|Photo credit: Chris Cheek|
Saturday, August 4, 2018
I don't handle "stupid" very well
We are just a couple of Canadians who moved to eSwatini, Africa to serve God through a bunch of orphaned or abandoned children who have been dumped in pit latrines, left in plastic bags in trees, dumped in the river or even lit on fire by their parents. That’s it. No hidden agenda.
I see how critical people are of Pastors (our Pastor Andy Stanley sure gets his daily dose from believers and unbelievers alike!), politicians, Royalty, celebrities and then there is the day-to-day bullying in schools and Sunday Schools every – single - day. It’s exhausting to observe.
I do embrace constructive criticism as that is how I learn, grow and get stretched, but I don’t handle “stupid” criticism well at all. I find myself having to repent from being condescending, dismissive or critical (the CDC as my family calls it) of those people.
Let me give you a couple of examples:
This week we got an email message from a lady responding to our diaper drive who said, “I can't believe you are using diapers and purchased wipes for those babies! What do villagers use?” I wanted to respond with the photo above and a message that the “villagers” (even though Swazi’s don’t live in villages) don’t use diapers (known as nappies) or wipes. They use leaves to wipe the babies bare bums as they toilet train them in the bush. And what do you mean by “those babies”??
But I didn’t.
Then there was the Swazi man who sent us a message through the website accusing us of making up statistics about his country, said that we taking advantage of Swazi’s because they are all gullible and that we are getting rich off of the faces of the children. To him I want to respond and say that I was rich when I lived and worked and employed people at my company in Canada, and I sure didn’t need to move to a country dying of HIV/AIDS and poverty to get richer. Furthermore, I don’t believe that ANY of the 280+ Swazi people that we employ at very fair market wages are gullible. Not one.
But I didn’t.
Last week Pastor Andy said, “The best way to avoid criticism is not to do anything.” I choose to be criticized. And I am trying to respond with grace (or not respond at all).
For those of you who support us (and why would you be reading this if you don't?), and who think our babies should wear diapers and be cleaned with wipes, I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU from all 195 children and our 77 staff who care for them. More than 380 people shopped on line and bought 104,000+ diapers, 360,000+ wipes, 17,000 Pull Ups and endless educational supplies and toys, bicycles, sheets and towels. Yes, our children do ride bikes and they do sleep with sheets and dry off with towels (okay, no more CDC today). I love my Heart for Africa family and am so thankful for your love, grace and support.
Live from Swaziland … feeling a little salty today.