Thursday, March 29, 2007

Remembering William Siang'andu

Nancy and I have been joining many others in mourning the loss of William Siang'andu to malaria. William came from humble beginnings and supported his family as a bricklayer and builder. He was educated through the 10th grade and later studied at Manzini Bible School in Swaziland where his potential and vision for ministry in the kingdom was nourished.
 William and Eness traveled with us over lake and land last summer for five weeks from Zambia through Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Their purpose on the journey was to learn all they could about how to care for orphans which has become a huge need in much of Africa as a result of war, genocide, AIDS and other diseases. It was a great joy to us to see their vision for ministry grow as a result of their experiences on that journey.
Only weeks ago, William had accepted a position on the staff of Mapepe Bible School where he would have the opportunity to influence many for missions in Zambia and beyond. He fell ill to malaria as he has so many times in the past, before Eness and his children had actually joined him at Mapepe.
I am left to wonder what can be done about one the scourges of Africa: Malaria. How can we continue to prepare soldiers for the battle and then see them fall before they reach their potential to a debilitating disease that is so hard to eradicate, but so easy to control?
For now, we want to say that we join with many others in the family of God in expressing our deepest sympathies in what is a loss for all of us, but especially for Eness and their children. May we not forget to hold up our sister Eness' hands during her time of grieving. Our prayer is that she may somehow be able to carry on with their dream of caring for orphans in the nurture of the Lord, and that God will provide for her in this important ministry.