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."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Zimbabwe – Final Reflection

The last two days of the trip were dedicated to seeing some of the sights of Zimbabwe – the Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls. Both are amazing in beauty and grand scale. It is hard not to fall in love with a place like this. However, what sticks in my mind is the people of Zimbabwe, who endure hardship that we can only begin to imagine with a dignity and courage that is truly humbling.

Being in Zimbabwe reminded me of 2008 when I had the opportunity to hear John Bell of the Iona Community in Scotland speak to a group here in the US. He told the story of a time when he was charged with doing a story in South Africa for the BBC that took him to a small AIDS treatment center. As a part of the early morning routine in this center, they gathered to pray, sing and dance. After the camera crew got the entire experience on film, John spoke to the woman who ran the clinic. He remarked to her that as he watched this joyful experience unfold that everyone was mixed up, and he could not distinguish the patients from the staff. Her response was that this was the result of an intentional plan, remarking that “For the healthy to be whole, they must be touched by the sick.” In an environment that could be described as hopeless, they had found the secret. In order to be whole persons, those who were healthy and were called to serve needed to touch and be touched by the sick.

As I reflect on my time in Zimbabwe, this observation becomes even more profound. Being there was not only about reaching out to help people in their hour of need. That is the essential work of Forgotten Voices and the reason we are called by God to do this important work. But it was also about how my time with the people of Zimbabwe helps me on the journey to become a whole person.

I hope the stories of Forgotten Voices will touch your heart in a special way so that you will join us as a contributor, prayer partner, or volunteer. But I also pray that the experience of being touched will soften your heart and make you a whole person, able to serve others with kindness and compassion. In many ways we are indebted to the less fortunate of this world as God uses them to make us better human beings. “For the healthy to be whole, they must be touched by the sick.”

Steve Proctor

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