Back in the States! Just landed less than three hours ago (a side note – washed my hands next to Newt Gingrich in the Atlanta airport men’s room as he talked on his cell phone about “congressional authority” and “secrecy”). And wanted to quickly update you on what happened when you prayed for widows and orphans, because it was nothing short of phenomenal.
It started out as a blog about pain
, but by the time I’d finished writing, it had turned into a call to action. Too many of us feel impotent in the face of pain. We see so much of it, we become desensitized. So, as I was leaving the next day for Africa, I felt led to ask you, my blog readers, to write down personal, individual prayers for the widows and orphans we’d be seeing in Swaziland.
I promised to pray the prayers over them when we arrived there. But how many to ask for? The number “100” popped into my head – a crazy number given the fact that the blog averages maybe five comments a day. I was tempted to hedge my bets by putting down a lower number. But I stuck with 100.
I didn’t have the details worked out, but after landing in South Africa, when I got on line and checked, there were 101 prayers on the blog! What a thrill to see that number. Many of your prayers were profound and heartfelt. A few were even written in Siswati (the local language).
Later, when our vision trip participants arrived, Shawn had 116 of the prayers printed out, cut, and laminated. A friend of his, Mrs. Rupert, had been widowed just three weeks earlier and took it upon herself to not only print them, but to pray over them, sometimes with tears.
We had 12 foot washing stations on that hot day in Nsoko. Widows and orphans from our eight care points (around 700 in all) lined up. We not only prayed your prayers, but our own as well. We had a nurse’s station there as well to tend to the various undoctored wounds we encountered along the way.
Although more than 50 of us washed feet, handed out shoes and prayed, all the individual attention we gave extended the process for about five hours in the blistering Swazi sun. Many of the children grew exhausted and slept on the ground while waiting.
When word got out about the Labron James shoes we were handing out (we gave away thousands of dollars of donated new shoes), the teenagers began to press in more.
My favorite interaction of the day was with Baby Moses’ mom – Philile. I went to her new house and prayed a prayer that Megan, one of the Racers who cared for Moses, had written out for her. It was a moving moment (I’ll post a video we took of it later).
All in all I just want to say “thank you!” to those of you who helped make this miracle happen. What a marvelous thing to be a part of a blog community that cares enough to reach out like this. It meant so much to all involved and it gives me hope that the family of God is far more powerful than it realizes.
If you have a friend that prayed one of the prayers we shared from the blog, please show them the video above. You’ll note in the video that I’m praying the prayer that Brooke wrote (#41).