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."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Nine Days in Zimbabwe

I have been helping behind the scenes with Forgotten Voices International for several years now. Over five years ago, my friends began describing how God was moving through the dreams of young adults and Zimbabwean pastors. I wanted to be a part of God's movement, so I started volunteering. As the ministry grew, I agreed to take over donation processing and write thank you notes to our amazing supporters. After a few years, my service became more routine. This fall I was given an opportunity to see how my contributions help change lives through the work of Forgotten Voices.

This November, I spent nine days in Zimbabwe. Those nine days will forever change the way I view the work of Forgotten Voices. I met many families that are living in difficult situations: little to no food to eat, no seed to plant and suffering from the effects of HIV/AIDS. This redefined my understanding of difficult.

Since returning, I have been unable to stop thinking about and praying for the Moyo family. Luwazi, his wife and 6 month old twins, Emmanuel and Ethel. They live with five other people in Waybai Village about 8 km from Mtshabezi Mission station. Luwazi is suffering from AIDS related illnesses. His wife and Ethel are HIV+, and thankfully Emmanuel is not. The day we met them, they did not have any food to eat and no seed to plant. We talked to them, listened to their story, took pictures and prayed for them. Then we walked away. It was very hard walking away knowing that all we could do was pray for them, but prayer is a powerful thing.

Their story does not end there. The following morning, we met with Pierre, our partner with Foundation for Farming. Forgotten Voices partners with them to provide seed, fertilizer and zero-till farming training to families in southern Africa. We shared with him the stories of Luwazi and the other families that we met the previous day. Before we parted ways, we had a plan for him to provide seed, fertilizer and training for thirty families the following week. So as we were celebrating Thanksgiving, they were preparing their food supply for the rest of the year.

There may be times I may be tempted to slip back into mechanical routines or struggle with screaming kids, but those nine days bring life into perspective. There's real suffering and difficulties in the world, and there is a loving God already preparing a provision for those in need. Last month, God used Pierre, next month it may be you.

Julie Bunch - Volunteer Director of Administration

1 comment:

Ellen said...

Julie, this one really got to me. Thanks for sharing what I'm sure was one of the tougher experiences of your trip - and one of the most inspiring. It's a joy working with you!