Part One: Wake Up By: Chinua Hawk

So here I am about a month out from my trip to Swaziland and this is the first morning I’ve had to really think about it.  Months have gone by filled with task after task leaving me exhausted and completely out of gas and ideas.  Consumed with these “tasks” I put the important things aside and focused on just getting it done.  Frustration ensued and chaos arrived soon after, and it never occurred to me to seek Gods direction. I just needed to get “it” done.  I hadn’t read my bible in a few months and almost completely stopped praying, and the worst part is that I didn’t even realize it.

Two days ago I was convicted for not praying before I went to bed which was something I never failed to do until recently.  So I prayed. The next day I opened my bible up and read. I prayed again. This morning I woke up with a clear mind and more importantly I felt Gods presence again.  So I laid in bed for awhile reading, praying and thinking. I started thinking about my childhood and it hit me that I never wanted for anything.  I was never hungry. I was never without clothing or a comfortable home.  I have a mother that loved her children and worked her fingers to the bone to make sure we had what we needed. I had pets, toys and a bedroom decorated with my favorite action heros.  I could go on but one might get the idea that I’m bragging.  Trust me I’m not.  What I’m understanding this morning is that when something is your normal experience you don’t always look at it as something special or a blessing, it’s just what you have.  Some of us can go a life time without realizing how blessed we are.

My thoughts then drifted from my own experience to the reality of the orphans of Swaziland. They don’t have parents, no mother or father to love , protect and care for them. How long will it be until their next meal? Where do they sleep at night or keep warm? Who shields them from the predators?  I don’t know this world and the thought of growing up like that breaks my heart.  My grandmother used to say “God always sends somebody by.” I get what she means now. God is sending me and countless others from around the world to go “by” and represent Him by helping His children.  So for now I’m listening for the Fathers voice. I’m going where He has directed me and that place is Swaziland, Africa.

To be continued…

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Team Set to Summit Mt. Baldy, Raise Funds for African Nation By Hollie Reina

A group of Glendorans and other locals will join hikers around the world on June 25, 2011 as they summit some of the highest peaks in the world all in an effort to raise funds and promote global awareness for the impoverished African nation of Swaziland.

‘Summit 4 Hope’ began with the idea of  climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa  and soon spread to include hiking teams from Taiwan, the United States, Canada and Swaziland all hiking on behalf of an organization called ‘Heart for Africa.’

‘Heart for Africa’ is a Christian faith-based non-profit dedicated to “providing care and hope for a future for children in [the] small African nation [of Swaziland].”

While the AIDS epidemic has left an estimated 200,000 orphans in a country the size of New Jersey and an average life expectancy of 29 years, children are the primary focus of ‘Heart for Africa’ and their many programs.

Programs such as Project Canaan that will help create self-sustainability through farming as well as create income through export and provide education to both children and adults.

According to one of the team leads Sarah Barron of Southland Properties in Glendora, funds raised from the Summit 4 Hope climb will directly benefit three important builds under the Project Canaan banner. The El Roi baby home, a home for orphaned children. The occupational training building. And the ISO building which is an agricultural facility built to package and store food.

Team California which will summit 10,068 ft. Mt. San Antonio (Mt. Baldy) is being led by Glendora resident Wolfgang Buehler. Under his direction several teams of hikers will climb one of three routes to the top of Mt. Baldy where a picture of all the hikers will be taken with the ‘Heart for Africa’ flag.

Buehler, a local business owner said of his involvement with the program, “I’m proud, honored and humbled to be able to assist heart for Africa in helping so many deserving orphans or deserving people.”

Several local organizations have organized groups to hike including, Glenkirk Church, Glendora Ridgerunners, Glendora Village business owners and more.

Zack Swire of Swire Marketing Inc. in Glendora will be leading Team Swire.

Swire, who had always wanted to be involved in philanthropy, spent a great deal of time searching for a project that, as he said, “was not just throwing our money at something.”

Summit 4 Hope clicked with him on a number of levels.

He believed in ‘Heart for Africa’ and the people involved. “Their heart is really there,” he stated.

Swire also liked the physicality of Summit 4 Hope. The idea that you could motivate yourself to do more both physically and charitably was a key reason for his involvement in the summit project.

