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Saturday, August 4, 2018

I don't handle "stupid" very well


Photo credit: Chris Cheek
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).
 
Thank you Julie and Pete Wilkerson and the amazing guys from SCAPES who loaded the container!
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.

Janine

3 comments:

  1. Praise God! Don't be concerned about what men may think. Obedience to the Father is ALL any of us need to be concerned about. Blessings to you and the entire team who are being the hands and feet of Jesus! Blessings to all who support this assignment from God to love and care for these little ones and point them to Jesus and the hope we all have in Him. My heart is swelling with pride (the good kind) at how God is using you as a conduit of His great love and mercy. Be encouraged. Be blessed. Be strengthened in body, soul, mind and spirit. Love always!

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  2. We have the privilege of asking our Father for wisdom and He freely gives it. Praying for your big family.

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  3. MY NAME IS MARIAM FROM SOUTH AFRICA...I SAW THIS COMMENT ON POSITIVE BLOGS AND I WILL LOVE TO TELL EVERYBODY HOW MY STATUS CHANGES TO NEGATIVE, AND AM NOW A LIVING WITNESS OF IT AND I THINK ITS A SHAME ON ME IF I DON'T SHARE THIS LOVELY STORY WITH OTHER PEOPLE INFECTED WITH THIS DEADLY VIRUS...,HIV HAS BEEN ONGOING IN MY FAMILY... I LOST BOTH PARENTS TO HIV,. AND IT IS SO MUCH PAIN IVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET OVER.. AS WE ALL KNOW MEDICALLY THERE IS NO SOLUTION TO IT..AND MEDICATION IS VERY EXPENSIVE..SO SOMEONE INTRODUCED ME TO A NATIVE MEDICAL PRACTITIONER IN AFRICA..I HAD A JOB THERE TO EXECUTE SO I TOOK TIME TO CHECK OUT ON HIM.I SHOWED HIM ALL MY TESTS AND RESULTS.. I WAS ALREADY DIAGNOSED WITH HIV AND IT WAS ALREADY TAKING ITS TOWL ON ME.. I HAD SPENT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS SO I DECIDED TO TRY HIM OUT...I WAS ON HIS DOSAGE FOR 1 MONTHS. ALTHOUGH I DIDNT BELIEVE IN IT, I WAS JUST TRYING IT OUT OF FRUSTRATION... AND AFTER 2 WEEKS, I WENT FOR NEW TESTS... AND YOU WONT BELIEVE THAT 5 DIFFERENT DOCTORS CONFIRMED IT THAT AM NEGATIVE..IT WAS LIKE A DREAM,,I NEVER BELIEVE AIDS HAS CURE..AM NOW NEGATIVE,,AM A LIVING WITNESS..I DONT KNOW HOW TO THANK THIS MAN... I JUST WANT TO HELP OTHERS IN ANY WAY I CAN..HAVE JOINED MANY FORUMS AND HAVE POSTED THIS TESTIMONIES AND ALOT OF PEOPLE HAS MAIL AND CALLED THIS MAN ON PHONE AND AFTER 2 WEEKS THEY ALL CONFIRMED NEGATIVE..BBC NEWS TOOK IT LIVE AND EVERY.. HOPE HE HELPS YOU OUT.. EVERYBODY SAW IT AND ITS NOW OUT IN PAPERS AND MAGAZINES THAT THERE'S NATIVE CURE FOR HIV AND ALL WITH THE HELP OF THIS MAN,,HAVE TRIED MY OWN PARTS AND ALL LEFT WITH YOU,,IF YOU LIKE TAKE IT OR NOT..GOD KNOWS HAVE TRIED MY BEST.ABOUT 97 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED NEGATIVE THROUGH ME..AND THEY SEND MAILS TO THANKS ME AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED NEGATIVE,,THIS MAN IS REAL..DON'T MISS THIS CHANCE,,HIV IS A DEADLY VIRUS,,GET RID OF IT NOW..
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