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This should shock and outrage us

We have a team in Swaziland, that nation in Africa where nearly half the adult population has the AIDS virus. I received this email from Gary Black in Swaziland today and it wrecked me: “The team found a four week-old laying on its [nearly] dead mother yesterday, they kept it – we are getting it…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

We have a team in Swaziland, that nation in Africa where nearly half the adult population has the AIDS virus. I received this email from Gary Black in Swaziland today and it wrecked me:

“The team found a four week-old laying on its [nearly] dead mother yesterday, they kept it – we are getting it to the abandoned baby hospital Friday.”

What do we do with this? That’s my son’s team down there. I don’t know about you, but I’m outraged by a world that produces situations like this.

And while that may seem like a world away to many, for my son, it’s as immediate as it is heart-wrenching.

The only thing that appalls me more is that so many of us Americans who can do something about this are more interested in stuff that will only ultimately burn up in the big fire.

God help us. God, help us to wake up. Help us to see how much you love the widow and the orphan. God help us to break as you are broken up over this four week-old.

God, help me to lose this tortoise shell religion that sheds these kinds of tragic situations like water. Forgive me God for not praying more. Forgive me for not emptying my bank account for your little ones. God, we have lost true religion. We have sought finer sanctuaries and better parking lots.

We have tried to fill our church pews with seekers, but we have not sought your children dying on their mother’s chests. We need to see a way out of this mess that we’ve got ourselves in. God, help us in this 21st century mindset that we’ve acquired. I don’t even know what else to pray.

* * * *

Gary has promised me more info and I’ll pass it along to you as soon as I get it.

Comments (11)

  • Just when it seems my heart can’t break any more, it does… help us, Father God… help them… help us help them…

  • Thank you Lord, for justifying young Seth as a modern day Good Samaritan…forgive the other Pharisees and religious people as they go to church and sing of who you are, when they missed you in the dead mother and her child in Swaziland. 🙁 Sorry for being so hard..St. Mark

  • Break our hearts, dear Father. Don’t let them heal to what they were before, but let the breaking of them change us, deeply, eternally, into people that look like You, actively pursuing pure religion. Empty us of all that distracts us and fill us with rememberances of this woman and her baby’s lives so we honor them by caring for others in real, tangible, active ways. Burn an image of them in our minds that propels us forward to live an Isaiah 58 life.

    Please Father, let the wrecking of me create more of You in me.

  • good question, Hugh. I haven’t emptied it yet, but I do regularly and am prepared to do so again. and beyond that, I’m committed that when the Lord asks me to “do a St. Francis,” that I’ll respond affirmatively.

  • The empathy being displayed here is laudable. However, to effectively address situations such as these we must also critically appraise the greater enviornment in which these realities take place (here i am not talking about the country of Swaziland but rather the world) to understand the causal variables that lead to such examples of suffering. This process will yield two important returns: 1. Equips us with a prioritized strategy for addressing the problem. 2. Makes everyone responsible for these innocent deaths.

    We begin this wrenching process by asking simple questions:

    “Why do women and children carry a disporportionate amount of the burden of poverty?”

    “Why are the poor exponentially more likely to contract HIV/AIDS than their affluent counterparts?” It’s obviously not because they are less moral.

    “How has the Church’s prohibitionist stance towards the use of condoms impacted this reality?” (Though the answer is obvious if you need statistical data if can be provided upon request).


    Lastly, though i admire the spontaneity of hugh’s challenge for us all to “empty our bank accounts” it’s important to realize that such brash actions will not ameliorate the “systemic sin” of poverty. We are not called to “serve” africa out of altruism, rather we are called to live in solidarity with those suffering, knowing that our ultimate liberation (i.e. salvation) is intimately bound up with theirs.

  • Just to provide some more info:

    The baby was unable to eat. Yesterday the girls took him to a clinic, which provided all the medications for free.

    When the baby breathes, you can feel the congestion in his throat and lungs. Please be in prayer. The poor guy doesn’t even cry when he’s hungry because he’s used to not eating. It’s like he’s accepted death. He coughs periodically – a pathetic sound. Check Aaron’s blog: aaronbruner.theworldrace.org

  • It has been a day for tears reading all the Swazi blogs posted last night. Why dont we take a group of those seekers to Swazi and show them what true religion is all about.

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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.

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