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Orphans

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The Fortunate Ones

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 |
Posted by admin
Categories: AIDS, Malawi, Orphans
Lilongwe, Malawi 2008 These children are the fortunate ones. They are part of a group who attend a feeding center outside one of the slum areas in Lilongwe, Malawi. Daily they receive their bowls of porridge and get to participate in the early childhood education program at the center. This particular bunch of kids is fortunate in other ways, too. These children are part of a select few who have been chosen from the masses to receive life saving anti-retroviral (ARV) medicine. Each of these children is infected with the life- threatening virus, HIV. Babies infected with HIV often have accelerated disease progression. Without treatment the HIV+ child can become seriously ill and face a high risk of dying in the first few years of life.  Given the anti-retroviral drugs and appropriate treatment, these children have the potential to live normal and relatively healthy lives.  A bowl of porridge, ABC’s, and ARV’s, this group has been given a fighting chance.
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Matilda

Saturday, May 3, 2008 |
Posted by admin
Categories: AIDS, Malawi, Orphans
Matilda is an AIDS orphan. When I met her she was living with her siblings in the Mgona slums of Lilongwe, Malawi. Her father had been dead for some time. Her mother had just passed away from an AIDS related illness. The neighbors in the slum were trying to evict the orphaned children from their family home. Matilda and her siblings were destitute, broken, and lost. Her only lifeline was the care that the family of children received from the Home Based Care workers of a friend’s ministry. This image of Matilda was used by God to inspire me to use my photography as a means to fund the ministry of God’s Economy. One night while I was in Malawi, I was awakened from a sound sleep. I was directed to pick up my camera and review the images that I had shot during the day. When I came to this picture of Matilda, I stopped. My heart pounded. The plans for God’s Economy were laid out before me. Take the resource of photography and use it for the greater good: care for the least of these. Through the resources of numerous friends, Matilda and her siblings have subsequently been moved from the slums to a rural location to live with their grandparents. Her image and her story remain as the catalysts that inspire folks to extend generosity to the down-trodden and needy. God’s economy is the full expression of Jesus amongst us. Following God’s design and purpose to bring the love of Christ to the world, we receive, partake, and dispense the riches that come through living a life connected to Jesus. We rejoice over the things that bring joy to Jesus. Simultaneously, we allow ourselves to be broken by the things that break the heart of God. We serve as conduits through which His mercy, love, grace, kindness, compassion, and justice can liberally flow. Freely we receive. Freely we give. Issues that cause God concern: widows, orphans, and the alien are places where we offer ourselves in service to others. We become vital channels through which resources can flow from those who have surplus to those who have need. Matilda is a reflection of the hope that comes when we come into the fullness of what it means to live out God’s economy.