Thursday, July 30, 2009

Things our eyes have seen (Mbabane Gov't Hospital)

"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them." Deuteronomy 4:9

The day the entire team arrived in Swaziland we went to the Government Hospital in Mbabane (the capital city). We visited the children's ward and our ministry there was to bring much needed supplies (diapers, washcloths, rubber gloves, soap, medicines, eye drops), prayer and hope to the dire situation that over 50 children and their families experience there. The hospital conditions are rough to say the least. Paint peeling off walls & iron bedframes. Few nurses available to tend to the patients' needs. Family members stay around the clock, often sleeping on the floor, to help care for and comfort their sick children. We not only brought loads of supplies but smiles with armloads of coloring books & crayons, candy, balloons & small games which we passed out to the children & their families. After spending time playing & praying together our group finished our visit by singing with the Swazi people. Songs that brought smiles, laughter and joy...if only for the moment. My role was to take pictures and print them out so that each family had a picture of themselves with their child. For most it was the only picture they've ever had. How important was that? Just yesterday I heard some sobering news. Since our visit, at least 5 of the youngest children we'd visited had died. A physician at the hospital told us that in Swaziland 50% of the children under the age of 5 die. 50%!! That statistic has messed me up! God's word says we must never forget what our eyes have seen or let it slip from our hearts, but to teach others what we have come to know. We now know. We must not look the other way.

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