Our Mission with Children in Need has always been to help children and their families, in extreme poverty, located in economically under-developed areas of the world. To provide medicine, educational opportunities and spiritual assistance so that they may achieve their full potential as human beings.
The joy and gratefulness of the vulnerable people of this area of Zambia is amazing. The appreciation is so genuine from those who have benefited from the gifts Children in Need has provided since 2002. At our hospital, patients are greeted with open arms. At least some students have uniforms and books, and some teachers have housing for their families.
The schools have daily prayer and talk openly about God and their love for Him.
Tina Kahlig (pictured above next to husband, Clarence Kahlig) said, "During our visit, one young lady gave her speech and ended with a comment that still stays with us," the young girl said, "We do not know why you would help us. We are very thankful." Tina replied, "God heard your cries and prayers for help, and we are thankful to be here."
IN THE BEGINNING
In 2002 Sister Celestine came for a sabbatical to Oblate Retreat Center in San Antonio, Texas when she met George Gisin who was also at Oblate preparing for an Acts 2 retreat. Sister, thinking he was a priest, greeted George at the grotto. They shared their experiences of life.
George listened, with compassion, as she talked about significant distress of the people of Mazabuka, Zambia. The overflowing classrooms, the dismal state of the medical facility and lack of housing for teachers. The need was so great.
George called Ken Cusi, Ronny Valdez and Chris Maguire, friends from Holy Spirit Parish. They were more excited than George was! The next day was evidence that when God wants something to happen, it falls into place. Dr. Cusi and 3 infectious disease physicians were able to discuss the aids epidemic in Zambia that had already killed a large percentage of the population.
The following Saturday George formed the initial board right on the spot. Dr. Ken Cusi, Dr. Ron Valdez, Sean Tynan, John Hohman, Art Hernandez, Jorge Preacher, and Chris Maguire.
Six months later, Chris invited Clarence Kahlig to lunch to discuss a possible contribution. We showed Clarence the pictures and shared the Sister Celestine story. Clarence said, "You are doing the right thing". He then asked if he could serve on the board as well.
Clarence decided to send his children, Jeff and Christie, to Zambia to meet Sister Celestine at the mission. Sister talked with them for the next 12 hours. Christie sat next to a little boy who was pushing the flies away and she said, "Why are you smiling?" he said, "I have one shoe, most of my friends don't have any shoes." The children go to bed with their shoes on since they are so happy to have them.
Jeff and Christie returned to San Antonio, energizing the newly formed board with stories and photos proving that these children indeed need our help.
That was the beginning of the Children in Need organization.