Thursday, July 30, 2009

Home is more than a house...

It's times like now that bring this inot focus. Many of you may have read about the home that the Orlando team built last month. If not, go to The home was built for a single mom with 2 children. Often, the neice is there as well when her mother is not doing well with her illness.

Last night, we recieved the news that the mom had passed away. Now, the 15 yr. old boy will be the head of the household, with a young sister to take care of. The immeadiate needs seem overwhelming enough. Money to release the body to the funeral home, cost of a funeral, paying to keep the electricity on, no food in the house. And then to thnk of the long term needs; well, it seems a little daunting to me, I can only imagine how a 15 yr. old boy feels.

Last night, Ryan asked if there was anyone to stay with the children until the grandfather arrived. When we found out there wasn't, Ryan & Mongolisa packed a bag, grabbed some food & headed out. Two selfless guys, doing what neede to be done.

Our job now is to make sure these children don't fall through the cracks. How can we help make sure they are taken care of & not taken advantage of? How do we ensure that their needs are met so the boy doesn't have to quit school & get a job to support his sister? How do we help make sure the sister isn't raped or abused? Thankfully,we are working with a wonderful pastor in the community. Pastor Stembiso & his wife have the heart of God & the faith of Abraham. Our prayer is we can come along side of them & see the children grow up taken care of & knowing the love of the Father.

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's about...

Sometimes, it seems all about the task. You know, potatoes to be peeled, food to be served, homes to be built, etc. There is so much that needs to be done.

But ultimately, it's about this. The children.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hope for a community

For the last 2 weeks, we have had the privilege to host a short term team from the YWAM Orlando base. This group of 6 men & 6 women raised the money to build a home and dedicated 2 weeks here to accomplish that task. We are blessed to be working with an amazing pastor in the community & he found a family that had a great need. The family lived in this small shack. The mother, who is on her death bed, had 2 children & an aunt had come to live with them with her child to help out.

Pastor organized a group of young adults to help in any way they could. Before the team arrived, they began gathering water in any container they could find & hauling it to the construction site. Throughout the entire 2 weeks, these young people were there to do whatever needed done, for nothing more than the reward of helping someone in need. If there was mortar to be mixed, they mixed it; if there were blocks to be unloaded, the jumped in; if there was a need for scaffolding, they made it. All with a joyful heart.

The Orlando team was determined to finish the home in the short time span they were here. After 10 days of working their tails off, the home is 99% finished with only a few small things to be done. The amazing thing to me in all this tho was every time I was out there, I saw this team engaging relationally with the kids from the home, the young adults that helped & anyone from the community that came by. The Orlando team not only accomplished the task that theyhad set out for, they also engaged people from this community in relationships. Everyone in the community & here at Ten Thousand homes will be sad to see them leave. They not only brought hope to this family, they brought Hope to a community.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

And so what do you do?

Today when I went to Kabokweni, Elizabeth asked me to go with her to check on some children. She was told about them from the home based care workers & wanted to see for herself. After driving half way up the mountain on what were called roads, we finally parked the truck & hiked the rest of the way. Thankfully, it wasn't too bad. When we first got to the house, my initial thought was that it wasn't too bad. The house was small, but looked like a nice little log-cabin type. When we went inside tho, it was quite obvious how hard things were. The home was maybe 10 x10, with a small area partitioned off. The floors were dirt & the only thing inside was a small shelf with oil & salt on it and a very thin mattress. The walls were covered in blue plastic. You could see 2 inch gaps all throughout the house.

The lady who lived there had a 6 yr. old, 2 yr. old & a 2 month old. The baby had recently been in the hospital. The mother told us that the husband had left while she was pregnant & she had delivered the baby in the home by herself. There was no food in the house or any blankets.

I have to say, it was pretty heart-wrenching to see this. And to not be able to do anything, well, it makes you feel so helpless. At the very least, I know the two older children will be able to eat at least 3 times a week. But for the rest of the time? And the mother with the newborn? And how will they stay warm on these nights when the temp is dropping into the 30's? How will I sleep tonight knowing they are struggling with no hope?