Monday, December 24, 2007
The good news is that Sthembiso is now with her Lord and Saviour. We met with her family this morning to offer what prayer, comfort and support we could. We offered some Emalangeni towards the funeral and coffin. She is survived by her mother (in South Africa) and father, grand father and at least one brother. She was in her mid twenties. She had three children, all of whom died before reaching their one year birthday.
Friday, December 21, 2007
God’s timing is perfect! This teacher was amazed that he had just learned about choking and was then able to use this knowledge for this situation. God is so good! I give Him all the praise, honor, and glory, for He has done great things! Amen!
We had a clinic today (20-Dec-07) at Mangwaneni in Manzini. We were trying to target the children, but they were bringing adults also. A woman came in leading a young man up to the chair. He could barely walk, from weakness and was going blind, as well. I knew what I was I was dealing with when they told me that he had only been this way for a month. I asked if he had been tested for HIV and they said yes and that his CD4 count was only 94. I asked why he wasn’t on ARV’s and they said that the place that they took him wouldn’t start him until he had a chest x-ray to check for TB. They said that they were charging R98 for the x-ray, and they didn’t have money to get it. I told them that they needed to get him to the government hospital as soon as possible to get him started on ARV’s. At that point I felt very helpless again. There was nothing I could do for him except give him some vitamins and some oral rehydration salts to help with the diarrhea. I pray that it is not too late for him to get the help that he so desperately needs.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
As the boy walked out of the room, Rajni said that she felt so helpless! I know that feeling well! If he were in the States, he would be in the hospital having tests run to see what is wrong, and he would have good pain control. Here, all we could do for him is place him on an antibiotic and some Ibuprofen for pain. Please pray for this little one, that we may be able to get him the help that he so desperately needs!
Monday, December 10, 2007
Hot and sunny. Big difference from Saturday. Today we had around 350 children from our Maphiveni CarePoint for Christmas. The program was awesome: thanks to our own Dynamics kids, Celebration Church, Christian Family Church, and Gugu Dynamite (our children's pastor extraordinaire). The community turned out in force as well and had a good time. Face painting, jumping castles, tug-of-war, jump rope, balloons, necklaces, and a mini medical clinic. Christy was an angle all day!
Sunday, December 09, 2007
A visiting team from Celebration Church in Georgetown, Texas helped with jumping castles, tug of war, face painting, and anything else they could find to put their hands to. Volunteers from Christian Family Church in Tambankulu and Checkers Community Church in Mbabane as well as from the local high school helped make the day a success and special for the kids.
The kids had fun and were ministered to as well. No one went home without having heard the true meaning of Christmas, which is a real reason to celebrate!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
I saw the 15 month old baby girl in the hospital today from the Mangwaneni Mbabane CarePoint that we have been taking to Baylor for treatment for AIDS. Her 20 year old mother is one of our cooks at that CarePoint. She looked so helpless as she held the sick baby, and wiped her runny nose.
The child could hardly breathe. She was so thin and emaciated that it looked like her neck couldn't hold her head up. I thought, if this baby were in the States she would be in ICU. Here, they were only giving her IV antibiotics, no oxygen, no continuous IV drip, no machines, etc.
The mother asked if we could help to transport her and the baby to Baylor tomorrow to get her ARV's. She was supposed to start the ARV's tomorrow, after going for a month for the adherence counseling. I wondered if it was too late. I prayed with her and the baby before I left.
When I got home, I called one of the doctors from Baylor to see if she could bring the ARV's to her instead of moving the baby from the hospital. She said that she would try.
05 Dec 07
I received a phone message from the teacher at the CarePoint. The baby died about 1:00 this morning. This young mother was distraught to say the least. Sandra and Jacci went to pray with her and find out what we can do to help with the burial. She asked if we could help with the coffin and food. We will gladly try to help with this. Please pray for this young mother, who is now alone.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
One day at clinic, I saw this young lady, 24 years old. She looked very sick. I thought, she must be HIV positive. She had a baby on her back, who was also sick. The baby was not hers, she said that her baby died last December. The girl had a very bad cough, sores in her mouth, difficulty breathing, and her voice was very hoarse. She said that she had been tested for TB and she was negative. She has also been tested for HIV, and she is positive, but has not been started on treatment. She didn’t go back to get the result of her CD4 count. She said that they gave her a lot of pills, but she didn’t know what they were for. I asked her to promise me that she would go back to RFM the next day and get CD4 count and let them see how sick she is, so that she may get started on treatment. She had tried going to Baylor earlier that week, but could not be treated there because she does not have a child which is HIV positive. She promised that she would return to RFM the next day.
