Within a few days of giving birth, a young woman was issued divorce papers by her husband. For a woman in Malawi, where there is no benefits system, being abandoned like this meant certain hardship. How was she going to support herself and her new-born baby boy? She was desperate, but she had one comfort, her faith in Christ. So she called her son “God-knows”.
When Godknows was a young boy, his mother remarried, but his new step-father had no love for him, and abused him. At the age of 10 he ran away and spent 3 years living on the streets. Eventually he found the support to go to school and get an education. Later he decided to head to South Africa to look for work. But in South Africa he was caught by human-traffickers and used as a ‘drugs mule’ to carry drugs between countries. Eventually he managed to escape and he came back to Malawi.
Godknows felt sure God had saved him from these tragic situations for a purpose. He felt a great concern for vulnerable children in Malawi who slip through the net and have no support. He made an appointment to go and see the President and tell him of his concerns. He created public awareness of the child safety crisis in Malawi by organizing a 900 km walk from Blantyre to Mzuzu. Fund-raising began.
In 2007 Godknows and his wife Helen opened a children’s home for vulnerable children. It is called STEKA – which stands for STEp-Kids-Awareness. They decided to look after a maximum of 12 children, but God had other plans: at the start of 2015 Godknows is the “father” of 49 children!
These children come to him from different tragic situations. Some are orphans with no relatives who can afford to look after them. Some have simply been abandoned by their parents. Some are children who, like Godknows himself, have been abused by their step-parents – a very common problem in Malawi. Some have lived on the streets, another thing Godknows has first-hand experience of. Some are young teenage girls who have escaped from forced marriages – another prevalent social issue in Malawi. Sometimes Godknows has found these children himself, sometimes the police turn up at the home with a child in a critical state.
At STEKA children’s home these children find love and support. They live as one big family, and Godknows and Helen look after them as their own. They supervise school work to make sure the children make the most of their education, and have a desire to start a vocational training centre so that each child can learn a trade and support themselves. They have welcomed Children For Christ Ministries to run a Bible Club right there in the home, which most of the children attend and enjoy. As a musician himself, Godknows is pleased that CFCM are going to start a music club for the older children, something that Ruth is going to be helping with.
‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’