On the South African portion of our trip, I met this beautiful little girl in Durban. She was at the St. Mary’s Hospital for victims with AIDS. I used to have a stigma about this disease; who contracted it, why, etc. None of that matters any more after meeting the baby on your right.
She was only days from death. No fault of her own I can assure you – she contracted HIV from her mother at birth. Now, she is dying from TB which is one of the chief diseases leading to death and caused by HIV.
I was incredibly broken hearted after seeing this sweet angel. She forced her eyes open just enough to look at me. I prayed for her – prayed for mercy and prayed she wouldn’t be in pain. This is one of the saddest facets of visiting Africa, but it’s reality. We must do something to help this continent Bono describes as "on fire." We must be hope and we must look to sustain others who are bringing that hope.
An incredibly bright part of this trip was to a place called Shepherd’s Keep. A Christian baby home dedicated to rescuing HIV babies who had been abandoned. After proper nutrition, lots of love and care, and many prayers – 75% of these babies turn zero-negative. The disease is completely out of their bodies. I never even knew this was possible. An amazing evidence to me of God’s grace and mercy in the lives of children. Maybe, if there were more places like Shepherd’s Keep, she’d still be alive. That’s what Children’s HopeChest is seeking to accomplish.
Please remember the children in Swaziland and South Africa. Even if a child makes it to 15 in Swaziland, they have a 6% chance of living to 35. This country needs help, it needs Christ, there is no other answer.
I am happy to say that we have our first sponsorship in Swaziland as of today! Vanguard Church of Colorado Springs is sponsoring a care point outside of Mbabane, Swaziland of 125 children. Four of the other churches on the trip are currently making decisions about which places they will sponsor. Please email me if you’d like to be involved.