iyabo. Isn’t she beautiful? Zipora lives in Uganda, and I am sponsoring her through Compassion International. When I went to the site to choose a child from Uganda, as soon as I saw her, I knew she was the one. After I completed the application for sponsorship, Compassion sent me a file with more details about her (LOTS of details). I chose Compassion because they are not an organization to which you simply send a check and only receive generic communication and information back. Compassion is in the village, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and runs child development centers that provide the children with education, Christian teaching and activities. I can get specific information about how she is doing, how to pray for her, and what is going on in her life. This is why I chose Compassion –they really work hard to facilitate building a relationship between sponsor and child.

So, a little about Zipora…

She is five years old, with her sixth birthday coming up on September 25th. Her favorite thing to do is to play her drum and sing. She also enjoys playing with other musical instruments. Her counselor says that she is quite the “teacher”… she loves to teach others – even the adults! =)

You are probably aware that although Uganda’s government has since stabilized, up until a few years ago there were remaining tribal wars. Just as things were starting to settle down, Zipora’s mother’s village was attacked by a rival tribe. As a result, her mother was raped and became pregnant. Zipora’s mother also has AIDS. Zipora tests negative for the AIDS virus; however, she is at great risk because of the rampant nature of the virus in this country. (AIDS has orphaned tens of thousands of children in this part of Africa.) Because of her pregnancy, Zipora’s mother was shunned from her family and was forced to move to another village. Her mother is raising her, alone, with no family support, in extreme poverty – beyond anything we can imagine. Her mother (I don’t know her name yet) works when she can as a peasant farmer and laborer in the village, earning approximately $6.00 per month. Zipora and her mother live in a “hut” made of mud-bricks which is often washed away during their rainy season.

Would you please join me in praying for this precious girl? I’ve shared with many of you that I have felt an unshaking pull toward Uganda in the past five or six months, but I’ve been putting it on the “back burner”. Finally, last month I stopped running, and God led me to Compassion where I found Zipora. And, about a week ago I received an email from one of my professors at Liberty who is gathering a team of 15 people to travel to Africa next year for a short-term mission assignment – specifically to Uganda. Go figure. If that works out, then Compassion would arrange a meeting for me and Zipora while I am there. How cool would that be?

Please pray that our relationship would further enforce what she is learning through the amazing counselors at Compassion -- that she matters to God, and no matter what her circumstances may be, that she has a purpose specifically and uniquely designed by Him for her.


whittakerwoman said...

As someone who has been to Uganda, meeting your sponsor child is just one of those moments in life. I can not explain to you what you mean to her. They treat their sponsor parents like real family. She will look to you and treasure all that you do for her. What project is she at? I wonder if it is one of the ones we visited. H

Melissa Driggers said...


Thanks for your comment! She is at the Soroti Child Development Center. I believe it is just northeast of Kampala.

I would appreciate any ideas that you have for enclosures/gifts in her letters. I'm new at this, but I think we can only send "paper gifts". I've sent 8 letters and I've only been her sponsor for a few weeks -- I want her to have mail a few times every week, and I know it can takes months for things to get there.