June 2011 Update
One child slave’s story of redemption
Delphin was born into an intrinsically poor environment in Togo, West Africa. From birth, life for her family was hard. Her mother died when she was nine months old, followed by her Father at age two. After the death of her parents a family, who subjected her to child slavery, claimed her. At age four she began working long rigorous hours cultivating fields from dusk till dawn. Forced child labor, played out on black cottonseed soil fields, consumed her childhood until she reached the age of ten. At ten she was forced into work that most often began at three am. When translating her story Celine Nkulikyie explained,
“She was not supposed to eat until she finished selling all the food she prepared. She would go to the market, with the hot sun of Togo, sell food from morning till evening. If all food for sale got finished, this meant she would have some dinner for that day – which is ground cassava flour and water. If she did not sell all the food, that meant she would sleep hungry. Again she could not eat the food she was selling because it had already been portioned into 100 pieces, hence if apiece were missing, [she would be severely punished.]”
At age 18 two things happened. First, the Nklukiye family, former refugees from East Africa (clink story link below), felt called of God to start a Vapor Sports Ministries center in her village Togoville, Togo. Second, a Togolese woman of humble means, who was a Christ follower, began doing what she could to assist her with basic needs.
The Nkulikye’s decision to move by faith as missionaries to West Africa would soon radically impact Delphin’s future. She became one of the many that Celine and Christian began to show Christ’s love too. Though she was an outcast in society they embraced her, took her in, fed her, gave her a job, and Celine began to be for her the mother she never had. She showed her a love she had never experienced and consistently spoke to her of the one who changed her life, the Father to the Fatherless, Christ himself.
Delphin is now twenty years of age. Recently my wife and I got spend time with her. My wife says, “She is so beautiful with a bright smile. By looking at her today from the outside you would never guess she was an orphaned child slave.” This past year she claimed Christ as her Savior and God as her Father. A once enslaved orphan with real freedom.
Her’s is one of a thousand powerful stories of tremendous life transformation coming from our three operating African centers. Her story not only represents what God is doing, but also reminds me of “what could” be in the lives of so many others. Christ invites us to play a part in His redemptive narrative. We invite you to join us as we seek to usher in real freedom. 40 centers, 40 slums, 2017.
Life is a vapor,