Monday, August 20, 2007

Trust & Recovery

Abuse & Counseling

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 Zimbabwe. She is a precious girl who loves the Lord and just wants to be used by Him.

The numbers for abuse are very high here in Swaziland. We examined a little 8 year old girl from one of our new care points last week. She was complaining of having a discharge. Upon examination, it was evident that she had been raped. She told us that she was HIV positive. Her mother and father both died with AIDS. She is living with an aunt who doesn’t know much about her. She has a skin rash all over her body, ringworms on her head, swollen lymph nodes, and some kind of vaginal infection. She has not been started on ARV’s, because when she had her CD4 count done, it was “too high”. They hadn’t taken her back for another one because it costs money that they don’t have. We will try to get her to Baylor so she can get on ARV’s. Lauren (our counselor) met with this little girl this week. She had her draw pictures of who is in her heart, or what people are important in her life. She drew a picture of an older man, and Lauren asked her what emotion she had when she thought of him, and she said fear. She didn’t admit to being abused, but this was the first session and trust is very difficult to attain with these children. Lauren gave her a toy and a sweet, and when they were finished, she asked her if she was her friend. The little girl said no. It will take time and a lot of patience and the power of the Holy Spirit to break through the brokenness in these little lives. We are praying and believing God to make beauty from ashes and gladness from mourning, as God said in His word in Isaiah.

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 Swaziland, they need to be reminded again and again, who they are in Christ.

Friday, August 17, 2007

New CarePoints

Ground breaking and construction has started on two more CarePoints. A team from (mostly) North Carolina was here last week and started digging the foundations at Logoba and Maphiveni. The community has finished digging and has started on the foundation and block work These sites are Mission of Mercy sites where we have been providing meals for the last 6 months. It will be great to have a finished CarePoint so we can start the education and other activities.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Jesus the Lightning Rod

Why is that a school that touts tolerance and "why can't we just all get along" is so intolerant of Christianity and Jesus? They will go out of their way to cancel a popular non-compulsory program that teaches abstinence till marriage, even after the "Christian" component has been removed, but will force all students to be part of a "gender awareness" program (GAP) that was contested by many parents and students. Today at Waterford, everyone who wanted to be part of GAP wore a sign that read "I am silent today in solidarity with all those who have to remain silent because thier sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Why is it we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands? Let's break the silence." Gabby chose to wear a sign that simply read "Jesus Loves You So Much!" She was attacked by students and teachers alike as being 'so' intolerant. How is it on one hand someone can push for tolerance of anything and everything, but mention the J word to them and immediately you become the target for everything intolerant? We are so proud of Gabby. But we also worry about her. It would be so much easier now to have stayed in the safe walls Hosanna offered, or the wonderful and safe confines of Healing Place. Please keep her, Nathanael, and Danielle in your prayers. Waterford needs a strong witness.