Explore
Follow Us

How I got involved in Swaziland

When the idea to take on the worst AIDS problem in the world came, it required that I basically take a sabbatical from my regular life. It was crazy, but I did it. And I could do it because that’s the kind of crazy life-altering risk I ask others to take all the time. For a long time …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes


When the idea to take on the
worst AIDS problem in the world came, it required that I basically take a
sabbatical from my regular life.

It was
crazy, but I did it. And I could do it
because that’s the kind of crazy life-altering risk I ask others to take all
the time.

For a long time I had prayed
that God would use me to raise up a generation of radically committed
disciples. In 2004, He took me at my
word.

I was well aware of the plague
that AIDS is in Africa. Over 30
million people are living with a death sentence in southern Africa alone, as the virus claims more than 2.5 million lives annually.

But when Bruce Wilkinson challenged me to
help him turn the tide in Swaziland,
the country with the highest AIDS infection rate, I knew I had to do
something. Jesus may have come to bring
us abundant life, but the only thing that is abundant in Swaziland, the country with the
highest AIDS rate in the world, is death. I prayed about it, and I went.

So, that summer I led nearly
one thousand college students over a two-month period to conduct one-week
abstinence campaigns in every one of the 192 high schools in Swaziland. But it was one of the hardest things I ever
had to do. I began with no budget and no
staff and just five months to set up the massive project. Two U.S. colleges went with us, and one
of them was the most difficult group I’ve ever had to work with.

But
along the way, I met boys like Derek who after we’d gotten to know him, said,
“Hi, my name is Derek and I am 16 years-old.
I have really enjoyed the week you spent with us, sharing your message
of abstinence. I have been an orphan for
five years, and I have watched both my parents die of AIDS. I believe that your message is the answer to
this crisis. I live by myself in a shack
up in the hills. I haven’t eaten for
days now, and I am so hungry. Will you
please buy me food?”

When you look into the eyes
of boys like Derek and hear his heart-breaking story, you begin to understand
what it means to watch a country in the process of dying. And you understand why you laid it all on the
line.

It’s taken three years since
then, but we’re finally beginning to get some traction in Swaziland. Maybe in 20 years, if we’re faithful, we can
help a generation of Swazis save their country from the jaws of the worst
pandemic in the history of mankind.

Tomorrow – how Swaziland pushed my faith to the limit.

Comment

  • Mighty is the reward for those who pursue the radical life of Jesus Christ. Our trip was life changing for the family and myself as you knew it would. God is on the move.

    I just met a women associated with a place in Battambang, Cambodia who run a Shelter and Aftercare facility for girls caught up and rescued from the sex slave trade. Her name is Stephanie Freed and the place is called Rapha House. She is heading to Cambodia today, but is available via email. I thought about the teams that would be heading to SE Asia and what if I could facilitate a connection to a very impressive Christ following ministry. How khows what God can do. Stephanine can be reached @ [email protected]. Also see http://www.arm.org/Rapha%20House/Rapha%20House.htm

    Blessings to you, Karen and the family

    Rob Flanegin

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Radical Living:

Receive updates on the latest posts as Seth Barnes covers many topics like spiritual formation, what if means to be a christian, how to pray, and more. Radical Living blog is all about a call to excellence in ministry, church, and leadership -as the hands and feet of Jesus.

Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



© Adventures In Missions. All rights reserved. | Privacy Policy | RSS Feed | Sitemap