Sunday, October 24, 2010

CHIPS Clinic

What can I say? Valleys, deserts, furnace, pain, despair, brokenness, hurt, sorrow. These are all emotions or emotional states that many of the Swazi people face on a daily basis. God has allowed our family to suffer just a little bit of some of these over the past two years. Maybe God allowed some circumstances to happen to strengthen our faith, or to help us be more empathetic to others who are hurting. Of course our suffering is nothing in comparison to what many people face on a daily basis.

Our work with the CHIPS program in the rural areas of Vuvulane and Maphiveni has not been without its challenges, but God has allowed us to reach the forgotten poor people in these areas with much needed medical assistance for HIV/AIDS and TB. We would like to see this work expand from just in-community testing, counseling and transport to an actual holistic clinic where all of the medical needs of our patients can be met.

We had the opportunity to visit the St. Phillips Mission last week with our CHIPS team. It was an awesome experience sharing with our dear friends Sister Diane and Sister Barbara, who also have such vision and passion for helping the people of Swaziland! They have developed a system there where they work in the nearby communities making sure that no one goes without medical assistance for HIV/AIDS, placing orphans in school, and caring for the poor. The clinic there for HIV/AIDS patients takes care of all of their medical needs, whether it be TB, diabetes, or high blood pressure. They also have staff that are called 'default finders', who go out and get the patients who miss their appointments and bring them in. They have a staff of about 13 people working with them for this medical mission. They are really making a difference in the communities that they work in.

We as CHIPS would love to duplicate this program in the area that we work in. As of now we have 2 staff, 2 missionaries, and have just hired a 3rd staff who will start in December. So we would have to grow in staff and in funding to make this work. We would also like to see a community center where income generation projects can take place, as well as English literacy training and day care. These are the dreams we have for our program for the future. We place these dreams in God’s hand and ask that His will be done and doors open as He sees fit for this work that is HIS in the first place. We want to go the direction that He wants. Please help us pray for His will and His hand in all of these things.

We covet your prayers for our family. It has been a difficult 2 years for all of us, as well as a time of growing and drawing close to the Lord and to each other. Satan would love to discourage us and cause us to lose our faith, but we know that all things work together for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. What Satan means for destruction, God will use for His glory and honor. So although we are tired and weary, our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ is strong by His grace and mercy. He is always faithful!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Liyana the Movie

Here's an exciting development! Perhaps you can help.

Many have seen the award winning film Peter & Mary Jean Kopp's son Aaron made about New Life Homes. It has been selected for screening at several international film festivals. It has also been an outstanding tool for ALP to give people a good look at what ALP is doing in a remote corner of Swaziland. As a result, a broad spectrum of people have been drawn into the circle of knowledge, on-going interest, and support.

For some time Aaron's dream has been to develop a full length documentary that accurately depicts the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in Africa. The message would flow from the lives of the children in our care at New Life Children's Homes.

This venture is close to becoming a reality! He plans to do the first and major portion of the filming in December and January.

He has had amazing interest and support from across the spectrum. One of the ALP Board members, Dr. Bob Beilke, Pediatric Psychologist at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma, Washington, who has worked with the New Life Homes children and caregivers several times is very keen on this project. He believes it could significantly help the children process their experiences through the story-telling approach Aaron has in mind. Bob expects the children will make progress in their own healing from their traumatic backgrounds.

In addition, awareness of this successful model for orphan care will be significantly extended. We expect to see more resources made available for future developments.

We need some help to get this off the ground. The goal is to raise close to $25,000 before the end of October. The good news is that we are already more than half way there!!

Please visit the wonderful website, You will find a number of great images, entertaining and informative video clips, and interviews.

You can make a difference by helping to get the message out through a donation, joining close to a hundred motivated partners. Pledge right on-line, or by mailing a check to African Leadership Partners, designated for "Liyana the Movie".