Thursday, June 09, 2011

A Hope in Swaziland?

Going out in the communities in the eastern part of Swaziland where our CHIPS program is working makes me think of how I might cope living the way these people live. They have no electricity, no water, no toilets, tubs or showers. They literally have nothing, including enough food or clothes. We do give them clothes and blankets as we have them, but we think that sometimes they sell them for money for food or alcohol. We do help some of them with food also, if they don’t have anything to take their HIV meds with.
Many of the adults and teenagers sit around all day and drink home brew made from whatever fruit they can get and ferment. Currently it is grapefruit. Many of them drink to fill the emptiness in their stomach, and/or the emptiness in their soul. Yes, some are lazy and don’t want or are unable to motivate themselves to move forward. Many of them are happy just to lie around and live on handouts and their home brew. I do get very frustrated at them, but then I think, what would I do? How would I react in the same situation? I really can’t answer that, because I don’t know. We received word from Jabulani yesterday that he received a call about one of our patients: she was found on her way down to the river to drown herself. They went and found her and tried to help her by clothing, feeding, counseling and praying for her as well as getting her back on her medication. Would I be the one that was feeling so helpless and hopeless that I would go to the river to drown myself? Without God, I might be. These people need good medical care, but most of all they need God. You can literally feel the oppression in these communities. These places are Satan’s playground, and the children are the ones that suffer the most at the abuse and/or neglect of drunken parents and caregivers.
The missionaries that help us with this program told me not long ago about a young boy about 8, who was locked in his house (mud and stick hut) by his drunk Gogo (grandma). As she lay outside, passed out drunk, there was a fire and he couldn’t get out. Some neighbors heard him screaming and rescued him. He suffered severe burns and was hospitalized. Only the Lord can protect these little ones! Please help us continue to pray for and help these communities as much as we can!
We do what we can through CHIPS, but have the desire to move forward and offer a beacon of hope in these communities. In our last letter we spoke of our vision to build a clinic and community center. We currently have $10 000 of the $50 000 we need to secure the property. Please help if you can.
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