As much as I think and pray about helping orphans in Africa, especially Swaziland, it surprises me sometimes how (relatively) little I blog about it. I've continued to investigate opportunities for getting involved, and thought y'all are about due for an update.
Saint's Coffee - This is a brand-new Christian-run company that was started with the primary intent of raising money for orphans in Swaziland. Each purchase feeds an orphan for a month, and the website claims that in their first five weeks of sales, they've already been able to feed 270 kids 8,100 meals! That's great!
I've now sampled three of the blends that Saint's Coffee offers on their website. The mild and medium roasts are unfortunately too subtle to stand up to my Starbucks habit, but the St. George is not bad. If you'd like to sample any of the blends, please let me know.
Christmas in Africa - Children's Cup is a ministry that feeds children in various Care Points around Southern Africa. Each year they provide a huge Christmas party for the children, and this year they are encouraging a personal connection with sponsors around the world.
What you do is order a Christmas card from Children's Cup (preprinted in Siswati or Portuguese), write a note to a child, attach a picture of you and your family (if you like), and send it back along with $6. The money will cover the cost of a Christmas gift and dinner for the child. The child will then fill out a note and send it back to you. I just ordered a bunch to do as a youth group project, and am really excited to see our students connected to African kids.
5 for 50 - This is a charity that Tom Davis talks about in his new book Red Letters (I just received a copy - haven't gotten to read it yet). Each copy purchased results in a donation that goes directly to feeding orphans. On his blog, Tom talks about how they are able to do this: all the money raised pays for shipments of donated food. Not sure this is the right thing to do? Watch some of the videos posted on his blog. Keep tissues handy.
Wherever you are, whatever place you are in life, I pray that you will respond to the tragic need. I believe that we in America have been given rich material blessings, not for our own pleasure but to partake in the joy of giving to others.
So, if you can sponsor a child, do it! If you can send a Christmas gift for $6, do it! If you believe that God answers prayer and wants to heal the brokenhearted, do it! In the kingdom of God, no gift is too small.