April 24, 2024

One would think that after 25 years of working with orphans and widows in Sub-Saharan Africa my wife Kathy and I would be somewhat acclimatized to the suffering of “the least of these”, but we’re not.


Recently we visited our champion partners in South Africa, Zambia, and Malawi. We were very impressed with the growth in their ministries to orphans and widows in distress- impressed and moved with compassion.

Thanks to the availability of antiretroviral medicines the impact of HIV and AIDS has been mitigated but the impact of opportunistic diseases remains.

On this visit we met and prayed with several patients suffering from tuberculosis of both lung and bone. The bone tuberculosis is very painful. Sitting on the ground with these precious souls as they lay on their mats our hearts were broken. I wept as I prayed, their suffering was so intense. We felt both sorrow and frustration with their agony and the distance between our western world and theirs, wishing we could just summon an ambulance and wisk them away to first world medical care. But instead of an ambulance the critically ill have to be strapped to a bicycle or laid in an ox cart and transported to rudimentary rural clinics.  It’s hard to believe sometimes that we share the same planet.

Nevertheless our valiant volunteers continue providing weekly Home Based Care to these dear ones. And everything is done with kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and love- in the name of Jesus.

As we pray with each one we remind them that the Lord knows their name and their need. But our souls ache. Our only comfort is that these dear ones are being gently cared for and we are able to faithfully pray for them every day wherever we are in the world.

Bottom line is our trust in the Lord who “sees the sparrow fall” and holds these fragile patients in his hands.