Well… Today was AMAZING!!! We started off with morning devotions and fellowship with the support group leaders at the Ocean View township community. I tell you, these ladies are absolutely wonderful. Most of them live in the very communities they serve and have such a heart for their spiritual sisters and brothers.
After morning prayer, we went to the community of Mountain View and went door to door, sharing with them that we are doing a free Health/TB Clinic on Thursday and inviting them to come for the screenings and bring their children. What an awesome time! Even though these people have very little (and I mean EXTREMELY little, by our American standards), they open their homes, invite us in, and share their stories openly. As one of our team members, Brenda, said today- they know the meaning of community!
Okay- so let me just say that these next comments are NOT to make anyone feel guilty, but I just want you to understand the ways to pray for Living Hope and the 7 communities they serve. When we were going around, talking to people and praying with them, do you want to know what the number 1 prayer request was for? Food. Especially food for their children. Our pastor’s wife, Michele, made an observation yesterday that really shook all of us. A little girl had thrown up during kid’s club, and there was absolutely NO FOOD in the vomit. Now, that may sounds like a gross and strange comment, but think about it for a minute- no food at all. Let me say- I have NEVER had to pray for a meal. Never. Every day of my life there has always something to eat. I have also always had a dry, warm place to sleep, shoes on both feet, running water, a toilet, and a mom & dad. The next time I hug my dad, I am going to think of the 84% of kids in these 2 specific townships that don’t even have a father “figure” in their lives (not to mention an actual father).
I don’t say this to make you sad, but to encourage you (as I am being encouraged) to be so very thankful for the people and resources we do have in our own lives. The majority of Americans really have no idea what privileges we have. God has blessed us so richly- it is important to remember that He did not do so just so we could buy a bigger house or a nicer car, but so we could help people in need. Okay- enough of my soap box 😉
Today’s Living Hope “lesson” is on Living Right, the second “arm” of the organization. This focuses on several aspects:
– Teaching on how to live healthy and make right choices (education- ex. Hand washing, diarrhea, drinking water (it would actually shock you to know how many children die here just from dehydration and diarrhea)
– Health counselors (HIV, TB, full health screenings including eyes, etc)
– Support groups (deals a lot with people on anti-retrial viral meds- ARVs- to keep them on the path, otherwise they default on taking their meds and continue in their disease- specifically TB), groups for single moms (how to prevent them from giving HIV to their babies), HIV patients, TB patients, chronic disease, elderly, etc.
– Life skills educators (LSEs) work with children (as I mentioned above, 84% of the children do not have a father figure in their lives). By the way, this is supported by the DAD program (see www.livinghope.co.za for details- basically it is a Dollar A Day- I do this and it is so easy!)
– After school programs (The S.A. gov’t just took all NGOs (basically all non-profit groups- faith based or otherwise) out of schools about 7 months ago- pray for the LSEs as they make the transition and are trying not to lose contact with these children)
After the morning community walks, we went to Cape Point and enjoyed lunch overlooking the point where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. It was one of my favorite sights from last year and was a huge blessing, especially for the first timers in our group.
The afternoon was the start of our Hygiene Clinic, which is part of the health outreach this week. We had the privilege of pampering the Ocean View kids by doing face, hand and foot washing stations, followed by nail painting for the little ladies, craft time, and snacks! It was so touching to see the kids enjoying getting clean (they especially loved the WARM water 🙂
Tomorrow, we will do the same thing, but with the children from Mountain View instead. I’m already looking forward to working at my face washing station 😉
Well, it is very late and we have a 6am wake up, so good night and God bless from Noordhoek Beach!