Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

Could the local church be the hope of the world?

Bill Hybels, pastor at Willowcreek, has a saying: The local church is the hope of the world. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this. Worldwide it seems as if the local church is becoming smaller and playing a less prominent role. Many people – committed Christians – have left the church, either for nothing or for a small group. These are people who have given up hope for the local church (although many still haven’t given up hope for God.)
Frankly, we (that is, our family) are hyper-critical about the local church. We experience extreme arrogance, a lack of leadership, a total lack of commitment towards those outside the church, an unwillingness to change effectively and a whole range of other issues. I’m not referring to a particular church, but rather to a whole range of churches which I see around us. I have a dear friend who is pastor in a very small local church in the town where we live. This man has vision and dreams which you rarely observe in any pastor. But his congregation doesn’t support him. He’s on his way out – going to retire and live somewhere where he won’t need to worry about things like this anymore. And the church he is leaving behind is going to become even smaller than it already is!
Most local churches are fast declining in numbers. This is often blamed on the changing environment in which we live, the post-modern outlook on life, the old-fashioned way of worship which exist in many churches, the judgmental attitude of many Christians, and the list could go on. But I’m still not convinced that these are the real reasons why people leave the church. I’ve seen a number of people in our town who left very modern-style churches to join the Anglicans (old-fashioned with a strict liturgy). I’ve been in a Presbyterian church in Rotterdam which seem to have nothing flashy in terms of worship teams, sound systems and lights, but this church is growing, in spite of most churches in Europe declining in numbers. I believe a lot has to do with people finding that they are making a difference by being part of the church.
When people step into a relationship with Christ for the first time, they need the church to bring change into their own lives, but in my opinion, as they grow in their relationship with God, their needs (should) change, so that they can become a blessing for others. I don’t often have the chance to attend church as spectator. On most Sundays I have two and sometimes three services where I have to preach. But a few weeks ago I attended church with my family and when I left the church I was overwhelmed with the feeling of: If I have to do this every Sunday and this is all that church is about, I’ll die! And this, I believe, is the reason why churches are dying: because people cannot get the impression that it makes any difference whatsoever whether they are part of the local church or not.
Coming back to what bill Hybels said: The local church can only become the hope of the world if it gets involved in the community and the people where it is situated. People need to experience that the church is offering something that they cannot find elsewhere. Probably the church will not be able to compete in terms of financial resources when real disasters strike, such as 9/11, Katrina or with a pandemic such as AIDS. But I am sure that there are hundreds of survivors of 9/11 or families who had survived Katrina who would be able to tell stories, not of what the government had done for them, but of what churches had done for them. When I was in Chicago last year, I stayed over with a family that had just returned from New Orleans where they had helped people to rebuild their houses. I cannot for one moment think that those people, whether they are Christians or not, will see the church as being irrelevant. In Southern Africa, where the AIDS pandemic is at its worst, governments of all countries are giving out billions of dollars to help control the spreading of the disease and to ensure that people are tested and will receive medication. But the real stories of hope come when people tell how the church has reached out to them. There are wonderful stories of how the church brought hope into people’s lives. And it is when I see this happening, that I know that the time of the church is not over yet. The time for ineffective churches may be over, but the world will always need hope. And nobody can bring more hope than the local church which has, itself, experienced hope through God’s love.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009 Posted by | Africa, AIDS, Alternative Society, Bill Hybels, Church, HIV, HIV & AIDS, Hope, Indigenous church, Leadership, Mission, Short-term outreaches, Social issues, Support teams, Theology, Vision | 7 Comments

So what are Christians for?

