Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Another quick post from me as I wait for my plane to depart South Africa for the USA.
This trip, I heard of the death of some friends here. This is always one of the hardest parts about coming and leaving. Every time I come back to my 2nd home, I hear of people that have died. And every time I leave, I go knowing that the next time I come back someone else will have passed away...I just don't know who.
500 people are dying everyday because of AIDS in Zimbabwe. Beneath those statistics are real people, with real stories. Every week, nearly 3,000 people. The stats are staggering. This creates about 1,000 new orphans every DAY, or 7,000 a week.
Something must be done. I'd love to raise about $200,000 during the 2nd half of this year to launch locally developed plans to assist these orphans in Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Hlalani, about 30 years old, passed away on May 11th, the day before I departed for Zimbabwe. When I saw him this past February, he was caring for his elder brother who was dying of AIDS. Hlalani looked well, but his brother looked awful. AIDS is crazy like that. His brother is now teaching again in South Africa and Hlalani is suddenly dead.
On his death bed, Hlalani tried to give life instructions to his only child...age 3. She didn't understand his incoherrant thoughts. God bless him. Just before he passed, his old mother heard him crying out to God. She walked in to his room as he said Amen. Shortly after, he passed away, leaving his young daughter without a parent. The wife was gone, as well.
Fibion Ndlovu at the Free Methodist Church will work with Forgotten Voices to send this young one to school and help support the family with grief counseling, food support and other essentials. Volunteers in the church are already visiting the grandmother on a regular basis to see what can be assisted around the house.
By equipping local people with the resources they need to care for these orphans, we can make sure that these vulnerable children are not forgotten.
The sex trade, slavery, and child abuse of all types are on the rise in places like Zambia and Zimbabwe. The cold reality is these children are exploited if not cared for properly. Local leaders that we have identified know the right people and the right paths for these children.
Please pray for Hlalani's family as they mourn his loss. And for the Free Methodist Church and potential donors to Forgotten Voices as we look to partner with this grieving family...and this young child left behind by AIDS.
I praise God for the fact that new life comes along as well each time I come. About 20 children were born this month at Mtshabezi. 3 close friends of mine will give birth to new life this year.
I praise God for the hope that is found in new life.
Written by Ryan - ForgottenVoices.org at 5/23/2007 08:42:00 AM