Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Returning to my Mission
These are just a few of my pictures from my latest mission trip to Swaziland. My major task was to create another documentary for Compassionate Life Foundation. The plan was to use the documentary as a video example to current and prospective donors to show the positive effect our work has had on the area. As fate may have it, the video will be delayed for a while as the footage and camera was stolen from my suitcase in the Johannesburg International Airport. That's another story in itself. All I have to say is that the devil is a strong force that seems to work hard to keep good people from succeeding.
On another note...it was still a very successful trip. I was able to see how the children have grown up so healthy because of our contributions. In fact, one little girl in particular really sticks out. Her name is Maria and I met her last time. This time she was so much bigger and entirely healthy! Praise God for the amazing miracles he can perform. What a blessing she is. Here is a before and after picture:
I was able to spend time with some of the donors children. This relationship building is vital is our development in Swaziland. They need to be assured that we are here to stay and that we will never abandon them. I think this brings great comfort in the children. They light up when they see you. It is so beautiful.
We had a birthday party for all the Children that celebrated birthday's within the past month. It was also Busisiwe's 51st birthday, so we celebrated that as well. It was held in the church building that the New Covenant Free Methodist Church funded to build. Our July 2007 team was able to finish the building, and it still looks as fantastic as the day we completed it.
As part of our documentary, I was able to meet and interview a woman who had contracted the HIV virus recently. She was very ill. It was an honour to talk face-to-face with a local Swazi to get their side of the story. She commented on how difficult it was to get tested. The social pressures of not knowing if your HIV positive are high. It's almost a "sweep it under the rug" mentality. She made it clear that she regretted not getting tested earlier, and she recommended all to get tested before it was too late. Words of warning from a woman who has lived it first hand. What an eye-opening experience.
Just one look at how the average Swazi lives and you can see how much need their is for your help.
Well thats all from me for now. May God Bless you and Keep you, and shine his light upon your face.
Derek T. Van Dam