By Julie Houvener

A simple pair of “old” shoes. Someone donated. Someone packed. They traveled from Indiana to Swaziland, and were left behind each day our team visited the Care Pointe. Until the perfect time, God was orchestrating those shoes to bring hope to a desolate community.

Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Although the need is great at our Care Pointe, a community like Section 19 which is without sponsorship, is vastly more impoverished. Half-dressed children covered in dust, litter strewn all around, starving dogs, and men resting against stick-built fences drinking homemade alcohol laced with battery acid.

We came to visit, to smile, to pray, to hug and to love these people whom God loves and is providing for.

A small preschooler following us to our bus as we were ready to leave walked along the dirt path collecting bits of sharp rocks and glass on her bare feet. Every few steps, she’d stop to sit and pull them all out, some of the older children stopping to help her. The Holy Spirit suddenly brought to my mind the small pair of shoes which had been left behind each day. I had noticed them as we set out for Section 19, brought them to the bus and tucked them away with our other supplies. After the third stop to remove the painful invaders from her feet, I remembered the shoes. Running back to the bus to retrieve them, I prayed they’d fit as I returned to her. They were a perfect fit, and even allowed a little room to grow. She was unsure and unsteady at first, but she walked proudly in her new shoes after just a few steps.

A simple pair of shoes. My prayer is God will use them to bring hope to a hurting and desperate people. Our team knows He used those shoes to demonstrate to us His care and concern for all people. He is at work among them and it has been an honor to serve them.

Next time you notice an “old” pair of shoes, pray for Section 19 and all of Swaziland. And pray for eyes to see God at work all over the world.