Wednesday, January 25
My dear friend and fellow missionary Sandra wrote this… SO worth sharing to see the heart and compassion of lives changed.. theirs and ours!
I know God is sovereign and that nothing happens that catches Him by surprise. But in my heart, sometimes things happen and I want to cry "It's not fair"!!!! Yesterday was one of those days.
I visited a child in the hospital, Kholiwe "Koe-lee-way". Kholiwe is 7 years old and attended our preschool in Mvutjini "Em-voo-chee-nee" last year. She had struggled regularly during the school year because when her mother was working and the neighbor could not watch her 2 year old sister, it was Kholiwe's responsibility. The facilitators worked it out so the baby sister could come with her to school on those days. And Kholiwe was able to graduate from the preschool. She is a sweet, bright child.
Last year, before the holidays, a candle in the home was left burning and it caught the bedroom on fire. All the children (Kholiwe has 4 sisters and 2 brothers) ran from the fire. Unfortunately Kholiwe's clothes had caught fire and as she ran it severely burned her stomach, back and right thigh. She has been in the hospital now for over 1 1/2 months. Her mother stays with her, sleeping on a foam pad under Kholiwe's metal crib. She has been unable to go to work because in the government hospital a caregiver must stay with the patient (child or adult) to tend to, wash, take to the toilet, feed, administer prescribed tablets, etc. It is tough to see. Kholiwe was in good spirits with a sweet smile. Her mom was positive and optimistic about the prognosis. In a room with 12 other children, (a lot of them burn victims) there were many children crying or staring with hopeless eyes and caregivers showing fatigue and a resignation to what was before them. I wanted to scream
"IT'S NOT FAIR!!!!"
Kholiwe went in for skin graft surgery this morning. If all goes well, and no infection sets in, she may be able to return home in 10 days.
Another missionary friend from another organization was working on a building project yesterday when an accident occurred and Eric, his close helper/friend's arm was caught in a brick-making machine. His lower arm had to be amputated. Eric is in good spirits and knows God has a plan through all of this. But he is a hard working laborer that has now lost one of his hands. I want to cry out
"BUT IT'S NOT FAIR!!!"
Another close co-worker thought she had school fees arranged for her child. In high school, the cost of school is often more than a year's salary of the parent (if the parent is able to have a job). It is not something that can be easily covered. She thought wrong and the school fees will not be coming. She is trusting God!!! "BUT IT'S NOT FAIR" to have to struggle so hard for your child to get an education!
Why was I born in America with so many opportunities and I look around Swaziland and see so many who struggle in survival mode, wanting a chance for their children to have an education, many who lack the knowledge to be able to get a decent paying job. My heart breaks! I am so blessed! So many say how can you make the sacrifices you do to live in Africa, away from family, from fast food, from TV, from on and on. But I heard a line in an old show "Christy" that I borrowed on DVD recently and she said "The blessings become so much greater than the sacrifices."
It isn't fair. God never said it would be. I have found that with the greatest sufferings have come the biggest miracles!!!!
Isaiah 55:8 "'My thought are completely different from yours', says the Lord, 'And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.'"
My God has bigger plans and bigger ideas to what is "fair". The lyrics of a song by Laura Story keeps popping in my head, time and time again " 'Cause what if Your blessing come through raindrops? What if Your healing comes through tears? And what if a thousand sleepless nights, are what it takes to draw You near? And what if the trials of this life, are Your mercies in disguise?" My God is so much bigger than my feelings of what is fair!!!!! May I have His heart of compassion!!!
May I grow more each day in in sharing His love to those that hurt!!!! May I no longer see it as unfair but as opportunities to share the love of Christ!!! May the sufferings bring an awareness of God and His love!!! In some ways it is unfair that I was born in America without the struggles. Being so blessed sometimes I miss seeing His face shining all around us!! Sometimes I take for granted all that He has made available to me. Thank you God for my numerous blessings!!! May I not take them for granted but use them to bless others!!!
Friday, January 20
Dad go home to the USA on Sunday. These 3 weeks have flown by, and we SO
loved having time with them. Got to celebrate Dads 69th birthday, visit 18
CarePoints, go to church, pray, eat and do life with amazing people, deliver
gifts, teach children, run errands, work with government, and share what
life looks like in Swaziland with them. We are SO blessed!
Thank you Lord for time with family, for having family, and for the ability
to know YOU!
Thursday, January 19
Monday, January 2
(adapted from an email from our friend and missionary here in Swaziland; Danny Quirion)
When I first saw 5-year-old Lungelo he wore a ratty shirt and nothing else even though it was a cool day. He was extremely dirty with urine and faeces on his legs and he was sick with a virus. My heart just went out to him not because of his lack of cleanliness but because he hung his head in embarrassment and shame. To think that a little boy felt this way due to no fault of his own.
That day we made sure he got a bath, gave him new clothes, brushed his teeth, oiled his skin, and gave him a little teddy bear. His countenance began to change. Shame diminished and hope grew. He no longer looked down and to the side but looked straight into my eyes and smiled. I had held him when he was dirty and now I held him when he was clean. He didn't want to be put down but to be held and loved.
King Solomon said it well in a proverb I read recently: "The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous." I had exercised justice and received much joy.
We went back a few weeks later, however, and the hope was gone. It was replaced yet again with shame. My heart was sad, broken and confused. Lungilo was neglected again: neglected physically, emotionally and socially.
I read further in Proverbs that God sees the orphan and injustice. It also says that He is their Redeemer and will plead their case. And He graciously allows us the privilege of being a part of His plan for redemption for the orphans. God doesn't overlook Lungelo and the many, many children living in the same needy situation.
This is why Children's Cup exists. This is why Charlotte and I are here in Swaziland. We are committed to seeing children like Lungelo find hope in Jesus -- the kind of hope that starts with a bath, a good meal, and medical care, but continues through Jesus-centered discipleship, Bible clubs, life-giving church, and Godly leadership development.
Sunday, January 1
DEEPER". Deeper in relationship with Him, Deeper in relationship with those
around us, Deeper in discipleship with those we serve, and Deeper in every
way, interaction, focus and vision. We are SO excited for 2012. Thank you
for your prayers, thoughts, support, action in 2011. It has and continues
to equip a GREAT work for the Lord. We are SO blessed and thankful to be
here in Swaziland. We are SO blessed and thankful for you1