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Saturday, October 27, 2018

I'm tired

The face of hopelessness (identity hidden)
Ian left eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) for an extended trip to the US and Canada on October 5th and I followed a few days after.  We have collectively been on 24 flights so far, sleeping in six different locations and meeting with hundreds of people.

Why are we doing this? We are doing it solely to share what is happening at Heart for Africa and to raise funds to support our work. 

Meanwhile, back in eSwatini, our family has received ELEVEN children in the 19 days that we have been away.  The youngest is 5-days-old, the oldest is just over two years. Included in those eleven children are two sets of twin girls a pair of siblings and four children who are HIV positive. 

When we travel abroad our goal is always to educate people to what is happening in the tiny Kingdom, and invite them to join us in helping to raise the remnant that is being left behind as a nation is being decimated by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  Poverty leads to starvation, starvations leads to desperation, desperation lethargy, lethargy leads to hopelessness and hopelessness leads to baby dumping, child abuse and death.

Below are US and eSwatini population growth charts, where you can see the largest population base in the US is the 25-year-old, followed closely by the 55-60-year-olds. In contrast, eSwatini’s largest population is under the age of two years, and the second largest is the 22-25-year old group – the ones having all the babies.  But those are just charts, just graphs that people can dispute.  I have seen those 2-year-olds and those 23-year-olds. They are real.

I am tired, and discouraged.  We have worked in eSwatini for 13 years now, and have lived there for 6.5 years of those years, and the situation is not getting any better. I find that donors and friends tire of hearing the same stories that we tell about this baby being found in a pit latrine, or that baby being dumped in the river. Then there’s the story about this one coming with broken limbs or fractured skulls and then there’s the never-popular child with AIDS, Tuberculosis AND they are literally starving to death.  Who wants to hear about them?  It just makes people sad and kind or ruins your day. Heck, it makes me sad.

And why on earth would you want to give money to help two crazy Canadians who are now raising 210 Swazi children until adulthood?  We need donor support, but people are busy, distracted and often, disinterested.

While we are enjoying seeing trusted friends and having familiar food, I long to be back home in eSwatini where most of my family lives.  Every day we deal with death, child trafficking, rape, violent crime, lies, stealing, pain, heartbreak and hopelessness every day, and oh, the hopelessness - that is the worst. But I have found that hopelessness is nearly impossible to convey to a western audience and get them to respond. I have seen the face of hopelessness, hundreds of times, and it is always the same. The eyes of a hopeless person are empty, but still open. Their skin is dry and blotchy like they have never had a drink of water.  Their limbs are limp and lifeless, which usually matches their hair and the way their lips sit on their face – limp and lifeless. 

BUT I do see hope in the eyes of our children,  our amazing staff and the social workers/police/doctors whom I have the privilege to work with. I see joy in their smiles and hope in their eyes just knowing that someone sees them, hears them and cares. 

I am “cheating” by writing this blog on Friday night on a 3+ hour flight from Atlanta to Denver so that I am not “late” posting my blog after everyone has finished their morning coffee and moved on with their day. As I am writing this I am listening to a song by Lincoln Brewster called “While I wait”.  The lyrics say:

“While I wait, I will worship, Lord I’ll worship your name.
While I wait, I will trust you, Lord I’ll trust you all the same.

I live by faith, and not by sight.
Sometimes miracles take time.

You’re faithful every day.
Your promises remain.

Though I don’t understand it, I will worship with my pain.
You are God you are worthy, you are with me, all the way.

So while I wait, I will worship, Lord I’ll worship your name.
Though I don’t have all the answers, still I trust you, all the same.”

We need funding for our children. NO, we need funding for HIS children.  I’ll stop asking when He has provided sufficiently for the children He has placed in our care.

If you can sponsor a child today, please do so. 

Live from an airplane … I will worship while I wait.


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