Here is the reality. Those who have been living in poverty are worse off now than they have ever been. Covid has set many of us back, but those with very little margin are the greatest being affected.
This is the thought running through my head this morning, "None of us have been here before." This is the reality and conclusion I get to when I listen to leaders here in the US and also interact with my friends in Eswatini (Swaziland).
Whether you are in the land of opportunity or in the land of closure, none of us have ever been here before. It's all uncharted territory for our planet. For some of us it's exciting to rise to the occasion of leadership, and for others, it's so scary. Very few humans are alive today who were alive in 1918 during the past pandemic. Many of us just want to get back to work and provide for our families. We are looking for opportunities to thrive.
Nations gingerly and cautiously open up schools, restaurants, etc, all looking over their shoulder wondering if there is going to be another pandemic wave. Few countries are thriving. Many nations feel they have lost multiple years of progress. Our lives feel fluid and ever changing. It's chaotic and unsettling.
What would you do if the world changed and it left you with no opportunity to provide food for your family? How would you pay for your child's school supplies or fees? What types of emotions would you experience as a father just wanting to get back to work and contribute--to feel useful--to make a difference?
This landscape can create hopelessness if we aren't careful. My family launched out full time with Beyond Survival during the Covid pandemic in August of 2020. To say that many days have been scary is an extreme understatement. There have been many mornings for me of waking up at 4am or earlier, with the bullying feeling that I have to get to work. Time is ticking. Our savings won't last forever. I had savings.
I've wondered what might happen to my house, or my children if this next chapter in our life doesn't work out. What type of shame would I experience or rejection would I feel knowing that what we have "built" as a family might all come crashing down? I've created Evernotes full of quotes, Scripture, and motivating sayings to help me when I'm down. I've created a note with dates and experiences of God supernaturally moving before us since June 2020 to remind me that He is in the details of our lives. He is going before us and behind us.
All of these tools have helped me navigate my faith, rope in some of my fears, and surrender in trust that I'm not in control. I worry about the future often, even though I try not to. I'm not guaranteed tomorrow, all I have is today. Today will be ok, tomorrow, I'm not so sure. That's my story in the US, and I am a person of faith.
Here we are at the end of 2021 and the planet still feels in limbo. Even though schools and restaurants are open, there is still the daily reminder that we aren't back to “normal.” Supply chain issues remind us that something is different. The cost of homes and automobiles are up, food prices are rising, and stores struggle to keep shelves stocked. Scarcity is all around us... in America. What if you were in a third world country? How bad would it be then?
Our government sent PPP funds to businesses. It created unemployment programs to keep families afloat. Vaccines are made available for free if you want them. Whether you agree with our country's tactics or not, the reality was, relief was sent to the public. We have options.
Contrast the US reality with Eswatini (Swaziland), Africa. There is no government aid sent to the people. There is no lifeline thrown to help the families in need. In Eswatini, the reality is more people are being fed by one income than ever before. If you had money for food for 30 days, you now have food for only 15 days. Moms are sacrificing hygiene in order to provide for their children's daily needs. Fathers are feeling helpless as they eat every 3 days so that their family can survive. Clothing that is already tired and worn out, is now asked to last another several months. Lives are literally hanging on by a thread. The sacrifices that are being paid right now are incredible and devastating all at the same time.
We are all human beings. All of us have dreams lying dormant deep inside of us. I'm a dad. I want my family to thrive. I want my kiddos to have opportunities that bless their lives. Mom's and Dad's in Eswatini are no different. They need our help. Will you consider helping this Holiday Season?
There is still HOPE! We are still here. People still need our encouragement and grace. Human hearts are transformed by love, kindness, and unexplainable care. Kingdom benefits still need to be dispensed to those in need.
Will you join our family in giving to the sweet, little nation of Eswatini? Our family has chosen to give to the partners, families, and leaders we so love. Beyond Survival was birthed 15 years ago to be an advocate for Swaziland. We are passionate about connected resources with real needs. Never before has there been so much real need. If you would like to join us in blessing our friends in Eswatini, you can give here. We created a giving page on Facebook for #GivingTuesday. If you would like to give via the Facebook page, you can give here. Thank you in advance for considering to support Beyond Survival as we seek to help others go from surviving to thriving.