Sunday, January 16, 2011


Over the last few weeks, five people connected to us have died --- maybe not all were someone closely connected like my grandma, but family members of friends. My oldest daughter made the comment this morning that it was strange how so many people had died in such a short amount of time after we received news that yet another person had passed away.

And for us, it is strange.

For those living in Southern Africa, it is sadly not a strange occurrence. In fact, according to one survey conducted in South Africa, the people there spend more time going to funerals than they do shopping, getting their hair cut, or going to braais (barbecues).

Can you imagine? In these countries wracked with HIV/AIDS, funerals have tragically become a weekly affair for far too many people.

Many of the ones being buried are leaving behind children, children whose extended family's resources are being stretched beyond thin. These are children who will now have to be cared for by an elderly grandparent, an aunt, a neighbor, or maybe just an older sibling --- a sibling who still might be a child themselves.

These children are living a norm that includes weekly deaths of their friends' parents, grandparents, siblings, and friends.

In such an environment, it would be easy to just give up, quit fighting, cease trying to get ahead, and just wait til death comes to them.

But despite this, if you were to visit Swaziland, you would find children and adults with indomitable spirits. Yes, you would find those that have given up. You would find those that are too weak and disease ridden to keep on trying. But you would also find so many who have chosen to rejoice in what they do have. You would find children who are still laughing and playing and dancing despite their harsh situations. You would find women who sing as they work harder in a day than most of us work in a week.

And these survivors need and deserve the help they need to keep on surviving and succeed despite the harshly impoverished circumstances they find themselves in.

Children's HopeChest and Adventures in Missions are working with Swazi nationals to be a part of the effort to end the culture of death and disease in Swaziland. The United Nations has predicted that in just a few short decades, the Swazi people will be extinct as a people group if the rate of death continues. Basically, more people are dying than are being born.

I am part of the Bheveni Carepoint sponsorship community. We are working alongside CHC and AIM as financial and spiritual partners to help ensure that the children of the Bheveni Carepoint receive the food, education, medical care, and Biblical teaching that they need to be a surviving remnant. Our goal is that the children will not just live til adulthood, but by following Biblical principles, they will make wise life choices that help them become the kind of parents, leaders, and citizens that Swaziland will need to not just keep existing as a nation, but build a stronger nation.

Will you join our efforts? By sponsoring one child, such as three year old Snori, you are helping to not just give this child a better chance of a hope-filled future, but giving this entire nation a better chance of a hope-filled future.

For more information on sponsoring a child at Bheveni Carepoint, contact Danielle Brower through her blog:


Ministry Happens in Ukraine said...

I for one haven't thought much about how commonplace funerals are over there. That's sobering.

Elysa said...

It truly is. We are privileged to live in America where death is the exception, not the rule.

Hope to see you soon here at the MacFarm.