Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Africa Day Five...The Power of Prayer

Wednesday morning dawns and we're headed back into Joe Slovo. Wonder what today will bring? The three of us on the Joe Slovo team spent time Tuesday evening praying for the people we had encountered and would encounter. We headed back out through the fields and the children were much friendlier today, smiling, waving and saying "hello" as we passed by. Already bodes well for the day.

As we rounded the corner into the first area we visited, we were met with smiles from the kids and families. Christina even managed a small grin. What a difference a day (and lots of prayer) makes. The sweet little boys (see picture) were smiling and played with us. Keri broke out the books and we had fun sitting and reading. While we were doing that, Rachel offered Christina a full bath. We had a brought some warm water from home and Christina was open to the idea. After the bath, we got a big smile from her.

Kids having fun with Latex Gloves

We took books to read with the kids

We did have good news from our first stop. Esther (the community busy-body) told us the little boy we "treated" on Tuesday was running and playing much more than he had before we came by. And darn if his sore didn't look better. I still encouraged a clinic visit and the mom promised a Friday visit. Before we left, we prayed over the families and shared the Gospel. I know seeds were planted in this community.

Our next stop took us back to the nicer part of Joe Slovo. Elyse opened a file on Wilma and Beyonce to start the process to get them help. Wilma listened politely but I think she was overwhelmed. Not sure how much we got through to her. After we finished with Wilma, Elizabeth and Elyse introduced us to Chas. Seems Chas is positive and doesn't want to take ARVs. Elizabeth and Elyse thought maybe we could convince him. We talked to him but he refused to open up about his status or much of his health. Our team encouraged healthy eating, following doctors' advice, etc. but there wasn't much more we could do. Finished again with prayer and Gospel-sharing with Chas.

After we finished here, we walked back to Refilwe and had lunch with Elyse outside her room. It was nice to get to sit and visit with Elizabeth. She is a registered nurse from the Congo and is studying for the registration exams in South Africa. Please pray for her. We finished lunch and meandered back to Joe Slovo to see patients in the afternoon. My favorite was a precious baby girl, Likey and her mom Yvonne. Another teen mom, another positive baby. This sweet one (pictured with Keri below) has been sick since birth and mom won't (probably can't) navigate the system to get the baby the drugs she needs to survive. If I could have put her in my carry-on and taken her home, I would have.

Today was such a different day than Tuesday. The children were so much more interactive and happy to see us. We passed out stickers, took pictures, read and just enjoyed loving on kids. Here are a few pictures from our visit in Joe Slovo:

We closed today out by hearing Steve and Teresa's story about how they came to South Africa. It is much too long to post here but suffice to say, this is a couple touched by God and making a huge impact on the people of South Africa. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to spend a week alongside these two. I did go to bed tonight sad and frustrated I couldn't do more. I also wondered about God blessing me with a birthright in the US as opposed to the continent of Africa. Not sure I've completely answered those questions yet.

More later...

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