Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Family of 40!

(To make the beanies that you'll see below for the children, go to The Beanie Machine (click on those words) and you'll find the information that you need...  thank you, what a wonderful gift to the children!!)

So, the reason that we went to Africa was because of Litsemba...the Siswati word for hope!!  It is a vision to see the church of North America partner with the church in Swaziland in bringing the hope of Christ to the widows and orphans of Swaziland...  You can read all about it at Heart For Africa's website and even find ways you can get involved...  Our small team went as a planning trip for the event and to begin seeking ways that we could implement this long term...  But we also went to learn more of the reality of what is happening in Swaziland...

On our first day there, we went to rural community and met a couple who has taken in 40+ orphans from their community.  We estimated that there were about 26 under the age of 5!  No one asked them to do this, except for the Holy Spirit of course, I doubt that it was what they had planned for their life, and yet they are willing to offer their lives as living sacrifices to care for those in distress.  On the weekends, they feed approximately 320 orphans because school is not in session and they would not have food to eat...

A member of Parliament for that area estimated that he has 25,000 constituents in that area and that 15,000 of them are orphans...  Is that just staggering to you?  It blows me away... I can barely get my brain around it...

With such sadness and grief in their young lives, you would think that I would have found far more despairing eyes than I did...  What I saw was hope...  life...  joy!!  I heard children sing praises to Jesus!!  They are surrounded by death and disease and yet, the love of God, through this couple has given them hope...  That's what happens when the church behaves like the church, as God intended.

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One thing that I thought was really cool was that the community had come together and built a place for the children to sleep...  40 children sleeping in basically 2 rooms...  I'm ashamed when I consider the size of my house compared to the small building where these children sleep...

We were able to take them blankets, but the great joy was in giving them beanies that had been knitted for them!!  Look at these faces...  And if you're a knitter and want to knit some beanies...  Click here

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Such a simple gift...yet so much joy... The message of "I see you and I love you..." straight from heaven!! 


Shonni said...

What precious pictures! And yes, the number is staggering!

Anonymous said...

How wonderful! How can I get directions to make some beanies that I can donate?