HOPE AGAINST HOPE
Pastor Gift, a member of the Adventures in Missions team in Swaziland, recently posted this:
The Nsoko community once again is facing a challenge within a challenge. Most people in this area depend on Government food grants to survive. What I do not understand is why it takes so long for Goverment to replenish the food supply to these people?
Yesterday I was sitting in my house doing administrative work when I heard a timid knock at the door. At first I thought it was my puppy now becoming big dog Max. I heard the gentle but desperate knock on the accompanied by murmuring sounds. I reluctantly stood up and went to check this unusual knock out. Guess what I found out there? God. Yes, I saw God. But this time it is not as I expected to see God. He was represented by this old lady. This lady was so frail and skiny you could have thought she was dead. I enquired, "how can I help you gogo". She shyly gave a response, "I am hungry my son, help I am dying." I immediately thought of what we had at the kitchen. I wish Isabel was writing this blog as a third person because it is difficult to say this. We had no food too except some bread that I was serving for my daughter when she comes from school.
The Spirit within me said I you going to spare food for your daughter and not give God right at your door. Joy came upon my spirit right then and I went to the kitchen and began to make juice and took all the slices of bread put it on a tray and went to give the old lady outside. Her eyes immediatetly brightened at the sight of food. I watched her eat as if she had not eaten in days. When she was done I cannot remember how many times she said "God bless you my son", "Thank you so much" with that shaking timid voice. I watched her as she stoop up to leave her body telling a story of shame as she moved. As she disappeared she left me with a picture of a miserable face that does not remember any joy. Here is someone that has lived a life of shame most of her life.
She is just one out of so many. Scott Borg has been to Nsoko this month with an Adult Team that happened to have teenagers too. On Tuesday and Thursday we visited homes for ministry. This team had bought basic food parcels to give out to the homes we visited. I went with a team to a home that I know is a youth headed family. Father and mother are dead only the children survive them. The World Racers would remember Mfan'thini. This is his family. They have absolutely no means. This young girl, hard as it is to admit, has to sometimes prostitute herself to feed the to young sisters, younger brother and her own small child. On the secong visit we went to this gogo's home.She is trying her best to raise her grandchildren that were left behind by her dead children. The only surviving daughter destroyed her house and left never to come back.
I must say, the people of Nsoko are still full of hope. They hope in life, they hope in hope, and above all they have hope in God.How people survive hear sometimes I do not know. But the fact is they do survive. They hope against hope. As I write in my car there is an envelope full if HIV results. The Luke Commission worker tells me that almost all of the people who got tested, they tested positive. She mentioned a special case of a fifteen year old who is in a critical position because her CD4 count is very low. HIV and poverty somehow do assist one another. They are cousins. These people are poor and they are also the most infected. In Swaziland the infection rate is at 42%. Nsoko has a 49% infection rate. People are dying and in numbers. Businesses are being affected.
The other day I was called upon to rescue a young man of about 22 years. He was from hospital to collect his ARV's. He had just enough money for transport and nothing for food. He fell next to the gate because he could not walk any longer. We have hope though. We hope against hope. The Real Life team is rounding up its ministry in Nsoko. Having these vibrant young people minister to their counterparts does give a ray of hope. It makes me think: God does care about Nsoko.
To read more about Pastor Gift's ministry, visit his blog at: http://pastorgift.myadventures.org/