Text Box: Orphan Program

Baby Tapuwa

Charis McArthur with Tapuwa

Tapuwa Benga

Theresa with orphan

Dan praying for orphan

Text Box: You can help the orphaned children of Zimbabwe.  
The cost to educate a child is $45.00 per month.  

Please make checks payable to: Vision For Africa and write ‘TUOP’ in the memo. 

If making a contribution online for TUOP, please designate those funds  “TUOP” on the line marked “purpose”. 

(Only 10% is for administration.  The rest goes to the child.)

T.U.O.P (Vision for Africa)
P.O. Box 24832
Dayton, Ohio  45424

E-mail:  danandtheresa@vision4afrika.org

U.S. Address:  Vision For Africa, P.O. Box 24832, Dayton, OH  45424   Zimbabwe Address:  Vision For Africa, P.O. Box 6190, Gweru, Zimbabwe, Africa

US Phone:  (937) 631-3124     Zimbabwe Phone:  011 263  54 221129  

Email:  danandtheresa@vision4afrika.org

 

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danandtheresa@vision4afrika.org

Vision for Africa

Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  Proverbs 29:18

Tapuwa Upenyu

In 1997 Dan and Theresa McArthur, missionaries in Zimbabwe, Africa, found a baby boy abandoned in a hospital.  The baby’s name was Tapuwa Benga.  His mother had died of complications from AIDS shortly after Tapuwa’s birth.  Tapuwa was HIV positive as well as having hydrocephalus.  The hospital had no equipment for bottle sterilization so they were feeding Tapuwa with a spoon.  His father had no means with which to care for him, so Tapuwa was left in the hospital to die—until the McArthur’s found him and took him home to care for him.  God worked miracles in the small child’s life and after 7 months of care in the McArthur’s home, Tapuwa was restored to his extended family and his father found the Lord Jesus as his savior.  Tapuwa is now a healthy teenage boy.  (To read the complete version of Tad’s Story scroll to the bottom of this page.)

 

Tapuwa Upenyu Orphan Program

 

As a result of Tapuwa’s story, the McArthur’s were led to start the Tapuwa Upenyu Orphan Program (TUOP).  Tapuwa Upenyu means “We have been given life”.  According to Zimbabwe Government statistics one in seven adults in Zimbabwe are living with HIV and approximately 565 adults/children are being infected daily.  (See www.davidcoltart.com)  There are approximately one million orphans living in Zimbabwe because of HIV/AIDS and an estimated 83,000 people die each year from HIV/AIDS. TUOP began in 2000 and the main function of TUOP is to pay school fees for orphaned children living with extended family members.  African culture provides for the care of orphans under normal conditions, but the AIDS epidemic has put Zimbabwe into a crisis situation.  Most extended families have the heart but not the financial means to care for their orphaned children.  School fees are a major expense and TUOP has proven to be a cost efficient and effective way to help care for AIDS orphans.  The orphans are recommended to us by local ministers and pastors who are also involved in meeting the spiritual needs of the orphans and their extended families.  TUOP operates with a local volunteer board of directors who have a heart and a vision to care for orphaned children.

 

Vision Statement

To point this new generation of orphaned Zimbabweans to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to prepare them to take their rightful place in society and make their mark on the Zimbabwe of tomorrow.

 

 

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”  James 1:27

 

 

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Tad’s Story

 

This is the story of Tapuwa Benga as told by Theresa McArthur.  One day in September 1997 my daughter and I went to visit a young friend in our local hospital in Gweru, Zimbabwe.  While we were there, my daughter drew my attention to a baby in a bed close by.  The baby’s name was Tapuwa Benga.  We nicknamed him Tad.  Tad’s mother had died from complications from AIDS shortly after his birth and his father, having no means to care for the child, had abandoned him to the hospital.  Tad was born HIV positive and he also had hydrocephalus.  Having no means for bottle sterilization, the hospital was feeding Tad with a spoon, so he was also starving.  When I saw this pitiful baby, my heart broke for him and his family.  The extended family in the African culture normally will be very quick to care for their own orphaned children, but because of all the things wrong with Tapuwa, the extended family denied that care.  They all expected him to die. 

