Thursday, May 31, 2007

What Are You Doing With the One-And-Only Life You Have?

While in South Africa I visited a town called Molweni. This rural area has a population of about 35,000, 6 schools, a handful of shops and over 400 orphans. I learned about Molweni because I met a social worker named Lindiwei (pictured at right with the hat) who goes into each of the schools and into many of the homes in the area to help connect them with social services and ministries that can help meet various needs.

Many of the orphans live in houses, more like shacks, where their parents used to live before they died of AIDS. Now you have an 11 or 12 year old as the head of the household taking care of 2-3 younger siblings.

Being a social worker is Lindiwei’s “day job”. The rest of the time she is the resident “Momma” at the Kulani Kahle (“grow well”) Children’s Home, a small, upstart orphanage with three small block buildings that houses, feeds, and cares for 27 orphaned children. On the weekends Kulani Kahle feeds many of the rest of the 400 orphans in the area.

I marveled as I listened to this educated, trained and credentialed woman describe her days and weeks in Molweni and at Kulan Kahle. She is a “giving machine”. The entire time I was there she had a small child on her hip or she had children holding her hands as we walked and looked around.

She lives with the children only having a small room for herself. Lindiwei shared stories with me of God’s provisions for food, clothes, education and recreation for the children. KFC provided them four outdoor toilets and an asphalt company created a basketball court, which is the only recreational place in the entire area.

Jesus commended those who fed the hungry and housed the homeless and clothed the naked and cared for the sick (Matthew 25). Jesus said, “When you do these things for the weak and helpless, you’re doing it as unto Me.” Lindiwei is spending her one-and-only life blessing Jesus as she cares for hundreds of orphaned children and distressed families.

When this life is over, I’d love to be close by to see how Lindiwei is welcomed into heaven and is received by our Lord. No fame or celebrity. No possessions to speak of. No position of power or influence. Lindiwei just has one of the best-spent lives I’ve been privileged to see.

What are you doing with the one-and-only life you have?

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