At Nortonville United Methodist Church, every dollar that is dropped into the plate during a special monthly collection changes the lives of two young African girls living in poverty.
For nearly eight years, the small congregation in Nortonville has been sponsoring young girls in Africa who, without their support, might never receive an education.
It all started when Dorothy Dunn, a member of Nortonville UMC, met someone who made a special impression on her.
|Hannah, left, and Rita live in Ghana, Africa, and their standard of living has improved through help from Nortonville UMC members. (courtesy photos)|
Dunn went back to her church and shared Anna and Peter’s story. The church gave a donation that supplied the pump for the well, but their giving did not stop there.
“While in Africa, Anna rescued an 8-year-old girl, who was basically sold as a slave and wife to an older man. Anna put her into a safe facility and was looking for a sponsor for her,” Dunn said.
The girl’s name is Dorcas, and, because of the generous spirit of Nortonville UMC, she was able to attend school and have access to health care while in Africa. About a year ago, she was adopted by a couple living in Georgia. Now a teenager, Dorcas’ life is full of possibilities and dreams that did not exist eight years ago.
The church sponsors a child for $50 a month through the Africana Children’s Education Fund. This amount covers education costs, uniforms and health care. Children who are accepted into the program must demonstrate need and adhere to strict guidelines concerning their grades and moral standards.
Currently, Nortonville UMC is sponsoring two girls, Rita and Hannah, ages 6 and 8, respectively. Doubling the sponsorship also meant doubling the amount of money needed to provide an education for the girls.
The church, whose average attendance is only about 15, relies on private donations once a month from members to keep the fund going. While it is a challenge to raise money monthly, they never doubt the necessity of their efforts.
“What would they fall back on?” Dunn asked. “Without an education, they wouldn’t have the skills to get a job. This gives them an opportunity to move on to the next level in their lives, but I also think it gives them a sense of hope and pride, and it makes them feel better about themselves.”
What Nortonville UMC gives to these girls goes beyond monetary value. As immeasurable as the impact of their giving is, they also are gaining a little something, too.
“We are proud that we are able to do this,” Dunn said. “We are a small church, but we continue to make it work, and there is definitely a sense of pride that comes with that.”