Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

Becoming the hands and feet of Christ (4)

I would like to continue the story of what happened to us when our church made a commitment to God that we would become His hands and feet in our community. The previous post about this topic ended where we had decided to have a second conference on AIDS. The reason for the second conference was that we found out that a group of around twelve people were already working in the same area as volunteer home-based caregivers where we were intending to work and we felt it necessary to meet with them to prevent any possibility of conflict. This meeting took place on 3 December 2005.
I was appointed as chairperson of this meeting and decided that the greater part of the day would be used to allow the existing caregivers to share their stories. But as the day progressed I was nearly driven to tears to hear what these people were experiencing in the homes they visited: poverty beyond imagination, people with hardly any clothes and no warm bedding, homes without adults to care for the children. In one instance there were six children in one homestead who were orphans. The oldest was eighteen years of age. That year he had received a scholarship to go to school and at the age of eighteen he had finished grade one!!!! The younger children had never been to school.
Adults were being cared for as if they were babies. Some of them are to weak to get up to go to a toilet and when the caregivers arrive, the patients have to be washed and their bedding changed. It was heartbreaking to hear these stories. And then one of the most marvellous experiences in my life happened when the group made a commitment: If I was willing to arrange training for them, they would be able and willing to do this work even better. At that moment I did not know if I wanted to laugh or cry. I just knew that this was from God. The twelve existing caregivers immediately volunteered for training and quite a number of new people also indicated that they would be willing to become part of such a project.
I have a firm believe never to pressure anyone in doing something for the Lord, believing that God Himself has to convince them through the Holy Spirit to do this. So, committing myself to arrange for training as soon as possible in the new year, I asked them to pray about this ministry and only to involve themselves with it if they were certain that God is calling them to do the work.
And on this note the meeting ended. If you want to read a more detailed report on that meeting, you will find it here.

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Monday, July 16, 2007 - Posted by | HIV & AIDS, Mission, Swaziland

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