Love Without Borders: 

One Child’s Story

Click on the picture above to listen to a talk, “Love Without Borders” that Leonora delivered at Runnymede United Church, Toronto, November 20, 2011. Leonora speaks of her own poverty stricken childhood, her passion to go to school and her resolve to help other children. As an adult, she didn’t have money in a bank account. She was just an ordinary Kenyan with an ordinary income. But when she encountered a particular orphaned 4 year old, she believed she was called to care for her. She took action and trusted that God would provide. This was the beginning of a stream of orphans becoming part of their family!

She was only four years old, and in her four years she had suffered more than many of us do in a life time, carrying burdens of responsibility that many of us shy away from as adults!  First her father died through HIV&AIDS, and then she watched her mother’s slow wasting away through the same disease. The only person she had left in the world was her grandmother, who was actually too sick herself to be able to care for her grand daughter.

This four year old was working in order to support her grandmother! She would go to the neighbours offering to run errands for them in exchange for some food. She was malnourished, sick, uncared for and very alone in the world. Until a compassionate Kenyan family opened their home and their hearts to her, arranging for her elderly grandmother to be cared for by a local agency. “She looked more like a two year old,” say her adoptive parents.

“What are you doing?” the neighbours said, “Bringing this child in from the country- she’s only going to die!”

“But we felt in our hearts that she would live,” her adoptive mother says, with gentle emphasis.

They took her to doctors in Nairobi who treated her ailments, and she did indeed thrive. This girl has always shown a deep empathy and caring for others. She reaches out to sick classmates, and is currently caring for a child with leukemia. They call her,”The Nurse.” Is her compasssion for the sick and needy a result of the love and grace that came to her at a moment of such desperate need in her own life? Perhaps. It has been observed that children who receive love, give back love more readily.