“Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them …”
Sawubona from Tshaneni, Swaziland!
We are all doing well, and are continuing to adjust to life in Africa. It is so true, you live and learn something new EACH day here! The kids have just celebrated their "mid-term" at school, wow ... where does time go!?!? They all received good mid-term reports, and are doing well! Jessie has also made the school cricket team, and is enjoying this new sport ... I am still trying to understand the game myself!
During the month of February, we welcomed our first volunteer team here in this area. What a privilege it was to serve alongside the South Roanoke Team from North Carolina ~ thank you to each of you for allowing the Lord to work through you here in Swaziland and for the love you have for these people. We saw God work in such big ways during our time together, opening doors for future ministry, and lives given to Him! All praise and glory to God!!!!
Today, we'd like to share some stories with you from that week, and give you a glimpse of how God is answering YOUR prayers ....
Before the team arrived, we felt the Lord drawing us to an area "beyond the sugar cane", a village known as Mafucula. The doors were opened wide to minister here with the team. Permission was given to speak at their school's opening assemblies, and also to hold revival services in one of the school buildings in the evenings. Upon arrival there, we met a local pastor in the community. The pastor shared that he had been praying about how to minister to this community, and was having an all-night prayer service that week. He shared that this team was an answer to his prayers. During the following days, the team was able to visit several homesteads in this area, and there were several professions of faith. Many came to the revival services as a result of these visits also. The home of a Zionist woman, the predominant religion here, was visited and she allowed the Gospel message to be shared. She was given a Bible, and could read it for herself in English. Everyone listened and watched as she read God's word, and the Holy Spirit came upon her. The entire countenance of her face changed as she shared, "Now I am saved, NOW I understand." Another testimony comes from an older man in the Vuvulane community, where revival services were also being held this same week. He shared that he wanted to "see" what all this was about, so he came to revival one night. The Lord touched his heart and he came forward to give his life to Christ. He shared testimony, and a story from when he was a young man. His story told of him being on a hunting trip one day and crossing paths with a lion that had a thorn in it's paw. He shared how the lion had laid down and allowed them to remove his thorn. The lion then went away, but later brought back a deer in appreciation of the kindness. He shared that he too was like this lion, that God had removed his thorn and now he was ready to serve the Lord in appreciation for all that He had done for him. By the end of the week, there were a total of 98 professions of faith. Praise God!
These are just some of the amazing things that we saw the Lord do in this ONE week here in our area of Swaziland. Please pray for these new believers, that they would seek the Lord's face every day, and stand strong in Him against the traditional beliefs and customs here, especially among family members who do not believe. Also continue to pray for the many, many more who are still without Him in a world that has become so complacent at the constant sight of death.
Thank you for continuing to hold the rope of prayer and battling the front lines, interceding on behalf of the Swazi people, and our entire team.
Praises, Blessings, and Thanks:
~ For the many dedicated prayer warriors who are committed to pray for our family, the Swazi team and the people of Swaziland
~ For the many cards, care packages, emails and encouragement for our family, and for Matthew as he celebrated his 11th birthday
~ For the children's quick adjustment to school here, and for good progress reports
~ For volunteers that allow the Lord to use them in His ministry here, and for the MANY lives that were given to Christ!
~ For restored good health, all the strange " virus bugs" have subsided!
~ For God to open doors for ministry in the Siteki area, and to prepare the hearts of the Swazi people and the volunteer team coming to minister here April 22-30.
~ For Lisa's dad, Lloyd Claiborne, as he undergoes surgery on March 17th to unblock a carotid artery in his neck
~ For Jessie to have a safe trip, and enjoy time with his classmates as they take their first field trip to Durban, South Africa (March 16 -20)
~ For the Lord's direction for follow-up ministry in the Mafucula area
~ For Sarah's teacher, Sisi, has she mourns the loss of her Gogo (grandmother)
~ For the Swazi people who are steeped so deep in bondage to their traditional beliefs
~For God's will in the sale of our home in the States