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Lydia Cendrella Akello

GUL26360 When Lydia was very small, her parents separated, and her father abandoned the care of his first family for a new wife and new family. Lydia’s mother did not have the capacity to care for Lydia and her siblings by herself, so she left the children with their elderly grandmother in order to go find work to support them. Lydia has stayed with her grandmother since then and had to learn to care for herself from a tender age. When Lydia reflects on this time, she acknowledges the difficulties of growing up without her parents being present and having to scavenge for food, but she also recognizes the blessings in disguise and the skills she gained.

Joining Africa Renewal’s Child Development Program and receiving a sponsor was life-changing for Lydia. Being involved in the program, she found a home and a family in the community of the project staff and the local church. Lydia felt truly loved through this community, and this love is what impacted her decision to accept Christ as her Lord and Savior. She says, “It would be hard to face life positively without Christ—I got this hope from the project.” Sponsorship provided Lydia with the opportunity to go to school, but more importantly, it supported her spiritual growth through Bible studies, mentorship, and discipleship programs. She now serves in the project as a facilitator in the discipleship team, pouring into other students’ lives through the peer mentorship program.

Lydia is so grateful that God has given her the opportunity to truly know Him. Through participation in Africa Renewal’s Transformational Leadership Training, she has discovered her purpose which has helped her align her skills with the calling that God has given her. Now, Lydia would love to study law and become a lawyer so that she can continue to serve her community and the people around her.

In Lydia’s own words: “Coming up with a transformational vision opened me up to community life and service. I have been helped to adopt new habits, shaping my character in God. I have been able to discover my spiritual gifts and my calling as well.”


DOB: 04/27/1999