I dreamed of Africa

August 10, 2006 at 8:59 pm (Africa, Faith, Missions, My ramblings)

My Soapbox on Africa
I have a little girl I sponsor in Swaziland, Africa through World Vision. Her name is Ntombikayise and she is 5 years old. I call her my little Tombi. She and her family live in a community severely affected by the HIV/AIDS crisis. For less than a cup of coffee a day, she is able to have her basic necessities met, clothing, food and water. Things we don’t have to even think about here in the US. Things we take for granted. Her life, as well as countless others, is being changed by Christian organizations like World Vision and Compassion International. Many people ask why we should help these children overseas when there are so many in the US we can help. My question is this, how many children are you helping right now here in the US? If your heart is in helping the many here that need help, then I will challenge you to step up and do something today.

I am not sure just when my heart started beating for Africa and more specifically, Sub- Saharan Africa. It may have started when I read a book that chronicled a little orphan’s life in Africa after the Rwandan genocide, where about a million lives were lost. This orphan walked hundreds of thousands of miles. He moved from one refugee camp to another searching for food and safety, several times being kidnapped and brutally beaten. I finished reading this book and had nightmares for months. I did a lot of research on Africa after this and the images of these orphans are seared into my mind. These images haunt me and challenge me to do something. Anything. One life at a time. It’s an incredible feat but I am not alone. The Lord Jesus Christ died not only for you and me but for every person in the world.
When I think about the day I will go to Africa, I always remember the apostle Paul’s vision of the man in Macedonia crying for him to come help him. This is what I hear when I think of all the orphans. They cry for me, sometimes so softly that I can barely hear it, but I do always hear it.

Some staggering statistics:
Many people here in the US are unaware of just how bad the AIDS pandemic is in Africa.
Sub-Saharan Africa has just over 10% of the world’s population, but is home to more than 64% of all people living with HIV/AIDS.
More than 17 million Africans have died from AIDS and about another 30 million are infected, 3 million of them are children. Every day in Africa, 6,600 people die from HIV/AIDS, 8,800 people are infected and 1,400 newborn babies are infected during childbirth or by their mothers’ milk. There are over 12 million orphans. Can you imagine that?
More than 300 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa—nearly half the population—live on less than $1 a day.
You may be asking yourself, what can I do? You can start by praying for this crisis. You can get involved with organizations like The One Campaign and DATA. You can sponsor a child through World Vision or Compassion International. Click on any of the links for more information. Is giving up a cup of coffee a day worth saving the life of one child? These children are not just getting food and shelter, they are learning about Jesus Christ. They are learning that despite their circumstances, they have a Father who is defending their cause. You can give them hope. You can show them in a tangible way the love of Jesus through your sponsorship.

James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows…”

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