This is a topic that I’ve wanted to blog about for some time now and didn’t, mainly because I’ve felt that I had more important things to say, such as the orphan problem in Swaziland.
Last week I was sitting in a Swaziland mission meeting where someone mentioned that Christians seem to be more focused on things which they oppose than things which they support. I wholeheartedly agree. Then, driving back to my home I was listening to a CD on which Bill Hybels and Dave Workman were both engaged in an interview about the “Outward Focused Life.”
The interviewer asked the two gentleman a question: What do the people on the street think of Christians? Dave Workman (if I remember correctly) responded by telling how he had asked a number of people that question, one being a waitress at a restaurant not far from their church. She responded that, in her opinion, Christians are cheap, very demanding and they don’t tip well. Bill Hybels answered the question by saying, amongst others, that Christians are better known for the things which they are against than the things they are for.
Last night my wife and I attended a cell group in which the same topic came under discussion, this time with the theme: What does it mean to be an obedient Christian?
As a young Christian, I was probably also more focused on the things which I opposed than the things which I felt strongly about to support. But as I grew older and hopefully became more mature both as a human being and also as a Christian, I realized that I would not be influencing many people through the things I oppose. But if I am willing to stand up for a certain issue, I might just be able to get a few others to stand up with me and together we can make a difference.
As I read blogs and other Christian material, I think that Bill Hybels is correct in his analysis. Christians are against evolutionism, against creationism, against liberalism, against fundamentalism and a whole bunch of other -isms (including Calvinism!) But what are we for?
If someone should step up to us and ask: “What do you believe?”, would we be able to give a clear answer (not necessarily a final answer), or have we possibly become so focused on the things that we are against that we no longer know what it is that we stand for?
I know a number of people who will be able to tell me in no uncertain terms what things they oppose. When asked what they believe, they will be able to give me a well-formulated textbook answer. But the question should rather be what people feel so strongly about that they will stand up for it and, by doing so, make a difference in the world.

Monday, June 15, 2009 Posted by | Alternative Society, Bill Hybels, Church, Meetings, Mission, Swaziland, Theology | 12 Comments

Are church leaders leading their members towards mission involvement?

Rick Meigs posted a blog almost three months ago, titled: Are We Delusional? I pinned the post, meaning to respond to it at some stage. The point he’s trying to make in the post is that many church leaders will theorize about mission and about the importance of mission, but will never set the example to their church members on what it means to get involved in mission. No wonder that church members do not get involved in mission: they’re only following the example set for them by their leaders.
Something which I’ve heard quite a lot over the past few weeks and also during the past WENSA mission conference I attended, is the words: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.” When it comes to mission, I’ve seen too many church leaders not willing to lead in this regard, nor are they willing to follow, nor are they willing to get out of the way that others can do what they believe God wants them to do.
Last year, when we were awarded the runner-up position for the Courageous Leadership Award for our involvement in HIV and AIDS in Swaziland, one of the other finalists stood up at the awards ceremony at Willow Creek and told how his own congregation had been waiting for him, either to take leadership or to get out of the way so that they could do something. Fortunately, he made the choice to lead, not only his own congregation, but eventually a large part of his city, to get involved in a town in Lesotho. You can read a summary of their amazing story here.
Everybody in church seem to want to be leaders. I saw it once again during this past conference when the large group had to break up into four smaller discussion groups, speaking about youth, women, community involvement and leadership. I would guess that at least two thirds of the attendees went to the discussion on leadership. Obviously we need better leaders in the church. But true leadership (in the church at least) is not something that is taught from the pulpit. It is something which is demonstrated in such a way that church members will want to follow. And where this happens with passion and with honesty, nothing can stop the army of church members signing up to follow their leader in making God’s Kingdom become visible on earth.

Thursday, May 14, 2009 Posted by | Africa, AIDS, Bill Hybels, Church, HIV, HIV & AIDS, Home-based Caring, Leadership, Meetings, Mission, Short-term outreaches, Social issues, Support teams, Swaziland, Theology | Leave a comment

Getting your church mission-focussed

A friend called me this morning. She had attended a mission meeting in her church a few days ago and was totally frustrated with the meeting. Fortunately, after only thirty minutes, the meeting was finished (with no decisions having been made about anything!) The two pastors were present but had nothing to say. When the chairperson mentioned a certain amount of money that had been budgeted for a specific mission project but that had still not been used, the leaders didn’t say a word. (Most probably they were thinking what they could do with the money in their own church if they don’t have to spend it outside.) Is it surprising then that that specific church has no vision for mission at all?
I get quite a lot of opportunities to preach in other churches. Mostly I’m invited to speak about our work in Swaziland but it is also expected that I would get the congregations where I’m preaching excited about mission. I always enjoy doing this, but in all honesty, I wonder how much of a change I’ve been able to make in people’s lives concerning their involvement in mission. Granted, I don’t have the gift of someone like Billy Graham or Bill Hybels when it comes to speaking, but on the other hand I don’t think I’m all that bad! Taking all things into consideration, I believe the biggest problem is that most churches lack the leadership to get their members involved in mission.
I’ve listened to a number of testimonies of churches which are doing phenomenal things regarding mission in various places in the world. The one message which come through, time and again, is that the leader had to admit that he was the biggest stumbling block in the way of their church doing something outside their walls. In most churches there is a group of people who are ready to do something – people with knowledge and resources and the willingness to do something great. All that they are waiting for is for the leader of the church, either to step aside or to lead the way. In my experience, most church leaders will not step aside and neither will they lead the way – therefore nothing happens.
In most churches there are a number of people ready to do something big. If their enthusiasm is not channelled through a project which their church is involved in, the result will be that they will either lose their enthusiasm, or they will move over to another church where they will be used effectively.
Perhaps it’s time that church members who are enthusiastic about mission should confront their leaders and to ask them, either to lead the way (the better option) or to step aside so that they can do the work.

