Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Crying while cutting coupons

My friend, Vince, from HopeChest sent me a link to this blogpost. This is from a pastor who ministers in Swaziland. He works with a HopeChest Carepoint on the ground there that serves some of the orphans in that area.

At the time I began reading it, I was on my way to print coupons and go to the grocery store. I was in a mood b/c I didn't want to take the hour necessary to print and sort coupons just to save money so I could give more. . . .I didn't want to go grocery shopping, in the rain, with a headache. . .I thought "maybe I should just drive through somewhere?" Then, I read this. I was weeping. I've shared the stories of hunger. . .I've written them. . I've prayed for them. . . it still hurts. . deeply.

"The Nsoko community once again is facing a challenge within a challenge. Most
people in this area depend on Government food grants to survive. What I do not
understand is why it takes so long for Goverment to replenish the food supply to
these people?

Yesterday I was sitting in my house doing administrative
work when I heard a timid knock at the door. At first I thought it was my puppy
now becoming big dog Max. I heard the gentle but desperate knock on the
accompanied by murmuring sounds. I reluctantly stood up and went to check this
unusual knock out. Guess what I found out there? God. Yes, I saw God. But this
time it is not as I expected to see God. He was represented by this old lady.
This lady was so frail and skiny you could have thought she was dead. I
enquired, "how can I help you gogo". She shyly gave a response, "I am hungry my
son, help I am dying." I immediately thought of what we had at the kitchen. I
wish Isabel was writing this blog as a third person because it is difficult to
say this. We had no food too except some bread that I was serving for my
daughter when she comes from school.

The Spirit within me said I you
going to spare food for your daughter and not give God right at your door. Joy
came upon my spirit right then and I went to the kitchen and began to make juice
and took all the slices of bread put it on a tray and went to give the old lady
outside. Her eyes immediatetly brightened at the sight of food. I watched her
eat as if she had not eaten in days. When she was done I cannot remember how
many times she said "God bless you my son", "Thank you so much" with that
shaking timid voice. I watched her as she stoop up to leave her body telling a
story of shame as she moved. As she disappeared she left me with a picture of a
miserable face that does not remember any joy. Here is someone that has lived a
life of shame most of her life.

She is just one out of so many. Scott
Borg has been to Nsoko this month with an Adult Team that happened to have
teenagers too. On Tuesday and Thursday we visited homes for ministry. This team
had bought basic food parcels to give out to the homes we visited. I went with a
team to a home that I know is a youth headed family. Father and mother are dead
only the children survive them. The World Racers would remember Mfan'thini. This
is his family. They have absolutely no means. This young girl, hard as it is to
admit, has to sometimes prostitute herself to feed the to young sisters, younger
brother and her own small child. On the secong visit we went to this gogo's
home.She is trying her best to raise her grandchildren that were left behind by
her dead children. The only surviving daughter destroyed her house and left
never to come back.

I must say, the people of Nsoko are still full of
hope. They hope in life, they hope in hope, and above all they have hope in
God.How people survive hear sometimes I do not know. But the fact is they do
survive. They hope against hope. As I write in my car there is an envelope full
if HIV results. The Luke Commission worker tells me that almost all of the
people who got tested, they tested positive. She mentioned a special case of a
fifteen year old who is in a critical position because her CD4 count is very
low. HIV and poverty somehow do assist one another. They are cousins. These
people are poor and they are also the most infected. In Swaziland the infection
rate is at 42%. Nsoko has a 49% infection rate. People are dying and in numbers.
Businesses are being affected.

The other day I was called upon to rescue
a young man of about 22 years. He was from hospital to collect his ARV's. He had
just enough money for transport and nothing for food. He fell next to the gate
because he could not walk any longer. We have hope though. We hope against hope.
The Real Life team is rounding up its ministry in Nsoko. Having these vibrant
young people minister to their counterparts does give a ray of hope. It makes me
think: God does care about Nsoko.

Do you? "

Please pray for the people of Swaziland who are hungry. . and for the 2
million on the brink of starvation in Uganda who haven't had rain since
May. Oh Jesus. . send your rain Oh Lord! In so many ways, shapes and
forms. . send your rain.


Lindsey said...

Praying for rain!

Wendi said...

ahhh...now I understand today's tears.

Lord, you catch every one of our tears, everywhere, all the time.....our friends in Nsoko and Uganda cry and no tears come - they are dry, like the land in which they live...Lord, overflow the hearts of your saints until the tears flow down, crying for those who cannot, weeping for those without, and as you catch them, Jesus, pour them back out on those without rain, so they will have food and water again and praise your name!

Deut 11:10 For the land that you are entering to take possession of it is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and irrigated it, like a garden of vegetables. 11 But the land that you are going over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water by the rain from heaven, 12 a land that the Lord your God cares for. The eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
13 “And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, 14 he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. 15 And he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full.

Thank you for your faithfulness!

Cindy said...

I am left speechless, once again. I question over and over how this is possible. This is not right...not right at all. God save us from ourselves. Thank you for yet another reminder...I was struggling with a decision earlier this morning. This has made it easy.

Diane Larson said...

Thank you for opening my eyes. You continue to help to put things in perspective.