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Heart of the Bride / Stories  / Godfrey’s Story

Godfrey’s Story

Godfrey Kaluba was like many other kids who find themselves on the streets. When he was young his father abandoned the family and soon after, his mother died from TB. At the timeGodfrey was 12 years old. He was 1 of 5 children and second to the youngest. After his mother’s death, he lived with his grand parents along with several cousins. Aunties and Uncles tried to help by taking some of the siblings, but Godfrey wanted what was left of his family to stay together. Although his grandpa was farming some maize, there was little money for the family to survive. Soon Godfrey found himself in town selling boiled eggs and bottled water to busy people moving up and down.
 
At age 13 he was a young businessman and would earn enough to help feed the family
something for dinner and get the bus home at night. One day he didn’t have enough money to get the bus home, so he began walking around town looking to maybe find a place to rest, when a man came to him and asked him if he would watch his car. Godfrey was happy to help the man and after about 3 hours of watching this car in the late night, Godfrey was able to make almost as much as he made selling eggs in 1 month. This opened his mind to all the possibilities there were on the streets to make money.
 
After some time of watching vehicles for people in town, Godfrey gradually built
relationships with other young men in town. It wasn’t long that those friendships turned
into a brotherhood. He began an alliance with an older, very strong boy named Muso.
Muso was Godfrey’s protector. Muso and his friend Bright, ruled the streets. By any means
possible they maintained control of the other kids in town and how things were done. Soon
Muso had Godfrey selling an inhalant called ‘Jenkum’.
 
By age 15, he was a drug dealer and had gotten news that his father was also dead.
Godfrey’s goal in his new position was to get kids addicted to the inhalant to build their
clientele. Although Godfrey was working to get kids addicted, he always wanted to make
sure they were otherwise safe. He wanted to protect them from the older, less merciful
boys even though he feared them himself. One of the perks with the job, was that the
younger boys were more successful beggars and shared with Godfrey. Unfortunately, he
found himself locked in his own addiction to jenkum that left him high most of the time.
 
In 2007 Godfrey, age 16, met the Walkers through the weekly outreach program they were
having for street kids. At that time this was the only program in place for kids. The Walkers
were trying to target some of the leaders in town, in order to share Christ, lift them from
the streets and groom them for leaders in the work. Godfrey was part of that program. He
was chosen because of his care for the younger boys. Every week day, this group of 5-6
street kids would come out to a property that was purchased for development and they
would work. They would work, eat and have a bible study every day and then leave with
money in their pockets.
 
It was during that time that we saw the potential in Godfrey. Time away from town, time
with a clear head, time in God’s word, time talking, laughing and sharing life together. He
wasn’t a street boy any more, he was a person. Someone hurting, someone with a back
story, someone with hopes and dreams.
 
In 2008 Godfrey was one of the first chosen leaders for our first residential home for boys.
He was 17 years old and had to make some decisions about the direction of his future. In
Zambia, the basic starting place in their education system for older kids is to take a grade 7 exam. Without this exam it is almost impossible to finish school. Most young men at this
age would never consider starting at this place. It would mean being the older, teased, less educated one in the class. It was a long 6 year journey ahead with hurdles that seemed too high. Even the Walkers were encouraging Godfrey to just learn to read and write and then pick a trade, but Godfrey was determined.
 
He chose to pursue school and finish grade 12. Godfrey was also a very talented footballer. As he joined a local team, people saw his talent. He began to be recruited by better leagues and was even getting a wage from playing. But he knew that he had to work harder in school than others for all of the lost years, Godfrey prayed and knew God was asking him to leave football behind so that he could focus on his studies. By 2015 his perseverance paid off. He graduated grade 12.
 
Even then he had his sights set on university because he wanted to inspire other struggling Zambian kids to work hard and finish school. In 2019 Godfrey received his degree as a teacher from University. His story could be the story of many more kids living, working and dying on the streets. That is why Abbas Heart Zambia keeps going back to the streets and seeking the ‘one’.