Friday, October 17, 2008 Posted by | Bill Hybels, Church, Mission, Swaziland, Theology | 3 Comments

Using Volunteers instead of full-time Workers

I was the guest speaker today at the annual general meeting of a drug and alcohol abuse rehabilitation centre in South Africa. As the public was invited to attend the meeting and a group of government appointed home-based caregivers were specifically invited to attend, I was asked to speak about the principle of serving the community as volunteer – in other words, not doing this service for a salary.
In our ministry in Swaziland we make use only of volunteers. The Swaziland government as well as the South African government, have appointed a number of home-based caregivers, known as Health Motivators or Nomphilo (SiSwati for “Those who give life”). But the impression I get is that the systems in both countries are not very effective. Although they are supposed to be motivators, they themselves often seem to be unmotivated. And while I will never try and give the impression that every one of the 380 caregivers linked to our ministry are always motivated, I do think that on average they are achieving considerably more that the government people, in spite of them not receiving any compensation for this work.
The question is why this is happening. And then I often think back to the words of Jim Collins in his “From Good to Great” where he says at one place that you can never motivate someone with money. And although this may not be the full and final answer to the question, I believe that there is a lot of truth in this. On the one hand the government motivators are receiving some form of compensation, but to be honest, it’s not even close enough to really make a difference in their lives. On the contrary, I think what is happening is that the motivators are more frustrated, because they feel that they are being paid to do the work, but the salary is so small that it’s not worthwhile doing the work for the salary.
Amazingly, we have found that a number of the health motivators in Swaziland have left the government (where they received a small salary) and joined our group, where they are getting no salary, and yet they are now working more effectively than in the past.
I believe it all has to do with motivation. Am I doing what I am doing for the money I’ll receive or because I have a heart for the people and a passion to do something about the pain these people are experiencing?
Bill Hybels, in his book, Axiom, mentions one of his personal favourites: I’m not doing it for money! This axiom was born in a situation where he was travelling while he was sick and at some point, on an airport, he asked himself: “Why the heck am I doing this?” And the answer which came to his mind was: “I’m not doing it for money.” In other words: I’m doing it for God!
And possibly, this is the attitude which I want to encourage our volunteers to have. Why are you doing this work? (And believe me, hardly a day goes by that I don’t ask this question in my mind about the AIDS home-based caregivers.) And the only answer which I could get from them when I once specifically asked them this question, was because they wanted to be able to help the sick and the dying people of their communities so that they can realise that God loves them.
I’ve often wondered what I would do if I suddenly received half a million dollars, given with the intention to compensate the volunteers for their work. I’ll share it with them, of course, but I would make sure that they realise that this is not a salary – merely a way of showing our appreciation for the huge task they are doing as volunteers.

Thursday, October 9, 2008 Posted by | AIDS, Bill Hybels, HIV, HIV & AIDS, Home-based Caring, Jim Collins, Mission, Poverty, Support teams, Swaziland, Theology | Leave a comment

