In Memory of Melody


           

           You may remember back to last year, when I relayed the story about Melody Muchimba in my report back after spending three weeks in Zambia. I explained briefly that Melody had been my sponsor child through World Vision since I was only 13 years old, and that I would have the chance to actually meet her face to face and spend the day with her and her family.




            And I was. I was able to meet Melody, as her mom called her to come from her small one room hut that she shared with her 6 siblings. And we spent the day together as she taught me about her small home and her daily life in southern Zambia. She introduced me to her mother, father, siblings, and her grandmother who still lived with them. She also introduced me to dozens of neighbors who had come to celebrate the coming of the “muzungu” white man. It was one of the most memorable days of my life, and not only can I remember it distinctly, but I will always remember it distinctly.

            Little did I know that in the first week of October 2012 Melody, weeks after her 18th birthday, would lose her life here on earth.

            I cannot explain the grief that struck me, for more reasons than one, and the hardship it still is to let go of her and trust God’s plan. God’s plan to take the life of a beautiful, talented, gifted young 18 year old who dreamed of making a difference for herself and many others. The life of one who loved him and desired to see many others love him too.  I don’t understand it and the anger I have dealt with, but I am daily giving that anger and grief of her family, her loves ones, and myself to the Lord, trying to trust.

            All I know today is that I can be so thankful that somehow, world vision chose Melody. That somehow a 13 year olds parents from Missouri chose Melody one night after a concert. That somehow God had ordained this beautiful girl to know him and be known by him. And she did. She was chosen and now she is rejoicing with him in heaven. So many loved her and cherished her dreams.

            One of those dreams includes the ability for children in her area to be educated, all of them. Because of that Melody’s parents have accepted a donation of about $1500 to go towards rebuilding and expanding Melody’s school, which is in need of repair as well as space to incorporate more children into their program. This is the direct quote from the Charles, the director of World Vision Zambia: "The family is humbled by the gift, and suggested that the gift go towards the rehabilitation of a 1 x 2 classroom block at Chikanta. This is a school which Melody attended, together with three siblings. The siblings are still there, it also provide an opportunity for other children in the community to attend school. Most schools have challenges such as limited number of classrooms which hinders a lot of children from attending and furthering their education. The family said it is the best way to honor and remember their late child if more children in the community are given the chance to progress in their education." 
            I plan to donate that money before Christmas of 2012 so they can start building by January 1st.  Any extra donations will go to cover books, chalkboards, and uniforms for the children. The addition will be dedicated in memory of Melody Muchimba.

            I write to share with you the legacy of a girl who changed my life. In 2010 when I went headed off to Zambia it was only because my heart was there with Melody. Knowing the desperate needs of her and her family opened my heart to God in a way nothing ever had before. The poverty of their world opened up the poverty of my own heart. When I heard the words from Melody’s mouth that she wanted to be a nurse one day, tears streamed down my cheeks. She would have nothing less than helping other children to very literally reach their very own dreams.

Melody, me, and her two younger sisters who will attend the school

Melody`s school

            If you would like to donate please contact me via e-mail: lesleyrwilkinson@gmail.com Otherwise, I want to remind you of the encouraging and beautiful story of this girl and I hope that her memory will live on through our hearts and our actions, especially in the way we love Jesus.  

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