I felt led to ask her if we could pray for her and if she knew Jesus. She said that she didn’t, so I asked her if she would like to know Him, and she said yes. We had her repeat the sinners pray with us and she accepted Jesus into her heart! Praise the Lord!
She has been back to see me several times, sometimes, better, sometimes worse. She is going to RFM, but she has not been started on treatment yet. I am trying to keep her infections and symptoms under control, until she gets started on treatment.
I realized today that my strongholds are worry, fear, anxiety, and helplessness. Satan feeds me these lies when I get down and weak. If I don’t stay in the Word, and seeking after my Savior, I believe these lies and fall apart in a heap of helplessness, and self pity. It paralyzes me to the point that I can’t focus or do anything. Everything seems too big for me to tackle. The truth is that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! If I choose to believe the truth, instead of lies, I can and will do all things through Christ! God, please give me the strength to trust you with each day! Everyday! I love you so much, help me to allow you to be my strength, and stop trying to be strong on my own! Your strength is made perfect in my weaknesses. I believe you and want to know you, want to glorify you, want to experience your peace, want to find all my satisfaction in you, and to enjoy your presence!
God Knows "T" By Name!
I have spoken in the past about a little girl at one of our Care Points who is 16, my oldest daughter’s age, but she looks and acts like a 10 year old. We will call her T to protect her privacy. She has started going with us monthly to Baylor for treatment for AIDS. Her mom is also positive and on treatment. They were both doing really well for a while. She had even started attended school again, which she had not been able to do in quiet a few years.
One day I received a call from the head nurse at Baylor, she said that they had to take her off of her ARV’s because they were not being given to her correctly or consistently. This is more dangerous than never started them at all. At this point we realized that her mother has a problem with alcohol and is incapable of giving her the medications correctly.
We found out that a lady who has a child that is positive that has been going to Baylor with us from another CarePoint was moving into the area where this little girl is. This lady and her daughter moved in with T and her mother. This lady has taken over giving T her drugs and making sure she eats, etc. Praise the Lord!
Unfortunately, T came down with pneumonia, and had to be admitted to the hospital. She could hardly breath that day, and had to be placed on oxygen while she was at Baylor clinic. When I got the call, I rushed to see her. I didn’t find the beautiful smiling face that I had seen the last time I saw her. Instead, I found a child that could do nothing else but concentrate on getting her next breath. We got her to the hospital, and after a few rough days, I went to visit her and I was greeted by the beautiful smiling face that I knew. She was discharged a few days later, and is now at home, finishing her last few days of school for this year! Praise the Lord!
I just found out today that another one of our little ones that we take to Baylor has been admitted to the hospital. This one is only 15 months old. I will go and visit her tomorrow. Please keep these little ones in your prayers! They are so fragile, but we serve a God who see’s and knows and cares!
Flat Tyres & Lumps
I have to give this praise to the Lord! Last Friday I traveled all the way to Manzini (30 minutes from where we live), and back, and then all over Mbabane, running errands and taking kids here and there. That night, Daran and I went to get a bite to eat and have a little time alone, while the kids were at the youth service. The Brennan’s even picked them up for us to give us more time! Anyway, we had a nice dinner, and Daran was following me home. We ended up having both cars since I dropped the kids off and went to the office to get him. I had a flat tire on the way home. I noticed that the car was driving funny and pulling to one side, so I slowed down and put my flashers on. Daran followed me to a place where he could change the tire safely. I am just so thankful that it did not happen while I was on the highway to Manzini, or around town, with the kids, or by myself. God is so good, He even takes care of the little things!
One more praise! A couple of weeks ago, I found a lump on my collar bone. Being an oncology(cancer) nurse, it really worried me. I told a few people and had them pray. I couldn’t get in to see the doctor for a few days, so I had to decide if I was going to trust or worry. I can’t say that I was trusting the whole time, but God is faithful! I saw the doctor, and she said that it was not anything to worry about. It looks and feels like a lipoma, which is a fatty cyst, which is harmless. She will check it again in January to make sure it hasn’t changed. The Lord reminds me that if I am going to trust Him more, I must know Him more. Lord, please help me to draw close to you and hold on tight!!!!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Missing 4 year old boyWe had a scary experience this week at one of the CarePoints. A little 4 year old boy was missing for a 24 hour period. The story that one of the kids told us was that he was taken by someone in a car who offered him sweets. The mom, police, and people from the CarePoint and community were looking for him frantically. We were all praying. The next night, someone dropped him at the police station. Praise the Lord, he was not harmed. The next day, I was able to talk to him (thru an interpreter). He said that he was not hurt, and that he just went to town with a friend. Evidently, the friend left him in town, and he just went to someone’s house and slept. I’m not sure if he knew the person or not, it was not clear. When the person heard the boy was missing on the radio, he dropped him at the police station. Praise the Lord for watching over this little one. We were able to rejoice with his mother that he was returned and unharmed. We prayed with him and the mother and thanked the Lord for His mercy and goodness!!! Please continue to help us to pray for protection over these children.