 

Upon returning home, my husband and I began to pray for this little baby asking the Lord to show us who we could get to care for him.  Every time we prayed the Lord would put it on my heart to go see an elderly lady who was a member of one of our churches named Mrs. Nyoni.  I was slow to obey because I wondered why an elderly couple would be interested in caring for this child, but finally I went out of obedience.  My husband and I sat and told Mrs. Nyoni about Tapuwa.  When we finished, this is what her response was: “Mrs. McArthur, that baby’s story is just like my own.  My mother died when I was born and my father abandoned me to the hospital.  When I was six months old a missionary lady found me in the hospital and took me home to care for me till I was six years old when my father re-married and took me to live with him.  I would not be here today if it were not for that missionary lady.”  It was obvious to us what the Lord’s answer to our prayer was. 

 

We made contact with the baby’s father, also named Tapuwa.  The two of them came to our house for Christmas, 1997.  A few days later Tapuwa Sr. came to us and asked if we would help him care for his child.  We made arrangements that we would care for the child for six months and see what God did.  In that time we asked that he would do everything in his power to find a home for the baby with the extended family.

 

Tad was five months old when he came to live with us, but he only had the motor skills of a newborn.  He couldn’t even hold his head up or make eye contact. He wouldn’t grasp hold of anything unless we manipulated his hand around the object.  We took him to see a doctor and the doctor explained that normally the baby would have had immediate surgery for the hydrocephalus in order to drain the fluid off the brain.  But because he was HIV positive there was no need to do that.  In those early days babies born HIV in Zimbabwe wouldn’t live past two years.  The doctor told us to measure Tad’s head weekly and if we saw a significant change in size, we should bring him back to see the doctor.  Well, we did that and the head did begin to get much larger.  So the doctor made arrangements for us to see a surgeon. 

 

Before we went to see the surgeon, we called together people in our town who we knew would pray with us in faith for a miracle.  We met together in our living room and prayed for Tad, anointing him with oil.  It was an amazing prayer time.  God showed up.  I love it when God shows up for a prayer time.  A few days later we saw the surgeon and when he saw Tad he immediately said there was no need for surgery.  “We don’t understand how, but sometimes the water finds a way of its own to drain off the brain,” he told us.  Isn’t our God great? 

Tad stayed with us for seven months.  By the end of those months, he had gone from having the motor skills of a newborn to being able to walk holding on to the furniture or a hand.  He now lives with his Aunt and Uncle who live in our town.  In the process Tapuwa Sr. came to know the Lord as his savior. 

 

Tapuwa Jr. is now a healthy 15 year old boy.  Over the years we have maintained minimal contact with Tapuwa but recently the Lord has opened the door a lot wider.  We ‘happened’ to reconnected with Tapuwa’s cousin/brother, Tawanda Sabata and he indicated that he wanted to visit us.  We arranged a time and he came one evening with his wife and little boy and Tapuwa came along as well.  The Lord had been putting it on my heart that there would soon come a time when we would have the opportunity to share Jesus with Tapuwa.  So that evening in July, 2012 I took the opportunity.  I asked Tad if he had ever heard the whole story surrounding his birth and how he came to live with our family.  He replied that he never had but he was eager to hear it.  So I related to him all that I’ve shared in this article.  When I was finished I said, “Tapuwa, it is only by God’s miraculous hand that you are alive.  He must have a purpose for your life and you need to find out what that purpose is.  In order to do that you need to know God.  Do you want to know God?”  His reply was a positive “Yes.” 

 

Dan and Tapuwa share the same birthday, July 22, which was the following Sunday from the night of our visit.  So we made arrangements to have a birthday party with the intention of sharing the gospel with our young friend.  Tapuwa and his entire family came for the celebration and listened as Dan shared the scriptures with all of them.  Then Tapuwa and his whole family prayed the prayer of faith accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  We are now meeting together weekly for Bible study leading them through the fundamentals of Christianity. 

 

Our God is an amazing God!  Glory to His Name!

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