I returned to Swaziland on February 15th, 2012. The time has flown by. In many ways it seems like it was just yesterday when I left Swaziland last year instead of it being 6 months ago. I also can’t believe that I will be returning to the States one month from today. All of this is so surreal to me. It continues to feel like a dream come true. Oh wait a minute…it is! I continually thank God for the blessings he has showered on me by allowing me to come here to serve His people and for the amazing friends and family he has given me in Swaziland.
Returning to Swaziland was like coming home. It was so good to see my Swazi and missionary family. Being here feels so comfortable and I find a peace in knowing I am right where the Lord wants me for now. Somethings haven’t changed a bit: The needs are still enormous. The hills and flowering trees and plants are so colorful that words or pictures could never do justice to the beauty of God’s creation. The Kombies are still dangerous and over crowded. The Swazi newspapers still report things that are more along the lines of The National Enquirer than a real “news” paper and the grammar is still so horrible half the time the articles don’t make a bit of sense. Protocol is still more important that substance or productivity and there are still cows, slow moving vehicles and people that clog the roadways. The disregard for stop lights, especially for pedestrians is still the norm and the politics and gossip within the Methodist Church is the same even though the Superintendent for the circuit has changed.
However, many things have changed a lot: Trucks from an Iron Ore mine that was reopened towards the end of last year have destroyed the highway between Mbabane and Manzini and clog the traffic from Manzini to the eastern border with Mozambique. The roads have become even more dangerous and impassable than last year. It seems like there is a lot more building going on in spite of economic issues. I’ve seen some wonderful improvements and progress at Lomngeletjane Methodist Primary, Salukazi Methodist Primary and Khalakahle Methodist Primary schools. And the kids from the Sandra Lee Center have grown and learned so much!
My sister, Thoko, has done an absolutely marvelous job of keeping things going and watching after “our” kids while I was in the States. She is one dedicated Christian woman with a heart that wants to emulate Christ as much as she can. Three days a week we go about doing our business of catching up with the schools and kids and planning for this year. Part of the time I am teaching her how to do the record keeping in a way that should be a bit easier for her. We are both treasuring our precious little time together.
Thini is having some health issues. I’m trying to do my best to help her get proper medical treatment, but that is a slow, frustrating process in this country. Medical treatment and medication may be dirt cheap in this country, but getting what you need takes a long, long time and much patience. Still, it is so good to be with my sister.
I have so many stories to tell. Eventually, I will get the website updated and write blogs showing our projects and kids. In the meantime, please continue to pray for my family and friends in Swaziland, our kids, the church, the teachers, those in authority and this country. I ask for special prayers for the funding to come for the projects and kids we have committed to help this year. We need about an additional $7,000. to do all we have said we would do. Thoko asked me what we are going to do. I told her we are going to continue our work in faith that the funds will come. God has always touched peoples hearts and the funding has always come through. I firmly believe it will happen again. The Lord has continued to let us touch one child, one heart at a time for over 4 years. I believe we now need to take things one day at a time stepping out in confidence that the Lord will provide. I will be returning to the States on April 10th. If you are part of a group and would like me to come share my Swaziland experience with you, please let me know. I would also welcome help in fundraising, especially if you are willing to take the project on!
Thank you all again for this opportunity. God bless you for the prayers and support you continue to provide. Know that there are many happy, smiling, healthy and appropriately dressed children in Swaziland. There families, teachers and community members thank you and ask me to pass on blessings to you.