Ronnie and Roonie were twins born in the Kipkaren slum near Eldoret, Kenya. Their dad died of AIDS. And their mom feeling overwhelmed simply dumped Ronnie and Roonie in a trash heap and disappeared. Presumably she was HIV positive too.
A Good Samaritan recognized the children who had been dumped and knew that they had a grandmother nearby. So Ronnie and Roonie were taken to her little mud house in the slum. Their grandmother didn’t want them but didn’t know how to get out of the predicament. This is the plight of so many in Sub-Saharan Africa. Parents die and older grandparents are left to raise the children. AIDS has caused a whole generation to disappear from this area.
Ronnie and Roonie’s grandmother didn’t have any money or food. So everyday, she would lock them in a dark, little room in her hut and go out begging on the streets. As a result, Ronnie and Roonie grew up alone locked up every day in a dark room.
The twins had no social interaction except for what they had with each other. Since no one ever taught them, they ended up creating their own language to communicate with each other. Yes, they made up a language that only they understood. As they grew up, their lives were marked by sickness, hunger, and isolation.
Our CRF director in the area, Francis Bii, heard about the situation and rescued the children. After pulling them out of the desperate situation, he got them sponsored and enrolled in our CRF school there. But Ronnie and Roonie were like animals. They didn’t know how to behave around other people. And they didn’t know how to communicate with anyone other than each other.
I saw Ronnie and Roonie recently. They were in a pre-school class at our CRF school. They were no longer wild thanks to the patience of Francis and some really good teachers. As I watched them, I realized that they were doing math—and doing a pretty good job. They speak four languages now: Kalingen, Swahili, English—and Ronnie and Roonie. But most importantly, they could tell you the story of Jesus.
When you sponsor a child, you never know how much the child’s life changes. The before and after on Ronnie and Roonie is extraordinary. And whether the change is as extreme as in these two lives — your sponsorship is still the biggest thing in your child’s life.
And by the way, we are helping the grandmother too. She no longer has to beg on the street. She is no longer a victim of starvation. And she also believes in Jesus.
Thank you sponsors!
We have a lot of children in the same slum as Ronnie and Roonie who need help.
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