“Charity will not eradicate poverty. Only education and opportunity will break the cycle of poverty.” ~ Matt ‘Jumbo’ Gerber
Saturday night, Mike & I returned from what will go down in our history as a monumental weekend in Colorado. We were blessed to attend Children’s HopeChest Africa Partners Conference in the Springs for three days of sharing, praying, praising, laughing and learning from like-hearted staff & other sponsorship coordinators from around the country.
As if all that wasn’t enough, we were able to have quality face-to-face conversations with Jumbo & Kriek Gerber who faithfully serve as CHC’s Country Directors in Swaziland. These were precious times to us. We saw at a deeper level the humility and passion they have for the people of Swaziland to be free from the cycle of poverty… and really, that is true of all the HopeChest staff and partners.
I invite you, as Kriek invited us, to make prayer a more central focus of our ministry. One unified, faith-filled prayer can bring more change than years of struggling for good ideas & programs. Creative ideas & programs are essential too, but let them be birthed out of the heart of God, not our limited minds & hearts.
I’ve met Jumbo & Kriek several times over the last three years and I have never seen them so excited, so focused, so inspired for the vision God has given them! At the core, the vision is the same – to see Swaziland full of people living abundant lives through Jesus Christ. While the statements below don’t show everything, they do prove that GOD’s HAND IS IN Swaziland, working through the HopeChest community-to-community model.
*There are now 34 community carepoints in Swaziland where over 5,600 vulnerable & orphaned children are fed every day. Compared with 2008, there are now 10 times more children sponsored & being cared for.
*All of the children who come to their community carepoint have access to both crisis & chronic medical care.
*All of the children have the great resource of discipleship, lifeskill training and when needed (all too often) grief counseling to deal with the loss of parents & loved ones.
*There are now 20 native Swazi staff and only 7 Westerners (Gerbers count themselves as Westerners because they are from South Africa, which is in fact west of Swaziland!)
The growth has been incredible in just the last three years… and you, my friends, have all been a part of making this happen by faithfully praying, sponsoring & giving when the needs are presented. THANK YOU!!!
We will continue to see the hungry fed, the lost found, and the captives set free. The children are not only being fed natural food, but are being raised up as disciplers to reach their generation with the love & hope of Christ. They will lead their country into true abundance & prosperity.
God has given greater insight to the leaders of HopeChest of exactly how this needs to happen. I was (and still am) on the edge of my seat as I listened to them share some specifics at the conference. It will be my pleasure to share this with you in the coming weeks, so that you too can share in the unity & joy of seeing captives set free!
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