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17 posts from March 2007

March 09, 2007

Harsh Realities

In our latest video blog, Pastor Walter shares the stories of two Swazi families impacted by HIV/AIDS. This is a jarring account of what life is like for many children in Swaziland. It was hard to film, as you'll see. As you watch, please pray for justice and mercy for these vulnerable children.

Download the original version of Pastor Walter's Video Blog.

March 08, 2007

Meet Pastor Walter

Pastor_walter_1 Tomorrow, you'll meet Pastor Walter in my next video blog. Before posting it, I wanted you to have some background about this man and his ministry. Seth Barnes described Pastor Walter like this:

Swaziland is the country where people die faster than anywhere else in the world - shockingly, the average Swazi doesn't ever see 30 years of age. In the middle of it lives Pastor Walter. I first met Pastor Walter three years ago during a large outreach in Swaziland. He was the one pastor who, realizing that something had to be done about his country’s horrific HIV/AIDS problem, stepped up and helped out.

Living in a two room house with his family of six, Walter was troubled by all the pain that he saw going on around him. He knew that there were about 600 children that were going hungry in the area surrounding his church and he knew many would starve as their parents died from AIDS. He had preached about James 1:27 (true religion is to help widows and orphans in their distress), but then God said to him, “What are you going to do about it?”

Walter began organizing the last remaining pillar of society – the grandmothers. “Let’s feed our children,” he told them. They purchased eight large black kettles and began to boil a pot of corn meal mash every day for the kids. He did all this without any white man helping him to organize it and without any outside source of funds.

You can read the whole post on Seth's blog. Walter is a man of dreams and a man of action. Much of the ministry you've seen in my video blogs is happening because of Pastor Walter and his church. Tomorrow, Walter will tell you in his own words about two families his church ministers to.

What is a Care Point?

What is a care point? That's a very common question, and this video is part of the answer. In Swaziland, the orphan care point's main function is to feed the children a simple corn maize meal. The food is prepared by the older women in the community--known as "go-gos"--and right now they are providing 2-3 meals per week.

Children's HopeChest is now recruiting churches and individuals to become care point sponsors to provide holistic care for these wonderful children. Sponsors have the great opportunity to provide the blessing of family to these kids that has been so cruelly ripped away. Some of the ways we do that include:

- Meeting immediate physical needs like providing food, shelter, and clothing.

- Providing spiritual discipleship and direction for the kids through a local church partner.

- Opening up access to better medical care.

- Improving the quality of their education.

It all happens through relationships with people just like you who make the choice to be involved in a child's life. Sponsors can transform this modest care point into a thriving center of orphan care. When we work together--Children's HopeChest, the indigenous church in Swaziland, and the U.S. sponsors--transformational and incarnational ministry happens. It is truly life saving.

There are many more videos coming. Stay tuned, and spread the word!

Download the full version of "What is a Care Point?

March 07, 2007

Pizza and Bananas at Thulwane

Some days you really have to think on your feet! Today, the Children's HopeChest team visited the children served by the Thulwane orphan care point. Watch the video to see what we and the kids faced today--and how we used slices of pizza and bananas to feed Jesus! Through the HopeChest sponsorship program, sponsors--people like you--are making an enormous difference in the lives of thousands of orphans. This is just one tangible example, come see how you can be a part of this amazing work. To start your relationship with an orphan, e-mail us today to get more information about our programs.

Download the original version of "Pizza and Bananas at Thulwane."

March 06, 2007

Greetings from Refilwe

The first video is online!

On the road from Johannesburg to Swaziland sits the Refilwe Community Project. Today, we visited Refilwe, seeing their programs, visiting their neighborhoods, and spending time with the children they care for. Part of their project is aimed at helping orphans, and right now they care for about 25 orphaned children. Children's HopeChest is working with many care points and community projects--just like Refilwe--throughout South Africa and Swaziland. Watch the video for more!

Download the original version of this movie.

March 05, 2007


Good Morning from Swaziland. We are off shortly heading for two three care-points today. These kids are the poorest of the poor. Many of them are on the brink of starvation and if it wasn't for the little bit of Pop (corn maize meal with no nutrition) they wouldn't be alive. Our goal is to get these places sponsored to stabilize their food and nutrition, provide adequate medical care, bring fresh water, see they are educated, and begin life-skills and spiritual development.

Grateful to be ministering to the least of these - Jesus Himself!

Hello From Africa!

We have arrived on the majestic continent of Africa! Simon and I have spent 4 hours trying to upload the video blog tonight in Mbabane, Swaziland. No dice. The email here is beyond slow and refuses to upload the compressed video blog. We are going to Trans World Radio first thing in the morning (we are 10 hours ahead of MST) to get the video blog online.

Already, there have been incredible experiences. We've been in a shanty town that was so poor, the people didn't have running water. No electricity, no indoor toilets, no water - can you even imagine such a condition? What would it be like if you're only hope was Jesus - literally. You didn't know where your next meal was coming from, your meal was Jesus. Suffering was a way of life, you're only relief and freedom was Jesus. We are meeting children who would say that for them, Jesus is the difference between life and death.

Today I met little Mobeto. His father was a complete alcoholic and raped him almost every week. We was beat because he was hated by his father due to the fact his mother died from AIDS. In this culture, everything is the woman's fault. Although Mobeto's father infected his mother with AIDS, she was responsible. The result was that he was hated and abused. He is also HIV positive.

He ran away from this terror and God led him to a wonderful community of Christian people who loved him, treated him with dignity and respect, and helped him live in peace and safety. His CD-4 cell count (white blood cells) went from less than 40 (near death) to over 1,000 because of a healthy diet, ARV's (anti-retroviral's), prayer and love. This is a project we want to support.

These are the children we have the privilege to meet. God's kids, King's kids, who he loves and calls us to love. "As you have done it unto the least of these, you've done it unto Me!" More to come. Hopefully a video tomorrow!