From Despair To Hope

By Rev Ron and Sara Willard

BFC’s Swaziland Partnership has an amazing opportunity to bring hope to the people of Swaziland. Through the ministry of the HIV/AIDS Task Force, despair is giving way to hope by providing vital support to AIDS victims. GO Teams spend significant time in this vital ministry, giving special care buckets and spending time with patients. 

Often the atmosphere in the home upon the team’s arrival is one of despondency and hopelessness – but that feeling is frequently replaced with a restored sense of hope. The effect of such personal visits is important. Here’s a  glimpse:

One day, we arrived at a rural homestead and found our patient was a young boy. AIDS has taken both his parents, leaving him with only his sister, grandmother, and some extended family in a nearby homestead. He has been HIV/AIDS positive for nine years but has been able to maintain some semblence of “normal” living with the help of medication and the Task Force. Recently the disease has begun to affect his right leg, resulting in a rapid decline in his ability to walk. 

He hobbled haltingly into the yard for his checkup. While the care givers reviewed his records and checked vital signs and medication, we noticed two youth nearby who were identified as cousins of the patient. 

As we spoke to them, we learned they were brothers, ages 12 and 17, and they too were orphans. The 17-year-old had a surprisingly bright outlook on life, talking about his love for soccer and school. What a pleasure it was to talk with him and encourage him in his quest to go to university. 

As the visit ended, we prayed together, and we noticed that the somber feeling that pervaded the homestead when we arrived was replaced with a sense of renewed hope–all because someone “cared enough to care” and shared hope through Christ.

The magnitude of the crisis is indeed overwhelming, but BFC’s Swaziland Partnership is making a difference. This partnership is made possible by your faithful support to World Mission giving and continued prayers. You are dispelling despair and offering hope!