The Cinderella of Malawi

Abigail Mbungwa is a 16-year-old orphan who lives in Balaka, Malawi with her grandparents. Three years ago, Abigail was invited by her aunt to live with their family in the city of Blantyre so that she could start school. But once she moved, things didn’t turn out quite like they planned. First her aunt didn’t pay her school fees. She told Abigail that instead she would help the family by doing all the chores around the house.  Day after day, month after month, and year after year passed with Abigail being promised her education. Her aunt continued to say, “Sorry Abigail, I can’t do anything for you. I don’t have money.”

The pain of this disappointment hurt even more as Abigail’s aunt easily managed to send her own children to school. As Abigail watched her cousins happily prepare and head off to school each day, she began to lose hope and in her despair thought to herself, “Does anyone love me?”

Finally, one day, Abigail’s aunt sent her back to the village in Balaka to assist her grandparents with daily chores there. She was miserable and hopeless as she went through the long list of tasks given to her each day, feeling unloved. While Abigail despaired, the Heavenly Father who created her in His beautiful image saw her – God saw Abigail. He heard her cries and sent His love through His church right into her village.

One hot day, Abigail was invited by a newly-trained Sports Friends coach to come and play netball. Her life was about to change.  Abigail jolted in excitement at the opportunity to play and connect with this coach.

“Could this coach be someone to love me?,” she thought to herself. After several weeks of playing netball, Abigail’s new coach shared about the magnificent love that Jesus offers. She shared Romans 5:8 – “But God shows his love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” From that moment – when God’s Word went into Abigail’s ears – she knew she was loved. She was LOVED!

The Word of God is living and active and the Holy Spirit moved in Abigail’s heart to believe the Gospel that day. Since then, she has had joy for the first time in her life and said, “My own family did not love me but Jesus sure does!”

Abigail still has not started going to school due to financial issues and priorities in her family but she knows that she is a child of God. She is called beloved by her Maker and she has hope because of it. With a big smile, her final words to us were: “Jesus Christ has done something great in my life!”

By Chisomo Chiwambala, SF Malawi Netball Coordinator

Sports Friends’ ministry is built around godly coaches who pour their lives into young people like Abigail. They love them, get to know their families, share with them the truths of God’s Word, and connect them to the local church. It costs just $75 to train and equip one new coach ready for ministry. As you consider your year-end giving, will you help us train and send out thousands of new coaches as agents of God’s love and hope? Donate now: www.sports-friends.org/give 

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