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 missionaries 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 missionary 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 missionaries 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