Day Thirteen

Native American Prayer For Peace
Oh, Great Spirit of our Ancestors,
I raise my pipe to You.
To your messengers the four winds,
And to Mother Earth who provides
For your children.
Give us the wisdom to teach our children
To love, to respect, and to be kind to each other
So that they may grow with peaceful hearts.
Let us learn to share all good things that You
Provide for us on this Earth.
DSC_0798Our day in Malungeni began with our yearly visit to Canzibe Hospital, a mere 20 miles away, which on extremely rough roads takes 2 hours one way.  This is a rural health care facility that attempts to respond to the health care needs of approximately 160,000 people.  Arm In Arm In Africa has a tradition of providing much needed health care supplies.  We would like to take this time to thank the generous individuals and health care organizations in Minnesota for their contributions of both supplies and financial support.  The dispensary staff were very appreciative.
It was a joy to see many babies on this visit, most of whom were only hours old.  We shared Mother Bears as well as newborn clothes and blankets with the new mothers.
Upon returning to Malungeni, those families who were selected for the food parcels had begun to gather in the shade of the trees.  This was one of the four days throughout a calendar year that AIAIA provides emergency food for those most in need in the community.  The community members decide with each distribution, which families are most in need.  Today we celebrated our largest distribution ever with 130 families receiving a parcel of rice, samp,sugar, flour, beans, oil and chicken.
On this same day, AIAIA hosts and serves a traditional South African meal to the whole community.  This has become a great opportunity for us to celebrate our 13 year relationship with our friends and family under the leadership of Reverend James Cassidy and Reverend Spiwo Xapile.
Prior to the families departing with their wheelbarrows of food, we gathered in a circle to give thanks for this opportunity and honor to be nourishment for one another.
The fulfilling day was one of hugs, smiles, children playing, singing...a family gathering to celebrate our unity.
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A reading from Mohandas Gandhi:

My experience tells me that the Kingdom of God is within us, and that we can realize it not by saying, "Lord, Lord," but by doing God's will and God's work.  If therefore we wait for the Kingdom to come as something coming from the outside, we shall be sadly mistaken.  Do you know that there are thousands of villages where people are starving and which are on the brink of ruin?  If we would listen to the voice of God, I assure you we would hear God say that we are taking God's name in vain if we do not think of the poor and help them.  If you cannot render the help that they need, it is no use talking of service to God and service to the poor.

Peace and Blessings,
The 2013 Delegation