I read this last night till 1:30am. I have not recovered. I cried and cried and cried. It has left me undone. I know God is using this story. It's fiction based on real lives, real people that Tom Davis has encountered in Swaziland.
What's crazy is, Dean has said many times that he would move to Swaziland and work at the Healing Place Church Dream Center that is being built there if he was asked too. He's been to Swaziland, last year on a missions trip. He said the best part of the trip was going to the Care Points and helping the GoGo's feed the kids (the Care Points and the Gogo's are talked about in this book) he also talked about how beautiful the country is yet so filled with parentless children due to AIDS. But even though I have friends Ben and Susan Rogers, that are there leading the HPC Campus, and even though I have a place in my heart for an AIDS Orphan there named Peppe, after going to Ethiopia, I felt like that was where I wanted to eventually wind up living one day. So, my heart was in Ethiopia and Dean's in Swaziland. But God has used this book to pull my heart more to Swaziland.
The story this book tells is the story of millions of Orphans around the world, I know this to be a very sad reality. Tom Davis does a great job of sucking you into the lives of these characters, making you feel like you are walking through their life with them and since all of the people are based on real people, sometimes it's almost too painful for me to read.
Also, having Abel home now makes reading about AIDS Orphans even more heart wrenching. Just in 5 months I have come to know how much children suffer and are abused when there is no parent to care for them. Loving parents that don't abuse. I think of what Abel's live would be like right now, had we not adopted him and I think of all the boys, living on the streets in Ethiopia, that have no family, no parents, and ARE living the unthinkable life of abuse and abusing, drugs, stealing, death. Oh how I wish that every person feeling the tug to adopt and older child, would do it and not fear. These kids need us.
But besides adoption, there is also what C Thomas Davis talks about as the Big picture. How do we help places like Swaziland heal? How do we help Orphans stay with extended family? Prevent more kids from being Orphaned by AIDS? This book, even though fiction, really does a good job at showing how local pastors, Care Points, advocacy for the children, etc. can and is helping. We must do more, everyone must do more.
Sure, I am passionate about this issue, I know everyone cant adopt or should adopt but everyone reading this blog can send $5.00 a month to an organization like Children's Cup, or Hope Chest, organizations that are providing education, medical care, emotional and spiritual support.
I hope and pray you read this book.