I sit here watching the surf of the Indian Ocean beat ruthlessly upon the rocky Durban Coastline, I cannot help but reflect on the God's unrelenting faithfulness and love for Africa. For the first time this tour I am very tired. It is not the schedule, or the meetings- we have slowed down considerably in the last week, it is the sense of despair as we look upon the human need and the sacrifices being made by missionaries and nationals who long to bring God's love to this continent and the inexhaustible extent of the need.
It seems like what we are doing is so small when consider the expanse of human and spiritual need.
Unfortunately the work of reclaiming this tiny life will take so much more washing off the grime on the outside. It will be Teen Challenge's to he will be feed, clothe and pay for him to undergo a regimen of examination and medical treatment. At the same time, the love of Jesus will be poured into his heart by staff and the children at the Ark. The government claims credit for grabbing him in the headline, but the harsh reality is that social welfare will not give one dime. Kevin and the team at Teen Challenge will have to bear the full expense of his recovery grateful for the prayers of God's people and that Jesus paid the full price of his restoration at Calvary.
You see, once we peel away the layers of grime, only Jesus can touch the wounds of a child who has lost his mother to AIDS and he wonders whether he carries the virus which will take his won life. Only Jesus can heal the wound of the rejection delivered by the father and family members that should be carrying him through this tragic time. Who will teach him that the real heavenly father does still love him and he was not created to hide in a pit latrine.
One of the tragedies of this environment of religious confusion, disease and tradition is the children that are left in its wake. Not just orphans without a family- but children orphaned in a family. Rejected by the emotional support system God created us to find refuge in. The effect of men with multiple wives (saving up cows for the next wife) is that when the mother dies of AIDS, the other mothers and children reject the offspring of that wife so that we are not just dealing with orphans. As AIDS claims the countless thousands of lives, the families left in its wake are an unrelenting reminder that for them death is just the beginning.