Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Monday, June 9, 2008

6/9: Sun Beams Really Need You

Friends - It has been an amazing few days in the Margate/Port Shepston area of South Africa.

The folks we are staying with here have a nearly 3 year old little girl. Every morning, she wakes up to "sun beams". That's how she knows she is able to get out of bed. Before the sun beams pierce through her window, she has to stay in bed. When the sun comes, she rejoices and announces to all that will listen that the sun beams have come and the morning can begin.

Today, as we visited an organization called Project Positive Ray and also visited organizations part of the Ugu AIDS Alliance, I kept thinking of my little friend and her sun beams. As we met people from all walks of life addressing the AIDS crises in their own way, it was if they were celebrating the start of new days for the people they cared for...celebrating hope in their own way.

These little sun beams of light - people trying to make their mark on the dark sky of AIDS that is consuming the rich way of life in Africa - are inspiring. The efforts sputter along in some ways, while others are beaming proudly, clearly leading the way proudly. Some are shining softly, blurred by the clouds that make their jobs difficult - all the obstacles that are preventing their light from shining freely.

Today - as I met these brave light sharers, I kept thinking how much we will need each of you. Not so much as nice things to do when you feel like helping, or serving in a way that makes us happy - but serving boldly - sacrificing richly - and helping make these sun carriers pierce through the dark skies.

For example - today, I met a man that needs about $1,000 USD/year for his church to care for about 39 preschool kids year round. For food, teacher training, etc. Kids that aren't getting food at home and can be found sitting in the dirt. Abusive caretakers or busy mothers who are trying to make ends meet make caring for a preschooler difficult. Time for educational stimulation and resources to fill a hungry, developing mouth - the future of South Africa - rest in the hands of a pastor named Joseph & his wife Jabu. People who, in the midst of all the darkness around them, are choosing to do what they can to bring hope and light - piercing the clouds and choosing to say YES when the odds seem to say no.

In the coming months, I hope to share in depth more of these sun beam bearers. In the mean time, I need you to seriously consider giving to Forgotten Voices if you haven't recently or at all. We, you and me, are finding worthy projects every day that need a champion - need some nudging - some encouragement - some sun beams to contribute to the seemingly dark situation that is on the verge of consuming the dimming future of orphans & vulnerable children here in southern Africa.

The stories I will have for you are hopeful, optimistic and bright - full of possibilities. But they are also stories that will involve sweat, tears, and hard work. The more I see, the more I learn that AIDS is winning and we need to all dig deeper - Katie & I included. I'm preparing for a war of sharing light with the darkness and I REALLY REALLY REALLY need you all to think, prayerfully consider, and prepare to join Forgotten Voices in empowering orphans with local churches in southern Africa.

To be blunt, we are losing this war of darkness versus light. But, in the eyes of the nearly 3 years old little girl that we are staying with, as well as in the eyes of the 39 little ones I saw today in Pastor Joseph's creche (daycare), I see that the sun beams of life have not quit - hope does not plan to call it a day just yet. It is only just beginning.

Wishing you all sun beams of light, love, and hope today in all your own endeavors,
Ryan & Katie

Note from Ryan Keith, Forgotten Voices
717.506.0633 (office) | 717.918.4767 (fax)
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Empowering Orphans: Local People, Local Projects.
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