Invest in a different kind of stock – LIVESTOCK

Only a few days before the 6th annual Livestock Music Festival. It’s the calm before the beautiful commotion. All is good!  Before we officially step into summer, I have a couple stories I still want to share with you from our African adventure.

This is one of them.

When we arrived to the second village, we found the atmosphere to be different than the first. This location serves as the official World Vision office for the Lugbu community.

Unlike our first village experience very few villagers came to greet us initially, and the air felt somber. We later learned that a few days prior to our arrival, one of their own, a young twenty-something man had tragically died when he fell from a tree. His young wife carrying their first child was now a widow. The day we arrived was the day this village laid him to rest.

Sorrow spilled over. The grief was palpable.

But this man, Sheku Massaquoi and his 10 year old son Idisa, came from a different village. We were told that they traveled a great distance in order to meet us. Sheku has 7 children, but for this day he brought with him this treasured son.

Idisa is different. At an early age he contracted a fever (probably Yellow Fever) and the sickness caused his feet to become deformed. He is crippled and cannot walk. His father tells us that when his son became sick, “I was tormented and hurt. I was not happy…but, we did not lose hope. So long as there is life, there is hope.” As I sat right next to the boy and his father, I observed how deeply this father loved his son. I watched the boys heart beating wildly from his chest and I wondered about the impact of this moment on this boys life.

Even though the disability prevents Idisa from doing many of the same activities his brothers and sisters are doing, his health is good.

Why?

Two reasons:

1) Livestock- At first, the family received a female goat. Within a short time the goat reproduced and they were able to keep one goat (expanding their farm) and sell one goat in exchange for chickens. Within a short time the chickens began laying eggs. Not only were they able to diversify their families diet but they could sell the eggs too!

2) Investment- We many not think of livestock animals as an investment opportunity but whenever we take a risk by putting our hard earned money into something that has the potential to grow and flourish – we are investing.

Sheku is a wise man. He has taken your investment of a $75 goat and built a thriving livestock business in his own back yard. His entrepreneurial efforts have not only benefited the needs of his immediate family but he is helping to meet the needs of his surrounding neighbors. This single investment has increased the health of this families diet and provided additional income, which has allowed them to send their children to school.

Families in Sierra Leone are not all that different from American ones. They have hopes and dreams for their children just like we do. They want their children to be healthy and well fed. Then, they want them to receive a proper education. During our visit, we quickly learned that our investment of livestock animals is paving the way for an entire village of children.

Children who will one day become adults. Educated children who will be empowered by the resources given to them today to make a difference tomorrow.

It’s time to invest in stock that will pay eternal dividends.

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