I complain that my children knock the folded laundry, piled high, off our leather sofa. I fuss that 77 is not quite cool enough for me indoors since I’m hormonal and pregnant. I get irritated if the water takes too long to heat, that football practice interferes with my cooking, and I am sometimes very cranky if the baby catches a cold. On Saturdays, I give myself a pep talk before walking into Costco to navigate the crowds to purchase a humongous list of groceries, including lots of organic foods, that will entirely overfill my refrigerator and pantry. Some of the food spoils before we ever have a chance to eat all of it. We’re completely blessed and have more than enough.
In my comfy life, I sometimes forget about the images like the one above.
God is good. He is faithful. He has given us more than enough. He has provided abundantly. And I believe with all my heart, that it is for a reason. You see, we’ve worked with a missionary team from our church for quite some time now, and some good friends of ours, our former pastor and his family, actually, have moved across the globe and dedicated their lives to ministering to the nation of Swaziland full-time. This morning, I was so distraught when I read the news about the Swazis and the severity of the HIV/AIDS situation. It was beyond my wildest dreams, the things they are doing to try and help themselves. They are a desperate people. They are desperate for help.
And my heart is now desperate to help them. More than ever. While I can’t go there personally and provide food for these people, there is MUCH I CAN do from here. We’re hoping a container ships soon with some food that will temporarily relieve some of this problem, but there will always be a need for food. Over the next few months, my husband and I and a team of people from local churches will be working on raising funds and attempting to fill a 40 foot container with clothing, household items and supplies for these people, who are otherwise just going to literally waste away.
Could you look away if you saw them face to face?
Would you not help if you knew you could?
I’m sorry if I sound like an annoying infomercial, but this is real. More than in just images or photos, this is really happening, folks. Read here where my good friend Dezra describes the man, so frail, who comes to her gate to ask her for food and drink, so that his medicine for AIDS will work.
**Below is the report from Swaziland that I read this morning. Please take the time to read it. It’s horrendous, unbelievable, and appalling.**
Hundreds of poor HIV-positive Swazis are eating cow dung to keep their treatment going.
Organizations fighting HIV/AIDS in Swaziland were at first incredulous at reports that hundreds of impoverished HIV-positive rural residents were eating cow dung to give their stomachs something to digest before taking their antiretrovirals (ARVs).
“It seemed too sensational to me when I first heard it, but then an MP stood up in parliament and said it was in his area that people on ARVs were doing this,” said Wandile Khoza, an AIDS activist in Swaziland’s central commercial hub Manzini. “It has come to this; the food insecurity most Swazis are experiencing has come up against the world’s highest HIV prevalence rate.”
The Swaziland National Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (SWANNEPHA) confirmed that some of its members were consuming cow dung after MP Josephs Souza of rural Lugongolweni reported first-hand knowledge of the practice following visits to his HIV-positive constituents.
“A rural health motivator took me to one of the patients on ARVs who is among those that now mix cow dung with water and then eat it before taking the tablets,” the MP told parliament.
“We have resorted to eating rubbish for purposes of taking our ARVs because they must be consumed after a meal,” said SWANNEPHA in a statement.
Research shows that taking ARVs on an empty stomach can exacerbate the side-effects of the drugs, including headaches, dizziness and tremors.
What can I do? Not a lot by myself.
What can you do? Not a lot on your own.
But what can WE do? A LOT!
- PRAY! Pray for workers for the harvest in Swaziland. Pray for the people living with AIDS, for the missionaries working steadfastly, and for the orphans. Pray for workers to assemble here that can work together for relief efforts, for funds to come, for containers to be filled, shipped, and successfully delivered to these people.
- Donate. If at all possible, please consider donating to HopeWorks Global, an organization set up to send 100% of donations directly to Swaziland for such a time as this.
- Pass this post onto everyone you know. Spread the word about Swaziland and the desperate situation there, and ask others to consider joining the relief effort.
You can click on the graphic above to visit HopeWorks Global to donate now. Any help you can give will be appreciated more than you know.
Matthew 25: 31″When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Will you help me help them?