What must fill God with such joy…. The amazing thing we have found about the orphans that we help is that even if they don’t have much, even next to nothing, if they are loved then they are happy. We help some really desperate kids and their living conditions are terrible, but when we arrive, we are always greeted with such smiles and they seem to bubble over with joy and excitement. Before we pull into any of our villages (homesteads), we have a quick read of their files so that we can greet each child by name – it truly blows them away. But come to think of it, it would impress all of us if someone ‘wealthy’ was not only helping us out but who also, when seeing us, greeted us by name, out of what you know must be hundreds of people they are helping.
Just like the way God knows us each by name, but I’m grateful that He does not have read some file about me before I pray, just to remember who I am. Our Father could not state it more clearly about how much He cares for orphans: James 1 vs 27 – ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.’ (NIV) What kind of adult does a child become when they have grown up without the guidance, discipline and support of a parent. We all know that there is no-one who loves us like our mothers, but when you don’t have that grounding? I think that God has made it clear that it is everyone’s responsibility to step in and do all you can to make orphans lives as close as humanly possible to the family model that He planned. Chadd and I feel the absolute burden to bring hope to the ever growing number of orphans around us.
Our God-given desire to change our world is so strong that we could never turn back, no matter the progress. Step-by-step, we are finding not only our way, but also our dreams and plans. They are so big, they can only be God inspired. There is no point in dreaming small with God, then you don’t even need Him! Where do we start to make a difference?
The first is schooling. We buy uniforms which encourages the kids to try harder when they look good. A lot of their peers don’t wear shoes to school, but our orphans do, this makes them proud. We had the money for the uniforms but we ran out of money for the fees – so God made a plan. A few days later we heard that orphans are exempted from paying school fees in South Africa. This is an absolute miracle! We have to produce a copy of their birth certificates, parent’s death certificates and letter of motivation. And then we got donated a Photostatting machine. This Easter, we handed out some food parcels to our most needy families. We have learnt that not only are the parents dead but the caregivers are also dying. So many of the caregivers are HIV+. We know that the best things for orphans is to stay in their communities where their parents and families known and loved.
But we are getting to a stage where there are just children in villages, and the oldest is HIV+, and they are all still in school. These children have no role models except celebrities who lives we do not want them imitating! We have a orphan, Philiani, who is getting bullied by older kids because they know that his granny is old to do anything about it. We have orphans whose huts and shacks are falling down because there is no knowledge and funds to do any repairs. There is such a desperate need for thousands upon thousands of orphans in Zululand let alone the rest of South Africa and Africa beyond.
Schooling is our priority, next is our hope for feeding programs. You drive out into the tribal lands and gone are the days of seeing all the overweight mamas. We have come to find that there are 2 types of people, those who are trying to be thin, and those who can’t help it! Our orphans fit into the latter. Only recently have the in-laws moved out and we have only just found out how expensive food is! But we have put together a food program of only R350 per month. We are inviting anyone to come and choose a family to support and you can even come on the delivery to meet them to see where you are making your religion pure and faultless. The way the number of orphans are growing in South Africa is exponential and it feels completely overwhelming.
That is why God has stated in His word that we must all help. Taking on the responsibility of caring for and loving these orphans can not be done by a handful of people, we each must do our part, every bit of effort makes the biggest difference. We heard a story that really encouraged us the other day. We are all lifesavers, but some of us are the ones who have to swim out there with the life buoy, but we are nothing if we don’t have our team on the beach pulling us back in at the right time! There are so many ways to give of yourself, to share the childhood which us more fortunate lived. We are in the process of building a place where you can come and bless these kids with your wisdom, your time and your love. All they need is love, food, clothing and shelter. Jesus tells us in Luke 12 vs 27 to not worry about what we will wear or what we will eat.
Do you think that these kids find it so easy to have this faith. How else will they meet this Jesus but in us. We have the almighty God within us, and by us does He give to these children who have nothing. Come and let Jesus within you fulfill His Word through you.
When we give of our time to Our Father in this way……we must fill Him with such a joy.