Mt. San Antonio, more commonly known as Mt. Baldy, is the tallest mountain in the San Gabriel range and in Los Angeles County. Summit hikes will be offered at three different levels and distances including, a 2.5 mile, a four mile and an eight mile hike.

All hiking mileage is measured one-way and the hikes are not considered easy. The shortest route according to Swire is the equivalent of doing Garcia trail twice. The longest route will gain 6,000 feet in elevation en route to the summit.

Team California hopes to have all of its hikers reach the top of Mt. Baldy by 11 a.m. in order to do a group photo shoot.

The collective worldwide goal for Summit 4 Hope is to raise $150,000. Team California will attempt to raise $20,000-$30,000 of that by registering hikers ($35 or $50 with a t-shirt and wristband) and by collecting donations/hiker sponsorships.

June 25 hikes will also take place on the following world peaks:

  • Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340′) the tallest mountain in Africa.
  • Mt. Jade (12,966′) the tallest mountain in Taiwan.
  • Mt. Hope (3,727′) the highest point at Project Canaan in Swaziland.
  • Mt. Elbert (14,433′) in Colorado, the second tallest mountain in the lower 48 states.
  • Mt. Mauna Kea (13,796′) the tallest mountain in Hawaii
  • Mt. Brasstown Bald (4,784′) the tallest mountain in Georgia.
  • Heart Mountain (7,005′) in Canmore, Alberta, Canada.

To join a hiking team and register to hike or to make a donation to Summit for Hope you can visit http://summit4hope.eventbrite.com or email Zack Swire at zack.swire@goswire.com.

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Volunteering in Swaziland Changhua Senior High Students Develop New Perspective of Life

Lewis Lu, Director of Library of National Changhua Senior High school, Taiwan, emphasizes the special ideal,“ Finish reading by taking action.” For four consecutive years, lead students Changhua Senior High to volunteer in Swaziland.

Students are inspired and changed by the trip. Raymond Lin(left), who hoped for a long time to be an architect when graduated from high school, changed his mind after the trip to become a doctor and was admitted to Medicine department of National Yang-Ming University Taiwn last week. Patrick Hun (middle), who was admitted to Medicine department of National Defense University, gave up to be a doctor, but decided to attend Materials Science and Engineering Department of National Taiwan University which he is also admitted to, for the reason that he wanted to earn more money to help those poor African children, like the American richman who donates big sum of momey to the Heart for Africa to launch Canaan Project.

Raymond Lin wishes to be one of Médecins Sans Frontières

Begins from 2008, Lewis raises fund for 20 students to volunteer in Swaziland every summer.Most of the students have the chance first time to take airplane and fly to Africa and it has changed their view of the world and their future life. The volunteer project was sponsored by Stan Shih, Acer founder, Jheng Ya Ren, president of FSP Group, and Patrick Sun president of Taiwan ballerina Company. There were 20 students participating in this activity in 2009, they volunteered in the local orphanage. The trip strongly influenced their decisions when they were applying for the universities.

“I can hardly imagine that there’s a place full of poverty, diseases and hunger. If I could save them from poverty and diseases, it will definitely be the most meaningful thing in my life.” Raymond Lin said. To design beautiful house has always been his dream; however, after the volunteering experience in Swaziland, he made up his mind to be a doctor and to devote himself to helping the poor.

Patrick Hung Choose to be an Entrepreneur to Help People

Studying medicine has always been Patrick Hung and his parents’ dream. And he was both admitted to Medicine Department of National Defense Medical University and Material Science and Engineering Department of National Taiwan University, two top universities in Taiwan. But he decided to study Material Department and persuaded his parents to agree with it. “I hope to be an entrepreneur in the future so I will make lots of money and have enough funds to continue changing the environment in Africa.” he said.

Originally, Joe Chen(right) didn’t have any idea about medicine. However, after the mission trip to Swaziland, he decided to be a doctor so that he could help African people who are lack of medical resource. Joe Chen got excellent grade in College Entrance Examination, and he was admitted to Dentistry Department of Kaohsiung Medical University.

Director Library of Changhua Senior High School, Lewis Lu appreciates those entrepreneurs with ideal. Because of their generosity, they sponsor the senior high students to walk out of their comfort Zone, and develop the valuable concept of helping the need.

From the Liberty Times on May 5, 2011.

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