Imagine losing your parents. Imagine being homeless. Imagine being hungry all the time.
You're lonely. You feel neglected and abandoned. You see only one identity.
You're an orphan.
Known in Ghana as "the forgotten", many orphans have also lost their hope. Unfortunately their needs exceed what local welfare organizations can provide and they truly need us to fill the gap.
Adwoa Yeboah-Marfo is trying to do just that.
Born in Aburi in the Eastern Region of Ghana, Adwoa grew up in a family of seven. She had to grow up quickly; at 8years old she learned to cook and sell in the market place. At 17years old her father passed, leaving her mother and siblings in pain and a new normal of living with a single parent.
Years later, through hard work, Adwoa went to school to become a professional caterer and eventually met the man God destined her to be with and married him. They had three wonderful children who she promised would have the life she craved for as a child but never had. She and her family moved a lot, living in several parts of Africa and spending sometime in the United States. Through her travels in Africa, Adwoa couldn't help but notice the common scene of orphans begging in the streets, just trying to survive with nowhere to go. This planted a seed in her.
Her own life was more or less perfect as far as she was concerned but that all changed when her husband was suddenly diagnosed with chronic renal failure. The man who had taught her how to love and to trust was slipping away and there was nothing she could do. All of their savings went towards paying for his medical bills. Health insurance in Ghana was virtually inexistent and her family went into debt overnight. It was a struggle for her to make ends meet, sometimes they didn't. She had always turned to her faithful husband, but now he needed her. She had no one to turn to. She remained strong for him and her family but he passed away.
Pain, fear and uncertainty took his place. She wondered if her family was heading for the same fate as the all too common scene of orphans begging in the streets.
She felt she had reached her end but she gained strength as she remembered her husband’s final words. Right before he passed away he opened his bible to Isaiah 41:10 and read it to her:
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Out of her pain somehow faith grew in her. She knew that Jesus could do all things; most especially save her and her family. So at her lowest moment - no husband, a lot of debt and 3 children to raise - she turned to Jesus and clung onto Him. She gave her life over to Christ. Her old self was put to death and she rose born again with Christ in her heart. She would never be the same again. Over the years she received abundant grace to keep her children in school, seeing them all graduate from university, provide for their needs and get herself out of depression.
Reflecting on her life - God’s grace and provision through losing her own father and raising her children as a widow - Adwoa felt a calling. She knew what she wanted to do with her life – she was going to love and care for the fatherless and motherless children that she knew could achieve more than what she or her children did if they were simply given a chance.
Marfo Children Care Foundation (MCCF) was born .
Adwoa's mission for MCCF is to provide family-based Christian homes to orphaned children. The first of these homes has begun in Adwoa's private residence where she currently lives.
Starting MCCF has changed Adwoa's life. She is led everyday to provide hope and support to the children that live with her, instilling in them the belief that they can make it in life despite their histories.
Adwoa is focused on making the impossible possible for the least likely in her society. When people ask how she is doing it, her answer is always the same: "I do not fear. I am not dismayed. God strengthens me. God upholds me with His righteous hand"