Reckless Love: How Bertha Found God to be Her Faithful Father

Her father left when Bertha was just two months old.

For a while, her father would visit once in a while for a few minutes, but then, when Bertha was 8, he stopped visiting altogether.

Bertha internalized her father’s absence, believing she was the reason she didn’t have a father.

She and her family of five lived on the Zambia compound in a tiny house with one bedroom and a sitting room. Bertha’s mom worked tirelessly selling vegetables as a street vendor. But despite this hard work, the little money she made couldn’t cover the essentials.

Bertha’s mom sells vegetables as a street vendor

“She could only afford to feed us so we would never sleep with an empty stomach.”

They had no electricity, but school was important, so Bertha learned to study by candlelight.

But then, Bertha was dealt another difficult blow.

“I used to go to school. But then we couldn’t pay my school fees.”

School was the place Bertha could plan and prepare for a future that was more hopeful than the realities of her daily life.

As a young teen, Bertha did everything she could to stay in school. She even washed the clothes of her teachers at the local school so she could have money to pay for school supplies.

But the school told her to go home and not come back.

“I lost hope that I would ever get an education.”

Life on the Zambia compound is difficult

In response—and with nothing else to do—Bertha began roaming the streets—a dangerous decision for a young girl in Zambia. Young girls, especially, are at high risk of falling into trafficking. They are also more susceptible to experiencing violence or being exposed to negative peer groups.

According to research, roughly 59% of adolescent girls in Zambia become pregnant by age 19. And many are much younger.

So Bertha’s grandmother brought her to Lifesong.

“Things changed when I went to Lifesong.”

Immediately, Bertha was welcomed, loved, and accepted.

Lifesong School in Zambia offers fee-free education to children in need who would otherwise be unable to attend. As part of this education, our team provides 2 meals per day, medical care, and discipleship.

Lifesong School in Zambia exists to reach students like Bertha

With your help and the help of dedicated teachers and staff, school in Zambia is one way we’re working to break the cycle of poverty.

Without this education, many of the students—the girls in particular—would be unlikely to complete primary school, receive any post-secondary-school education, or receive vocational training for employment.

In addition to a good education, our students are shown the love of Christ and are given the tools they need to learn and love the Gospel for themselves.

“During my eighth grade year, I was born again.”

Bertha was baptized in her local church

“It’s all because of God that I am here today and that I got this education.”

Today, Bertha is in the Gap Year Program, preparing to attend university.

In Zambia, our Gap Year Program meets a critical need during an important transition in a young adult’s life.

Students who complete high school in Zambia must wait one full year before they know if their grades are high enough for them to qualify for university. This means every student in Zambia has one full year between when they graduate high school and when they are able to either begin pursuing a vocation or university education.

Bertha is thriving as a student in Lifesong’s Gap Year Program

Lifesong’s Gap Year Program enables orphans and vulnerable children to be supported during this time. Students receive continued instruction in various subjects, are provided with safe housing, receive nutritious meals, are discipled and continue to learn more about the Gospel, engage in outreach opportunities, participate in job-skills training, and learn habits that will help them prepare for university and life.

Because of this program, students like Bertha are better prepared and equipped for the future.

Bertha has found joy and acceptance with God as her father

“Now I know God sees me, knows me, and loves me.”

Bertha knows God has protected her. She talks often and freely about His love for her. She joyfully engages in conversations with people in her life about the Gospel.

“There’s a God that loves me, that sees me, and sees everything that I pass through—that sees my struggle—and provides ways for me to get through those things. God is my Father.”

And what a good and faithful Father He has been and will always be.

Will you help orphaned and vulnerable children experience the hope of the Gospel?

When you give to Lifesong, you show orphaned and vulnerable children they are seen, known, and loved through Gospel-centered holistic care. Thanks to TMG Foundation, 100% of your gift goes directly to helping orphaned and vulnerable children.