Ibrahim Kabia came to Bethesda Orphanage on Saturday 16 September 2019. This is the story of how he came to be there.
I was born in Ribbi Chiefdom, Moyamba District in the Southern part of Sierra Leone. I was born to very poor parents and there is no school close to my village. So my parents decided to send me to my uncle at Waterloo where I was staying. While I was staying with my uncle, Pa Sorie at Waterloo. I went through a lot of struggle and hunger. My uncle goes out to work as a Motor Bike Rider very early at 4am in the morning. By then I will be asleep and he will not leave anything for me as food or lunch for school. It was only two of us living in the apartment. Sometimes neighbours come to my aid to help with food.
One day in the morning, I thought about this and I wept bitterly. I sat down for a long time and I didn't go to school on that day. I decided to go out and pick up empty rubbers thrown at the dust bin or dropped along the way by people. By so doing, I help to get places clean and I sell these empty rubbers to get money for food. My uncle knew that this was what I was doing but he didn't care. Once in a while, he would give me food, but at this time he stopped thinking that I am receiving a little money. I was in this life for almost three years and stopped going to school. By then I was not sleeping at my uncle's place anymore. I was sleeping with my friends in the market huts. I was there for two years until September 2019.
I knew about Bethesda through a visit by Uncle Magnus, Mama Janet and two other visitors from England at 11pm near the market where we live at night. At that visit, they brought food and drinks for us and told us about Jesus. Mama Janet spoke and Uncle Magnus interpreted. The food was delicious and they also gave some of us money. I don't know how they spotted me but I saw Mama Janet and Uncle Magnus discussing privately and then called Uncle Albert who came and interviewed me. He invited me to Bethesda but it took some time before I turned up because I was afraid. I was thinking that they are bad people who kidnap. One day after two months they came to me again and asked me about my living conditions. They sympathised with me and invited me again to Bethesda. This time I went and as soon as I arrived there, I automatically fell in love with the place and I decided to stay. I was welcome by all of the boys and girls there.
When I joined Bethesda, I came as a Muslim. During the morning prayers, I struggled to sing the Christian songs but I learnt them fast. Before Bethesda, I thought Islam was the best religion but now I know that Christianity is the true religion. The first passage that made me to believe in Christianity is John 14:6 which says "I am the way, the truth and the life and no one cometh unto the father without passing through me." I heard this scripture when Abdul, one of the boys in the Centre, was preaching in our daily devotion. I came to the Centre on a Saturday and on Sunday I went to Church. At Church, I was thinking why the Bible says that Jesus is the way to heaven. As I think about this, I also thought that the Quran did not say Mohamed is the way to heaven so I believed that Christianity is the true religion and other scriptures helped to develop my faith as a Christian. Currently I am even preaching at the Church sometimes and they call me Pastor.
I am very happy for Bethesda because my life is completely different now. I am happy and I praise God for my life. Bethesda has changed my life spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically. We have been taught in the home that we must be of good character, hard working, study hard and pray at all times. I am highly motivated just like all of the boys and girls. We became even more motivated when Abdul and Mariatu went to the University. I feel there is hope for me and I believe I will repay back to other boys and girls who languish in the street after my education. I am planning to become a Medical Doctor so that I will help to treat sick people and give them a happy life. I thank all of those who have been helping us at Bethesda and I pray that God will continue to provide for you in Jesus' name.
Sponsor a Child at Bethesda
Bethesda Orphanage in Brama, Sierra Leone was originally founded in 2013 to provide a place for children to come for food. But on one particularly rainy night in September 2013 the visiting children asked to stay, thus beginning the future of Bethesda as a full-time home and sanctuary.
Today Bethesda accommodates 19 children, who now live in a purpose built home that was constructed in 2016, following a miraculous answer to prayer.
The house is run by Magnus Bendu, assisted by Marie the ‘House Mum’ who takes care of the home, meals and the children’s general needs and James, the ‘House Dad’, who gives the children extra tuition and is responsible for the maintenance of the building. The Orphanage also has a security man who lives on site.
The aim of Bethesda is to rescue abandoned or ‘lost’ children from the streets and give them a secure and loving Christian environment in which they can grow and thrive.
Many of the children are unaware of their exact age, but roughly they range from 8 to 18 years. Two of the older children, Abdul and Mariatu, are leaving to start University, but Bethesda will still remain their home.
Funding the Orphanage relies entirely on charitable donations, much of which comes through the Sierra Leone Mission; as does the raising of additional money to keep the children healthy and enable them to reach their potential.
Sponsoring a child is invaluable in helping to achieve this. The sum of £27 per month gives enough to cover the cost of food, clothes, health care and education for one child.