Working together with Home-Based Caregivers

I’m sitting at our annual synod meeting in Manzini at the moment. I’m the general secretary of the Swaziland Reformed Church and for the past week I’ve been rushing around, getting things ready for this meeting, the reason why I haven’t been able to blog lately. In between I have also been involved with a team from OM (Operation Mobilisation) which had been doing their rural outreach training in Swaziland. Instead of using them for building projects, I use these teams mainly to work with our home-based caregivers. Every morning, after breakfast, they meet the caregivers and start walking with them from homestead to homestead, caring for the patients, often walking down to a stream or river to fetch water and doing whatever is necessary to practically demonstrate the love of Christ to these people.
On Tuesday evening, the day before the group returned to their training base in South Africa, I asked them to come together at our church building at Dwalenito share what they had experienced in the two weeks that they had been in Swaziland. This was a time that I wanted to use to hear from them what had happened, but it was also a time of debriefing for the group, as many of them had really experienced culture shock. One of the young people said: “I had been stretched over my limit while I was there, but it was a good thing. God opened my eyes for the real need of the people in Swaziland.
What really amazed me was to hear how virtually everyone of them said to me that the time had been a challenge to them, having to walk long distances in the day, not having the convenience of a shower, having to fetch their own water, but then hearing every single one thanking us for allowing them to be part of this work. This isn’t what I would consider as a normal reaction. Normally people would be thankful if they had been living in comfortable rooms with comfortable beds and all other things which they would find at home.
But I also realised why they reacted in this way. They had been exposed to some of the worst situations that many of them had seen, things like extreme hunger (at one house they had helped to clean the house and did not find a crumb of food in the house) and also a girl of twelve years who is suffering from a sexually transmitted disease because some family member (probable the father or uncle) had continually raped and abused her. (Through their intervention the matter has now been reported to the police.) But then they also saw how the caregivers gave themselves to help these people. They saw one caregiver who had no food in her own home, going back to her house to fetch a bar of soap, just to be able to share something with someone else. And it was seeing this attitude that made it worthwhile for them to be here. Yes, they were stretched, but they were changed for the good and I believe that not one of them will ever quite be the same again.
Under normal circumstances I have too much other work to be able to visit the clients regularly. But every once in a while I join up with one or two of the caregivers and visit a few homes with them. And every time I do this I am strengthened and enriched merely by observing what these people are doing. But obviously, when I visit a home with them, I cannot leave without praying. These people still believe that there is some special power in a minister’s prayer!
Bill Hybels mentioned that every person should expose him or herself to a place of pain in order to grow spiritually and to have God speak to their hearts. I cannot agree with him more.

Friday, September 5, 2008 Posted by | AIDS, Bill Hybels, Building relations, Church, Comfort Zone, Cross-cultural experiences, Culture Shock, HIV, HIV & AIDS, Home-based Caring, Hope, Mission, Partnership, Poverty, Prayer, Short-term outreaches, Swaziland, Theology | Leave a comment

Leadership Training in Missions

One of the frustrations I often have in Swaziland is the training of leaders. The world seems to have created a perception of what a leader is and Christian TV channels have strengthened the idea that leaders are dynamic speakers, running up and down before the audience, shouting while they’re preaching and even more so when they’re praying, throwing in a lot of “In the Name of Jeeeeesusssss!!!” and so forth. Once they can do this, they consider themselves to be leaders and it becomes very difficult to tell them that this isn’t a very good definition of a leader.
I’ve just finished Bill Hybels’ book, Axiom. I’ve read a number of his books. Some I can relate to more easily than others. Of all his books I’ve read, this one is probably the one that meant the most to me. He compiled 76 leadership principles (which he calls “Axioms”) which he mentally refers to when having to make a decision about something. Having personally met him recently at Willow Creek during the Leadership Summit, I hold him in high regard as leader and although I would not necessarily agree with each of these axioms and although not all of these axioms are universally applicable in a country such as Swaziland, there are still 90% or more that I would be able to use in my own role as leader, both in our church as well as in our home-based caring project.
As I was reading this book and asking myself what I would consider as a good church leader, a few things sprung to mind. One is the ability and the willingness to take responsibility. I have so often experienced the frustration of having to ask someone over and over again to complete a task or to deliver a report. Quite often these are people who would, in normal life, be known as fairly good leaders. But when it comes to church matters they give the impression that they don’t really care to deliver work of a high standard. And it struck me, while at Willow Creek, that things were done – almost painfully – correct. (I’m not criticising them when I say this. Rather it’s a question whether “normal” congregations can deliver work of this standard at all times.) I think it is time that leaders be held accountable to deliver work of a fairly high standard.
Something which relates to this is the ability to take the blame when things go wrong. This is something I read about in Jim Collins book, Good to Great and which Bill Hybels also emphasises. Bad leaders take the credit when things go well and blame others when mistakes happen. Good leaders give credit to the team when things go well and take the blame when wrong decisions have been made. But the example which most leaders get from the TV (and which for most church leaders in Africa seem to be their sole training for leadership) teaches them to do exactly the opposite.
But perhaps more than anything else the ability to become servants is the most difficult for church leaders. Church leaders usually want to be honoured and to be held in high regard. And this is almost impossible if you’re down on your knees serving someone else. And yet this is one of the most important lessons in leadership that the Lord Jesus gave us.
How to change things around? I don’t know. What I have seen however is how people with supposedly very little or no leadership capabilities have suddenly developed into great leaders, not because they have attended leadership summits, but because they were willing to become servants of others. Within our home-based caring projects this has happened time and again. And every time I see this happening I know that Jesus spoke the truth when he said that the greatest leaders will be those who become great servants.

