Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tonight I became Mathambo....

Tonight I walked in the steps of a African girl named Mathambo. Mathabo is 11 years old and had been living without her mother for the last 5 years. Her mother went to work in South Africa and left Mathabo with an older brother who abused her and with her little brother that she has to take care of.

Tonight Frank waked in the shoes of Emmanuel. Emmanuel and his older brother buried there mother and father that died of AIDS.

Frank and I went to Step into Africa. It was a huge impact on us. We got the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a child affected by the AIDS crisis in Africa. Step into Africa is an interactive walk through. First they give you head phones with an IPOD shuffle and you listen the the guide direct you where to go. We started in a little hut with small stools, our guide prepared us by allowing us to take a moment to think about what it would be like to be a child in Africa, then he asked us to stand up and walk to the door with our names marked on it...I was told to go to Mathabo and waved bye to Frank as he entered Emmanuel's life. I entered her house and her story began, I don't want to ruin for you and give her story away. But at one point of the story Frank and I ended up at the HIV clinic together to wait for our test results. As we both waited we both sat silenced as we just walked through the lives of these children. We were both negative and it was stamped on our hands. We then walked into a room where there with black and white beautiful pictures of Africa's children, all had a stamp just like ours on their faces only theirs was red and a big positive and they had all meet their fate of death. It hit me there in that small room, Gods heart is broken, for theses. I wanted to fall to my knees to weep, all the babies lost. This is on HIS AGENDA !!!! Sure it made us cry, sure it was uncomfortable to listen to, but it was 30 minutes compared to the reality of what these kids have to go through.

We were not allowed to take pictures but there was something on the wall that I could not help so I sneaked a photo ..shhh. It says "Your church is helping to overcome the stigma felt by those with AIDS." I knew they had been talking about Life Center in Tacoma, but it made me question what can I do to make sure that MY church is helping to overcome the stigma felt by those with AIDS. How can I make them more aware of this? Pray for me in this venture :)

PLEASE GO, They will be at Puyuallup next week and Bellvue the other week. YOU MUST!! IT was amazing, I cant stress that enough!


Michelle Riggs said...

I would love to go to this, if it comes closer to Oklahoma.

What ages is it appropriate for? We have kids between the ages of 2-20. Is it something that would scare the younger children, even if they didn't have headphones on?

neely mcqueen said...

So cool...the experience is coming to Overlake in December. we really NEED to arrange a meeting.

Our journey said...

We went on Saturday. It was amazing and so well put together. I wish eveyone could have the experience.


The Gresham Clan said...

OH I would so love to go, but as we'll be traveling, I don't think it will work. I've heard it is amazing and I want to try and make it if we can. I love your wisdom and heart Natalie!


Jennifer Meysenburg said...

Hi Natalie,
I was able to walk through yesterday at Life Center. I was blown away! I left with a few little ones to sponsor and a very heavy heart. I will be praying for you...will you please pray for me! I can't just sit here when there is so much hurt and need!
Loves to you and your family!

Jennifer Meysenburg said...

I went through the experience yesterday and was completely blown away. I left with a few children to sponsor and a very heavy heart. I will be be praying for you...will you pray for me. I can not just sit here when there is such hurt and need!
Loves to your boys and yourlittle girl!

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Pray for sweet Abby Riggs!!