Helping : Orphaned by AIDS; adopted by God.

Bowl Hug Helping Hands

 

We often forget the true definition of “reality” cannot be defined by our own. -victoria sheahan

I have been burdened to share a bit about Helping Hands, a ministry serving those children orphaned to AIDS. I was so blessed to go to Mafikeng, South Africa the summer of 2004. The transpiring of this arrival, in and of itself, is a gift from God that I will never forget and one that I could never do justice through mere words. I have had a heart for the people of Africa as far back as I can remember. It was an intrigue that kept me intent in the eyes of National Geographic photos for hours on end. I could see a story in the eyes of its people that was far beyond the words on the page. It struck my soul and gave me a fire that would be ignited physically and undeniably as an adult.

The child you see above is standing in a line to receive her one meal for the day. She clings tightly to her bowl, for it is the prized possession that guarantees her meal. But even “guarantee” is a false hope if you are one of the children that remain when the last has been scraped from the bottom of the pot. The need is overwhelming, hope a neccessity, and the smiles are those of children who find peace in the embraces of strangers. The arms of a stranger who give hugs that feel so much like those they received from their own parents once upon a time.

“Once upon a time” has always seemed to convey the beginning of a story of hope…one that happened long ago and has since faded from the memory but was reawakened by the mere utterance of four magical words. But the embrace of a mother or father that happened “once upon a time” brings tears to the eyes of the child who realizes that those words hold no magic to bring them back.

Helping Hands strives to write a new story for these children. They long to breathe hope back into the words “once upon a time”. They long to share the most powerful, life-changing, and magical “once upon a time” life of Jesus Christ; the author of our hope. Helping Hands feeds well over one thousand orphans and they aspire to be blessed with the ability to feed many more. I am sure there are a number of people who wonder why we went all the way to South Africa, and I do have so much to say about this topic, but I can sum it up by simply saying this: there are more orphans than there are arms to hold them and this is a hunger even deeper than the one that pains their bellies at night. If you would like to learn more about Helping Hands and the opportunities available to you to minister to the children of South Africa, check out their website…

“I asked, ‘Why doesn’t somebody do something?’ and then I realized I was somebody.” – unknown

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