Tuesday, May 08, 2012

A New Command

Babe ShongweSaturday, 5th of May:  We found an old man in Section 19 lying in his own urine, sick and dying alone.  We recognized this man, Babe Shongwe, from community meetings that were held in 2009 when CHIPS first moved into Section 19.  No one should have to suffer like this.  We asked if anyone is cleaning him or feeding him.  One of the guys standing nearby said, I don’t have any gloves.  Then another man came with a small bowl of soft porridge, he said that he tried to clean him even with putting a plastic bag over his hands.  I went inside the man’s hut that was falling apart, stood by his bed and cried.  He was trying to talk to me but of course I couldn’t understand what he was saying.  When I was inside, there was someone yelling, which I found out later that he was saying, “Tell the white people the truth, these ladies (one of our ladies in our sewing project was with us and he was speaking of them), they don’t do anything to help this man!”  Then someone came with a list of names and numbers that were the man’s children. They said they had tried to call them to come and take care of their father, but they have not come.

We were also told of an old lady that has advanced cervical cancer, who is living alone in a lot of pain.  Again, there is no one taking care of her.  She has a huge tumor on one side of her abdomen that makes it difficult for her to get around and causes the severe pain.  She has been to many doctors and clinics and she even has an order to go to South Africa to receive radiotherapy to shrink the tumor.  This will not cure her, only reduce her pain.  However, she has no way to get to South Africa to receive this treatment.  The government used to send patients over to receive treatment but the fund is no longer functioning because of misuse and corruption.  She has no pain medication, no food, and no family. 

Both of these people are living in one of the areas that we do our HIV program and sewing project.  The ladies in the sewing project live in the same area as these two people and they do nothing to help them.  This is very disappointing as we offer so much assistance to them and they don’t think to help their neighbors.  As I was stewing over this, Daran reminded me that if no one has ever taught them to love and help their neighbor, how would they think to do this?  After all,the world that they live in is survival of the fittest.  They live one day at a time, sometimes one meal at a time.  Also, the ladies told us that the landlord does not want sick, old people living there because if they die and have no family, the landlord will be responsible to take care of their burial.  These people live in fear of so many things, so I think that maybe they would be fearful to help them because it would displease their landlord?  So I decided to try to teach them to think of what Jesus would do.  I asked them to pray this week for the Lord to break their hearts over the things that break His heart.  They agreed to do this.  I also asked them if Jesus lives in their hearts and they all said yes.  Then I said if Jesus lives in your heart, you will love your neighbor and want to help them.  Daran brought up the scripture in John 13: 34-35.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

So we told them that others will know that they love Jesus if they love their neighbors.  I told them that if we all do our part to help others, we will please the Lord.  I know that they don’t have much and probably can’t share their food, but they can offer themselves, and their time.  I told them to just visit them sit and hold their hand so that they know they are loved.  Build a fire for the old lady so she can cook, help her clean her house, clean the old man.  I can bring gloves, food and pain medicine for them. So if we work together, we can help to meet their basic needs of comfort, love, and food.  We can also pray with them and for them. 
 Sunday, 6th of May:   We received a call that Babe Shongwe has passed on.

Section 19 is the end of the road for many who live there.  There is no parental home to return to.  As a fledgling organization, Kudvumisa Foundation is doing what it can in these areas: given our constraints on budget and manpower. 

Please join us in pray for Section 19, these ones that are sick and in need.  Pray for those we work with and minister to that they will learn to pour back out to those around them.  Pray for us as we work in this area, that we would be pleasing to God and lead these precious ones to Him!  Pray for workers who can teach, disciple, train and as Paul wrote in 2nd Timothy of his life, pour out their lives as a drink offering in service to the only one who matters.
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