Sunday, August 31, 2008 Posted by | Africa, Bill Hybels, Church, Cross-cultural experiences, Home-based Caring, Jim Collins, Mission, Swaziland | 2 Comments

Courageous Leadership Award

Well, the presentation ceremony is over for the Courageous Leadership Award and we received the second prize. Actually, it was decided not to distinguish between the second and third place so two churches shared the second place. We were the only “front-line” church to be nominated for the award, while the other two churches were both “resource” churches situated in the USA and assisting churches in Africa (Kenia and Lesotho).
Each of the three finalists were asled to share in four minutes what they were doing. Following is a copy of what I had said:

To stand here today is certainly one of the greatest honours I’ve ever had in my life. I’m just sad that you will not be able to meet the real heroes of Shiselweni Reformed Church Home-Based Care – the 350 volunteer care-givers, who give their time, their energy, often even their own money and food, in order to help the sick and the dying within their own communities in Swaziland.
Working as a missionary in Swaziland since 1985, I have spent a lot of my time doing research on AIDS. And then, one day, God convinced me that I would need to do more than merely researching the AIDS problem if I wanted to make a difference in Swaziland. I had to get out of my office and into the homesteads of people living with HIV and AIDS and I would have to do something practical. Not long after this, in July 2005, while travelling on a bus, God created a vision in my mind for our church in Swaziland, the vision that we had to become the hands and the feet of Christ in each of the communities within which the church was situated.
When I started sharing this vision with our church members, a miracle happened. For the first time since moving to Swaziland, I wasn’t challenged with the question how this could be done without money. For the first time nobody asked what salary they would get. Somehow they realised that, in spite of their own personal circumstances and their own poverty, they could make a significant difference in other people’s lives. Approximately 67% of Swaziland’s population live on less than 45 US cents per day. Of the 350 people presently involved in our church’s home-based caring program, virtually every single one of them fall into this category. I realise that it is entirely impossible for you to imagine the circumstances in which they live. And yet a group of people stood up and volunteered to become part of a program to go into the homes of people, even worse off than themselves, to serve them, to do the most basic things, such as fetching water from the river, washing the patients, in many cases, where the people have lost control of their bodily functions, changing their diapers, sharing food with them and in general doing what we believe Jesus would have done had He been living as a Human person in Swaziland today.
Regularly I am asked what we need to do this work. The home-based caregivers, in spite of their own poverty, are doing this work without receiving any salary at all. And I’m not convinced yet that the payment of salaries is the answer. We definitely do not want people doing this work because they are being paid to do it. I believe that the success of this project can be attributed greatly to the fact that the caregivers are driven by the love of Christ to reach out to the sick and the dying. But there are certainly things that would make their task easier. Basic medical supplies, access to healthy food and items such as clothing and blankets can all help the caregivers to make an even greater difference in the lives of the more than 1000 people we are already helping. But possibly more than anything else, we need personal interest in the work. We need people to come to Swaziland, to see the effects of AIDS and to hear from God what He wants them to do.
If you are willing to sit down with the people of Swaziland, listening to their hearts and their stories, I believe that God can create partnerships that could eventually play a significant role in bringing hope to a country in which hundreds of thousands of people have already lost hope. God isn’t asking you or me to do miracles. Doing miracles is God’s work. Becoming the hands and feet of Christ in our various communities is our work. What we need is people who can help us to do this even more effectively in the future.

