NOT OKAY

Today started out like any other “normal” African day: completely and totally unsure of what exactly the day will hold, I tagged along with some of my friends who are full-time workers here in the wonderful world of Swazi.

The plan was to visit a boy in the hospital, go to a few care points, and visit a few homesteads in the community. Sounded simple enough, right?

So we pull up to the hospital and after a few strange encounters with children in some sort of waiting room freaking out and crying tears of terror because we were white… (That’s always super awkward) we walked up a few flights of stairs and found the little boy we were looking for.

I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting, or if I was expecting anything at all, but what I saw made me feel like the wind had been knocked out of me.

The little boy who was sitting on the edge of the bed had wrists the size of the handle on my hairbrush. My heart broke for this sweet little boy with a sickness that it seemed like he could do nothing about. He has been in and out of the hospital for quite some time now and he looked exhausted. According to my friend this was him on a good day…

I don’t even want to imagine what he looks like on a bad day. The older lady in the room was so proud of his progress that she even asked him to stand up. He proudly stood up and, to be honest, I was scared that he was so fragile he would break into a million pieces. I have never seen anyone like this little boy in my life.

That was only the beginning of my day… Next we went to a supermarket where my worker friends bought food that would last a family of around six for an entire month, because they had no other means to get food. When we dropped off the food at their homestead, the mother literally dropped down on her knees in front of the food to thank God for it. My heart sank into my shoes as she prayed a prayer of thanksgiving out loud over the food…

After we left the house we went to a carepoint where we were lead to two homesteads of people who were in need in the community.

The first house had three boys living in it. I use the word “house” lightly. It was a room with a cement floor and a large window… this is their “house”. They sleep on the hard floor with a few blankets.

The next homestead housed six children, a mother, and an 80-year-old grandfather who was very sick. We walked into their one-roomed “house” and saw ONE mattress and two mats on the ground. When we asked where everyone slept, the mother said that all six of the children sleep crammed on the falling-apart mattress, and she sleeps on the ground as well as the 80-year-old grandfather… Just when you think your heart can’t take anymore…  there I was, feeling as if my heart was being ripped out of my chest…

 

These kids are no different from me. I did nothing to deserve to be born into the family or country I was born into, I just was. These children have done nothing to deserve these awful living conditions, but at this very moment they’re crammed on a mattress that is falling apart or sleeping on the cold hard ground. I know God has a perfect plan for every single person on this planet, but it’s days like these I can’t help but to ask God why he has blessed me with so much, and why these children have so little.

We are all children of God, and the way these beautiful kids are living is not okay. Please be in prayer for this country and for these kids that are in need. Please pray that the Lord would be clear to me and the other workers in this country in telling us ways to help fix problems like these and prevent them in the future. And most importantly please be in prayer for these children’s salvation and personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

To The Ends of The Earth

-B

Advertisements

“EXTINCT BY 2050”

Every time someone asks me about what I want to do with the rest of my life I tell them that I feel called to a tiny place in southern Africa called Swaziland. I wish you guys could see some of the looks I get.

“Swaziland?! Is that even a real place?”

“It sounds like an amusement park”

“Really funny, so what are you actually planning to do with your life.”

These are just a few common responses I get when I mention Swaziland.

Yes Swaziland is a weird name, and yes it is a very small but I look at some of the most beautiful faces on the planet everyday and it breaks my heart that to most of the world they are seemingly forgotten.

Image

I picked up a Swazi newspaper the other day that read “Swazis to be extinct by 2050”. The AIDS epidemic is literally on its way to wiping this country off of the face of the planet.

Why isn’t this a big deal?

An entire country of beautiful people is supposed to die out in my lifetime of a totally preventable disease and most people don’t even know Swaziland exists.

Instead we’re filling our news with the latest gossip about Chris Brown and Rihanna.

Don’t get me wrong, I love E! News just as much as the next teenage girl but its time that people start getting informed about things on the planet that actually matter and start doing something about it

This especially applies to the church.

Too often we put God in a box. I think of Him as an English speaking American God and that’s unacceptable.

Our God works in the details and he is seen best in tiny dying countries like the one I am currently living in.

His Word says to go to the least of these, not to act like they don’t exist.

A week ago I was sitting at one of the carepoints holding a child and talking to the preschool teacher who was working there. She was asking me about why I am in Swaziland and how long I feel like I am going to be here. When I told her I want to be here for the rest of my life and that I love her country she looked at me like a had a third arm and said “Why, it is poor.” I immediately looked down in my lap at the child who was smiling up at me and couldn’t help but to think that this child is not poor. This child has happiness and peace that I don’t have and he doesn’t even have a second pair of shoes. This child has hope. I looked back at the teacher and told her that her country is not poor. They are rich in spirit and that is way more valuable than nice clothes and paved roads. They are rich because they have hope found in Christ alone.

I believe that God is not done with Swaziland, and I’m just thankful he’s allowing me to be part of the incredible work he is doing here.

To The Ends of The Earth

-B