These are difficult times, we all know that. Social media can be hard to read, conversations with friends can be stilted and hugs are still out of the question. We all have good days and bad days, and just when we think the good days are the new norm, something else happens.
For those of us in Eswatini,
the government locked down the country in March and has now extended the
lock down until December. Liquor stores have been closed for months, with
rumors (and newspaper articles) that suggest politics and greed are at the
center of the closing, leaving restaurants and golf courses facing closure, and those who enjoy a glass of wine from time to time, without.
The borders to South Africa have been closed, keeping us and our volunteers from our normal “escape” when things are too complicated, or just too hard here. Schools are still closed, with no plans for reopening, leaving a country filled with confused , frustrated and in some cases, despondent people (and remember, all of our staff who have children know that their children are at home all day, with no school to keep them busy, engaged or productive). Our church partners have a never ending list of children who need food because there is no food at home. No one sees jobs returning, hope for the future or even a light at the end of the tunnel.
We have so many people who want to come and visit us, to “share hope” with our staff and church partners, but it appears that we won’t be able to welcome volunteers until well in to 2021.
So that’s where we are. We are still working hard. Our children are being “tutored”, and they are happy and healthy. They miss our “friends”, who usually come to visit, and they do know that it is Covid-19 that is keeping us isolated. But it is what it is.
We are isolated. We feel isolated. But we are safe and healthy, and for that we are thankful.
If you read this blog on a regular basis, you might be asking yourself how you can help us. Today I am going to give you several practical ways that you can support us from afar. I pray that every person who reads this blog today will choose one of the following ways to get involved, TODAY. We all need encouragement, and this is a practical way to do that, without getting on a plane.
Help us build a fire
station - thank you to everyone who made a donation to help us build a fire
station and security offices last week. We raised $6,700+ towards the $12,500
matching gift. We only need $5,800 to complete this. If you were thinking
about it and didn’t get around to giving, or are considering it, please
do so today by clicking here and help us get these critical buildings
2. Shop with a purpose – focus your Christmas or other gift shopping at www.khutsala.com and help us bring back dozens of our Khutsala Artisans who are at home praying that they will be able to work again in 2020 and provide or their families.
|2020 Christmas tree ornaments in three colors|
3. Sponsor a child – we still have many children who need monthly sponsorship, whether it’s $10 per month or fully sponsoring a child at $225 per month (or anything in between). We need monthly donors to help us provide the best possible care for our children.
In the US: https://www.heartforafrica.org/HOPESTARTS/
In Canada: http://bit.ly/hfahopestartsca
4. Become an Affiliate for Khutsala Artisans - each Affiliate is given a unique URL to share with friends and family through social media, text or email encouraging them to shop. Our affiliates are then able to track any sales that come from their link so that they can see the impact they are making! As a way of saying thank you, each affiliate receives a 10% store credit for every sale that comes from their link. You can get more details here.
|Blood wood charcuterie boards will be in the US by the end of October. Pre-ordering is available.|
5. If you or your church wants to help us feed more children at one of our 30 church partners, please contact email@example.com. We need to build cooking structures and buy new/larger posts to feed more children. We really need help with this 2020 Hunger Initiative.
6. Pray for us – please pray
for our staff and their children. Please pray for our volunteers who can’t
travel home to attend weddings, funerals or comfort sick family members. Please
pray for the babies who are not being found in pit latrines or not making it to
the hospital when they are found because there is no diesel for government vehicles. Pray for wisdom and provision for everyone involved with Heart for Africa.
If you are feeling isolated, please know that you are not alone. We all need to remember that the Lord is with us always. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Let us all be confident and encouraged by that knowledge.
Live from Eswatini ... this too shall pass.