Friday, August 8, 2008 Posted by | AIDS, Bill Hybels, HIV, HIV & AIDS, Home-based Caring, Mission, Swaziland | | 2 Comments

Listening to the stories of AIDS workers

I’ve been tied up the whole of this week, getting ready to travel to Chicago on Sunday where I will be attending the Leadership Summit at Willow Creek on 7 & 8 August and where I will also be attending the Courageous Leadership Award ceremony on behalf of our church’s AIDS ministry in Swaziland on Thursday evening, the occasion which I wrote about here.
I had a professor from a college in New York with me at the church today where some of our home-based caregivers were gathered for a meeting. It was just one of those special occasions when I just felt so proud to be part of this team. She is an anthropologist and has been coming to Swaziland since 2005, to try and determine the link between religion and AIDS. She was also at the conference in Durban that I wrote about last week.
Unfortunately our time was a bit restricted, as she had another appointment later today, about a hundred miles from where we were. One of the things I realised once again today, is how important it is to ask the right question if you want to get the right answers. And through the questions she asked today I also picked up things that I had never realised before. Through her experience of interviewing church leaders in other areas of Swaziland, she had already picked up certain tendencies. She asked at one point how the caregivers experienced it when the woman of the home were diagnosed as HIV-positive. Would she tell her husband? In general this is quite a problem, because for a woman admitting to her spouse that she is HIV-positive seems to imply that she had at some time been unfaithful to him, although we obviously know that this is not necessarily the truth and very often the complete opposite.
Then one of the ladies shared an amazing story. ‘I went to see my client. She was sick. So I told her to go to the clinic so that they could find out what was wrong with her. Next week, when I returned, she told me that she had been tested and she is HIV-positive. Then she asked me not to tell her husband. “He mustn’t know!” Some weeks later, after finishing my visit to her, her husband was waiting for me a distance from the house. He walked with me until we were out of hearing distance of the home and then told me that he was very worried about himself. He seemed to be sick and he did not get any better. I told him to go to the clinic. Perhaps he had diabetes. So they should draw his blood and try to see what was causing his sickness. When I returned he was waiting for me at the gate. He told me that he had been to the clinic and they had found that he was HIV-positive. But then he asked me not to tell his wife. “She mustn’t know.”
And then I brought them together and I helped them to speak to each other and to admit that they were HIV-positive. They were so happy!’
I was deeply touched when hearing this and realised how special these caregivers were to me.
I had told the group two weeks ago that I wish I could sit down with them and start writing down all their stories of the experiences which they had had. Most of them have seen the worst cases imaginable, but they’ve also been able to work through the experiences and become stronger people because of it.
A few weeks ago I also mentioned that we had hosted a mobile clinic and I told about the young boy who had arrived with a metal rod sticking out of his knee. This morning the boy’s grandmother came to me with tears in her eyes. After the boy had been admitted to hospital (and the doctor who had done the clinic had put some pressure on the hospital), he had recovered completely. He was back at school. His leg is fine and he’s running around again.
Someone asked me this morning how we are able to go on with the work. Things like this make it worthwhile to go on. We won’t make a difference to hundreds of thousands of people’s lives. But every now and then we hear stories like this and just know that we can’t stop what we’re doing.

 

Friday, August 1, 2008 Posted by | AIDS, Bill Hybels, Cross-cultural experiences, HIV, HIV & AIDS, Home-based Caring, Hope, Mission, Stigma, Swaziland, Theology | 1 Comment

2008 Courageous Leadership Award

A few hours ago I received a phone call from Chicago. Our church had been chosen, together with two others (whose names I do not know) as the finalists for the 2008 Courageous Leadership Award presented by Willow Creek Association together with World Vision. Last year, the first time that this award was presented to churches impacting communities suffering from HIV and AIDS, we received an honorary award for the work the people in Swaziland are doing. You can read more about it here. I was invited to send in a report on our work this year and today received the news that we had been chosen as one of three finalists and that I will have to be in Chicago on 6 August in order to receive the presentation.

This award is important for us for three reasons: 

  1. There is quite a substantial amount linked to the award which will do much to help us in the work we do in Swaziland, mostly in buying food and medicine but also in erecting permanent structures from where we can feed orphans daily
  2. The recognition which comes with a prestigious award like this is important, even more so because we are a fairly small church. This recognition has nothing to do with pride, but rather with the fact that we had proved that money and power is not a prerequisite before something can be done to bring change within a community
  3. The plight of Swaziland needs to be made known all over the world. I know that there are voices going up to tell us that the world should stop spending money in combatting AIDS. I maintain that the church needs to do more – much more – to fight this disease and to help those affected by and infected with the disease.

Friday, June 20, 2008 Posted by | Bill Hybels, Church, HIV & AIDS, Home-based Caring, Mission, Partnership, Social issues, Support teams, Swaziland, Theology | , , , | 5 Comments