Danielle and Joelle both played piano in a music recital on Saturday afternoon. They have been taking lessons from these guys for about a year now. The name of the place is Yanza Music. It is run by a young Swazi guy, by the name of Muleki, who is Danielle’s teacher, and
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Remember our post from June titled "Cooks Feet"? Well much thanks to two of our friends in the States who took it to heart and gathered enough shoes for all the cooks at our CarePoints. Syndy and Lori were here last week and were able to be a part of blessing the cooks at several of the CarePoints. We continue this week to make sure all the cooks have new footware. Remember these ladies are completely volunteer, but without their selfless dedication to the children, there would be no CarePoint. Thank you Syndy and Lori! We could have named this post Stylin'.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
We now have a trained counselor working with us in the medical clinics to work with the kids who have been sexually or physically abused. Her name is Lauren, she is from
The numbers for abuse are very high here in
There is another little girl who is about 6 years old that Lauren is working with also. She was raped by an older man a few months ago. The teacher from the care point brought her to the clinic. She said that she doesn’t participate, respond or try in class. When she came in, she was very shy and subdued. Lauren took her and began to have her draw pictures of who was in her heart, and pictures of herself happy, then sad. This little girl responded very well. When she came out of her first session with Lauren, she was smiling and holding her hand, she had a new friend. The transformation was amazing! She had her second session this week. Lauren said that she had her draw a picture of herself and put it on the wall in the exam room. When they finished, she had her stand on the chair looking at the picture of herself and say a prayer for God to heal her broken heart.
There is also a 13 year old that came to me at the clinic a couple of weeks ago complaining of vaginal itching and discharge. When we began to question her, tears started to fall down her cheeks. We prayed with her and tried to get her to talk, but she wouldn’t. Lauren met with her this week also. She denies that anything happened, except that this man tried to get her to come with him. Lauren is afraid that something has happened to this girl also. As she builds a trusting relationship with these kids, they will open up and she will be able to help them by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
We would like to see Lauren train our teachers how to counsel some of these children as well. She would also like to train some of the older girls that have been abused to help the younger ones. We are not sure what we will do once we start finding more and more abused children. How will we get them out of the situation and keep them safe? These are questions that only the Lord knows the answers to right now. Please help us pray for wisdom in this area of our ministry.
We are so grateful to the Lord for sending us Lauren to help us with these difficult situations that we face almost on a daily basis.
Cooks Bible Study
Our Bible studies with the cooks are going very well. They want to learn about things like how are we supposed to treat our husbands and our children. They are drinking in the word as it is given out. We talked about Tamar today and how she was raped and no one helped to heal her broken heart and she lived in her brothers’ house, a desolate woman for the rest of her life. If she had had Jesus to come and turn her ashes into beauty and mourning into gladness, she would have lived a different life than she did. We talked about that we are the bride of Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and how he picks up the broken pieces of our lives and makes us whole, new, and undefiled. I told them that when Satan lied to them about who or what they are, they are to tell him they are the bride of The King! Women are so suppressed and mistreated/abused here in
Friday, August 17, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Monday, July 16, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
The homes here have no heat. Especially when you consider the poverty most of these kids come from, these blankets were a true blessing!
Monday, July 02, 2007
We passed out the uniforms for the 40 students at Makholweni a week ago. The uniforms were made by Alice and the girls in the sewing project at Makholweni. Alice is a volunteer form the community that has come to the CarePoint and is teaching some of the older gilrs there how to sew. Their first project was to complete the school uniforms. The kids in all our CarePoint schools will get uniforms from the sewing project at some point. This is a great win for the girls learning to sew and the kids at all our CarePoint schools.
Dr. Beyda (Mission of Mercy Medical Director) and his team did an awesome job last week! We were at Logoba (we are working towards a CarePoint there now), Madonsa, Kakhoza, and Maphiveni (also a CarePoint in progress!). The doctors, nurses, and helath care workers saw many illnesses: HIV related, cancer, hypertension, infections, infected wounds, diabetes, etc., etc. The children and adults at Maphiveni were noticeably sicker than the population around Manzini. The impact of the combination of poverty and distance to health care is obvious on the overall health of the people there. We are hoping to get final community approval this week so we can start construction there this month. Pastor La'Salette Duarte and her church in Tambankhulu were fantastic. They will be helping and overseeing the daily work at the Maphiveni CarePoint. It is refreshing to work with a church here that truly has the poorest and neediest at heart. These pictures are from the clinic on Thursday for the community of Maphiveni.