Regardless of how you feel about the fact that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, it is no secret that this is the biggest American celebration of love in the entire year. As a day that focuses so much attention on the greatest desire of the human heart, this can be a day of both joy and sadness for many. For those who feel they’ve found the love they’re looking for, it is a day that is greatly anticipated and enjoyed. But for others, it can be a day of heartache and disappointment as they are reminded again of broken relationships they’ve had and the feeling of being unloved that they can’t seem to shake.
I’m sure Chikondi can relate to these feelings of being forgotten and unloved. As a young boy who was orphaned with his sister at the young age of 7, Chikondi has known the pain of having love snatched from his life. It is heartbreaking that a boy whose name actually means “Love” could have gone through a time in him life of feeling just the opposite.
Thankfully, Chikondi, the boy named “Love”, has come to know the unconditional love of God through his new mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters who he has come to know and love Mtendere. Emily Johnston, a volunteer who recently visited Mtendere, has written a beautiful blog post about her time in Mtendere and her interactions with Chikondi. She was able to capture a glimpse of his transformation during her time in Malawi and you can click here to read her story for yourself.
Through coming to Mtendere Village, Chikondi has transformed from a sad and fearful boy into one who is filled with confidence, joy, and peace. He has found safety in the love of God that has been shown to him through his new family and friends at Mtendere, and he will never be the same again.
We pray that, just as Chikondi has come to know the unconditional love of God, so too will those who do not know the unconditional love of their Heavenly Father come to know Him this Valentine’s Day. It is God’s love that never leaves us and never forsakes us – it always protects us, always hopes the best for us, and always perseveres with us (1 Corinthians 13). In 1 John, God tells us that, not only does he LOVE us, but that He is LOVE. And I’m sure Chikondi will tell you – that’s a Love worth celebrating.