mitch & char

mitch & char

Friday, August 28

Processing Swaziland

This recent trip was a powerful experience. I am once again renewed in heart and spirit for what we at BCB do to further the kingdom globally.  I have been a number of places, and have seen a lot of poverty the past few years, but there was something unique about this trip to Swaziland.  I did not see a child with even clean clothes, much less clothes of the proper size… the majority of children had some form of sickness(A-Lot of runny noses, coughs, rashes, ring-worm, etc).. and the sicknesses we did not see: Tuberculosis and HIV+.  


As I looked into the eyes of the children, the reality is this:  1 out of every 5 children we played with, touched, hugged and loved will potentially die in the next 2-3 years.  Around 50% of these children from our pictures have HIV.  But 100% of those children are loved every bit as much as you and I.  Life has just dealt them a circumstance that is the most extreme. 


We found ourselves asking yet again “Why was I born where I was”  “What makes me so special”… the answer: because to whom much is given, much is expected.  We looked at the sadness of the situation in the tiny country of Swaziland, and the few hundred people we saw.  I wonder how much sadness our Father has when He absorbs the pain and strife of the world?


With great sadness however, can come great joy.  I have found that as people go and have their hearts broken- the joy they experience is so much greater too(almost paralleling the deep level of grief).  Perhaps this is what God feels?  As He aches and hurts for our world, He experiences Joy to a heightened level when we respond the way He would if physically present.


I am grateful to be home, but certainly left a large piece of my heart in Africa.  Upon arrival back into the USA, we discovered that our friend Amy went to be with Jesus.  Cancer took her at 49 years old.  Her husband of 26 years is now alone(no children)… I would challenge you today to hug your family, neighbors, runny nosed kids, and everyone around you a bit more…though we have eternity, after seeing what has happened with Amy and Bennett, as well as the loss of the baby in Swaziland- the time we have here is TOO valuable to miss those opportunities.   My personal challenge(heard it somewhere recently-Suzanne-thank you!) is “Be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting their own unique challenge today” –all the more reason to “be a sermon” as opposed to “preaching a sermon”.


Glad to be home, glad to get to serve with you in the next year ahead, and glad that He knows and has known every detail.


Acts 1:8 comes directly from our mission statement… if everything we do points to one aspect of that verse- I can only pray that He is glorified.



No comments: