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A Family I Met

In September some friends and I went to visit a family in Swaziland. It was a typical Swazi homestead scene – a family struggling to survive in a drought stricken remote area.

The 78 year old man is a farmer. He works hard to support his family. With the drought he has resorted to digging holes in the dry riverbed looking for any water he can find. His farm (what we would call a large garden) can be seen dry and dead behind the building pictured here. The daughter and special needs adult son eat at the nearby Madabukeni Carepoint. 

As we chatted, the old man was sitting in a wheel barrow while his wife, son, and teenage daughter sat nearby. During our visit we enjoyed relating to the man – as most of my friends could relate with the challenges of getting older. Then he made a statement that took our breath away. He told us that the previous night he had a dream he was digging his own grave. I have to admit I could imagine that macabre visual as I sat on a rock for a chair and considered his predicament – no water, no sustenance, no hope.

Look again at the picture above. We took it after our visit, prayer, and delivery of a couple of weeks of food for which they were very thankful.

What do you see? I see a harsh hopelessness on the faces of the adults. Now take another look at the picture and make eye contact with the daughter. What do you see? I see the somber desperation of a teenager growing up with little to no vision for her future. 

In the spiritual, this family can only find hope in Jesus. The good news is there is a Carepoint nearby offering not only food for children but also a new church – preaching the good news of Jesus Christ. 

In the natural, this hard working man needs resources to earn a living through farming to feed his own family.

This Christmas we’re launching the largest development project we’ve attempted. This is a very dry area with no possibility of a well. We can lay miles of pipe from a rural water supply to bring water access to a community of 45 homesteads like this one (over 500 people), a local elementary school, and the Madabukeni Care Point where 80 children (and one very friendly special needs adult) come to eat every day.

We’re partnering with Impact Church to raise the $45,000 we need to change this family’s reality – hope for the adults and a better future for their daughter.