Abp. Ben and Gloria Kwashi live and minister in Northern Nigeria, where terrorist attacks and regional conflicts have killed thousands and displaced millions. God laid it upon Mama Gloria Kwashi’s heart to care for orphans left behind in the wake of this violence.
The adoptions started with a trickle: a small school nearly 300 kilometers away was closing and 20 orphans needed a home. So Mama Kwashi brought them to Zambiri. A few weeks later, the Kwashis gathered in 10 more. In less the six months, they had 60 children, formerly orphans, living at Zambiri. The Kwashis don’t fund and staff this enterprise alone—since they belong to a large diocese with many churches, the larger community has joyfully joined them in this incredible ministry.
Most of the children had experienced unspeakable trauma. Here’s one fairly typical “case history.” After Laraba’s father died of AIDS and her mother contracted AIDS, a man in her village raped and infected Laraba with HIV. She was only nine. Then her mother died, leaving Laraba to care for her seven-year-old brother, Bitrus. The siblings were shipped to a local orphanage where caretakers abused them again. When that orphanage closed, Mama Gloria gathered Laraba and Bitrus into her family at Zambiri.
The Kwashis have a simple ministry philosophy: Christ can heal the most profound trauma and loss, but that healing occurs in the context of a loving Christian community. More specifically, healing from trauma happens when broken people are immersed into a real Christian family, a place where a mom and a dad, an entourage of spiritual daddies and mamas, and a band of brothers and sisters embrace you with love and surround you with safety.
As Mama Gloria says, “Orphans’ greatest needs are parents, parents, and parents. It was the loss of parents that made them orphans.” And so for Mama Gloria the solution is simple: root them in a new family with a mom and a dad.
Today, they care for 500 children at Zambiri House with the help of their church community.