Thursday, November 30, 2006

Quick Trip

We leave on Monday for a quick trip back to the States. I know everyone is looking forward to seeing family and friends again. Also a chance to connect/re-connect with everyone who supports the work God has given us the privilege to do here in Swaziland. I go with mixed feelings. I'm already looking forward to our return in January. Salani kahle!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Waiting Room

It is so exciting to see kids waiting to be seen at the Children's Wellness Centre! I walked in to see the waiting room full. It feels good to see months of preparation bear fruit. Thank you Mission of Mercy. Thank you Dr. Beyda. May the children that are seen there truly see the love of Christ!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Invasion 2006

Pepe was discharged from the hospital today, after 2 and ½ weeks. I think that she was just happy to be out of that place, and I don’t blame her. Finally, she is free of fever, and eating well, without vomiting. She is still taking TB medications and going for daily injections. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.

This week, I saw two cases of child abuse in the clinics that we did. One was out in a rural area, we asked them to take their shirts off so that we could see their skin on their abdomen and back. This little one came in with his mother, who had a baby on her back as well. I guess he was about 5 or 6 years old. When I turned him around to see his back, I saw some purple marks across his shoulder blades. At first I thought that it was from a purple marker. When I asked his mother, she started laughing. When I asked my interpreter what she was saying, he told me that she had beaten him across his back. I didn’t know what to say, but my interpreter took over on his own. I asked him what he told her, and he said that he told her that it is not appropriate to beat a child in this way, and that we did not want to see this again. This is a common thing, I am told, here in Swaziland, that children are beaten, wherever, with whatever. Another one later this week, at a clinic that we did in Mbabane, came with a big knot on the back of his head. He said that gogo (grandma) had beaten him on his head with a stick because he came home late from school. One of the teachers said that this was not the first time to see this with this child. I asked the teacher to please speak to gogo about this and explain to her that she could kill a child by hitting them in the head like this.

Last week, one of our teachers at one of the Care Points had a big knot above her right eye. She was trying to cover it by wearing a hat. When I questioned her, she started to laugh. I think that a lot of Swazi’s laugh out of embarrassment. She responded that her husband had beaten her that morning. I asked what happened, and she said that he showed up at her house with another woman and she was very angry and hit the woman, so her husband beat her. She said that she knew that he was in love with another woman, but this was a different one that she did not know about. I asked her if she lived alone, or if he lived with her. She said that most of the time, she was alone with the children. She said that she filed charges against him at the police station, but she thought that she would go and take them back, because she wanted to show the love of Jesus to him since he was not a Christian. I thought, I’m not sure I could be that self-less. I told her that I’m not sure that was the right thing to do, and that he could not just go around beating her. I told her to pray about it before she did anything, and Daran and I prayed with her. She has 3 children, plus 1 or 2 of her brothers children that she takes care of. I asked her if the children saw what had happened, and she said yes they had woken up and saw the fight. We prayed that the Lord would bring peace to her home and give her wisdom. The next thing that I need to discuss with her is does she protect herself when and if she has sex with him. I pray that she does, but I don’t know, in this culture, the wife can’t refuse her husband. I need to talk to her about going for HIV testing. This is not something that will be very easy. This is a wonderful lady and I don’t want anything to happen to her. Please pray for her and her family, and for me that I may have the wisdom of the Lord in this situation.

We heard early this morning (Sunday, November 12) that one of the students at the school that Gabby attends was hit by a car at 2am and died at 6am. He was crossing the street to get a taxi to go back to school and an oncoming vehicle, with no lights on hit him and ran. Unfortunately, he had probably been drinking. He had been to a party for the Form 5 graduation. Some of his friends were with him and saw it happen. As of this morning, his best friend, could not be found, as he had disappeared from the scene and no one knew where he was. We are praying that the students will turn to the Lord and realize that none of us have a promise of tomorrow, and that we need to live each day as if it were our last.

Charles, Kristen, and Patrick are having a big youth event this coming Saturday (Invasion 2006), and have invited all of the youth in Swaziland. Gabby is working on getting as many to come from her school as possible. Please help us pray that many will come, and many will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.