Our Brothers and Sisters in Swaziland
In support of MVNU’s partnership with The Luke Commission October has been named Swazi month to reach out to the people of Swaziland, “Every Last One.”
M2540 stems from the Bible verse Matthew 25:40. The focal point this year is on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in the passage, fulfilling The Luke Commissions’ vision to help “Every Last One.”
“Our focus is not on giving money, but on the people of this world” said Director of Community and International Ministries, Catie Hayes. “They are human beings just like us and we want to be part of their lives, not because they are less fortunate but because they are human and precious to God.”
In order to put this idea into action MVNU will be using four focus words for the four weeks of October. The first is “Speak.” This week was centered on telling the story of those in need and raising awareness throughout campus. Second, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to “Pray” for the specific needs of the people and of The Luke Commission (TLC).
The third focus word is “Go.” After learning about the needs, the M2540 team encourages people to get involved and be a part of the solution either on campus, in the community, or on a mission trip. Finally, “Give” financially to help those in need.
MVNU started its partnership with TLC in 2011 because it believes in the mission and vision of this organization and encourages students to get involved.
“I got involved after I was invited to an M2540 meeting” said Hayes’ right hand Ashley Wall, a sophomore at MVNU studying Early Childhood Education. “I knew a little bit about Swaziland going into it but after learning more I developed a passion for the people.”
Hayes and Wall encourage all students to take time to listen and learn about the people of this country.
Elizabeth Weyman, a senior intercultural studies major at MVNU, had the opportunity to travel on one of the Swazi mission trips where she worked in the mobile clinics. She helped with HIV testing, shoe distribution, small construction projects, restocking equipment and much more.
“My favorite part was HIV testing because I got to interact one-on-one with the people for few minutes even though that was also the hardest part because I saw their results ten minutes later, it was worth it in so many ways” said Weyman.
Like Weyman, many MVNU students have had the opportunity to see the struggles of these people first hand, to build relationships with those in the organization and share the love of God with the people of Swaziland.
“There seems to be an apathy issue among those of us who are college age” said Hayes. “We care about our lives and our things and we tend to forget about the rest of the world. But we are called to take care of each other.”
With a clinic simulation, Coffee and Testimonies, Change War, and a special chapel, Hayes and her team have created multiple opportunities for students to step out and learn about God’s children around the world; to care for one another and spread God’s love and compassion.
Jen Sanders, resident director and the organizer for Swazi Month event, Change War, said “Supporting Swaziland moves us in the direction of understanding the words and actions of Jesus. Our year at MVNU began with ‘Welcome to the Neighborhood’ and M2540 helps our students see just how big the neighborhood actually is.”
Through Swazi month, the M2540 team hopes to bring students closer to understanding the world around them. MVNU is just a small sample of the vast world God has created. For more information, stop by the table in the cafeteria lobby or contact Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The goal is to bring people to awareness as to what is going on in the world in a positive way” said Hayes. “We don't want there to be a negative taste in their mouth when they hear about problems in the world.”
Stay connected through social media!
Use #mvnuforswazi to show support for the initiative.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you do for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
SWAZI MONTH EVENTS
Check out the table in the cafeteria lobby, participate in the prayer chain and photo booth and read the booklets to learn about Swaziland.
Wednesday, October 21st at 8:00pm
Come to the PSU for Coffee and Testimonies where students will share their experiences in Swaziland and their passion for the people. Plus, the 586 will be donating 10% of all purchases during this event to the Swaziland initiative.
Monday, October 26th at 10:20am
Join the M2540 team at Chapel to learn about the needs of the people in Swaziland.
Monday, October 26th at 7:00pm
Travel and learn about the life of a citizen of Swaziland through a clinic simulation by The Luke Commission. This event will be located in the old gym of the PSU.
Monday, October 26th through Friday, October 30th
Compete in the resident area competition, Change Wars!
Seven buckets, labeled for each resident area (Oakwood, Pioneer, Galloway, Spruce/Cypress/Redwood, Cedar/Birch, and Maplewood/Elmwood) will be available during lunch and dinner hours.
Change is worth positive points. 1 point for each cent deposited into a residence area bucket.
Bills are worth negative points and other residence areas can place bills into competing residence area buckets.
The residence area with the most points at the end of the week will be declared the winner and will receive a prize.
For more information contact Resident Director Jen Sanders.
MORE ABOUT THE LUKE COMMISSION
Actively working and serving in the communities of Swaziland, TLC does not leave a village until “Every Last One” has been seen and treated. As of August 2015 TLC has medically treated 274,171 patients.
“The Luke Commission is trying to keep people alive with emergency and HIV care through mobile clinics” said Director of Community and International Ministries Catie Hayes. “They are sustaining life and fighting for the next generation.”
Hays explained that a statistic released by the United Nations reported that the Swazi population would be extinct from HIV/AIDS by 2050 if something drastic did not happen. The Luke Commission responded to the need with medical care and God’s love.
“No country should get to the point where it is under threat of being wiped off the map due to something that can be fought and even prevented” said Elizabeth Weyman, senior intercultural studies major. “Any cause that wants to fix the situation there, and that does so effectively, is worthy of being passionate about.”
At each mobile outreach TLC offers tests to all patients for HIV/AIDS. Children are treated for skin and intestinal problems resulting from AIDS. TLC also offers on-site circumcision which, according to the TLC website, “the Swazi government and the US government agree is the key to slowing the spread of HIV.”
All patients who visit the Mobile Hospital Outreach receive whatever medical attention they require, “Every Last One.”
Statistics on the Luke Commission as of August 2015,
262,058 Medical Patients Treated
68,616 Eye Glasses Fitted
6,319 Male Circumcisions Performed
177,357 Blood Pressure and Sugar Tested
745 Surgeries Sponsored
59,908 Patients Tested and Counseled for HIV
21,202 Bibles Dispersed
403,920 Orphans and Vulnerable Children given clothes and shoes
To see a full list of statists, donate to the organization or view more information visit their website lukecommission.org
For a video on the campaign “Every Last One” click here.