Our little ones

 Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

 Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Oh, Hello.

I'm still here.

If you were wondering, I've been busy. It's a good busy though. It's Tuesday at 10:55 PM and I'm just now posting this week. I have been working on a package design for some weight lifting straps, and also a brochure for a family who will be going to South Africa. Talk about a big difference.

For the past three years J and I have been part of a wonderful Life Group at our church. We've all grown together and become more like family. This December will be bittersweet. Stephen, Esmé, Chloe and Joseph, four dear members of our "family" will be returning to their home of South Africa.

While they once lived there, they are going back now for a different purpose. That purpose is Mission Providence.

"Mission Providence is a nonprofit, faith-based, humanitarian organization whose main objective is to build self-sustaining communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, beginning with widows and orphans affected by HIV/AIDS."

Stephen and Esmé were scheduled to visit Swaziland for a week, right as Hurricane Ike hit. The trip was postponed a bit, but fortunately I was able to drive them to the airport and they eventually made it. You can read Esmé's post about it here. She wrote it the night after J and I had dinner with them (on September 30th). Wouldn't you know? The power went out again!

One thing Esmé told us at dinner, is that even though their family can speak Afrikaans, it will not do any good where they will be. Both Stephen and Esmé are in the process of learning Zulu which is most like siSwati (Swati), the language spoken in Swaziland.

Mission Providence strives to give a hand up, not hand outs. Not only will the Sheasby's be trying to learn another language so they can communicate well, they have a goal to teach the people about being self-sufficient.

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

The children were fascinated with Stephen's digital camera.

Being able to see their picture right after it had been taken was amazing to them.

One of the big problems in Swaziland is explained best by Esmé in her post about their recent trip.

"In the Swazi culture, it has always been the extended family who takes care of orphaned children. The tragic reality is, in the past decade, so many of the "middle" generation (adults from 20 - 40, able to work and earn a living) have died, leaving only the most vulnerable: the grandmothers and young children. In some cases, after the "gogo" passes on too, the oldest child, often only 10 or 11, is left to run the household. This lovely little country carries the sad title of highest rate of AIDS per capita, which at the moment is 42%. Can you even imagine? The average life expectancy in 1997 was 60. In 2004 it had dropped to 32. Very alarming."

What precious children.

Stephen and Esmé feel very strongly called to this work, as you can imagine, and as their church family and friends we support them wholeheartedly.

For me, designing this brochure for them has been informative, and very moving. If this is the way I can help right here and now, then I am honored to do so. I hope my graphic design skills can be of service whenever they are needed.

J and I, along with some of the other members of our Life Group hope to visit the Sheasby's in Swaziland sometime in the near future. What an amazing experience it would be to see the differences they will have made.

I know God has great plans for their family.

0 thoughtful comments:

Link Within

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin