The Swaziland Team arrived safely home on Wednesday. We thank our prayer warriors for the constant prayers and want you to know that we definitely felt them. We saw prayers answered, hearts moved (and broken), and more hope than ever before.
Since the internet was a little spotty while we were there, we want to continue letting everyone know about how God has been at work in Njojane. One of our greatest joys was returning to Njojane for Sunday services. In the past we saw very few children on Sunday, which was a little sad for our team since we were used to seeing a few hundred throughout the week. However, this year we were elated to see that the new preschool building was being used for children’s programming on Sunday and that the children were enjoying their own worship time. How wonderful to hear those little voices (ok, some have serious super strength in their voices!) flow out from the little one-room school building!
The following was Joey’s experience on Sunday morning as she spent time with the children:
This morning, Father’s Day, I wandered into the new preschool building on the Njojane Care Pointe to discover maybe six children, age range 4-9, sitting silently their cute little preschool chairs and waiting for children’s church to start. I sat down on the floor in front of them, much to their surprise, and began speaking to them in a language they understand: sweeties. I put a Lifesaver into each of their hands, taking just a second longer than necessary. These children are so starved for attention, and every second counts. A few more trickled in, and soon I had sweet babies of all ages stacked on me, beside me, all around me, laughing and giggling and speaking love through our actions. It was one of my favorite moments of this trip. I had planned on staying for a few minutes, just to see how children’s church operated (as this was my first opportunity to do so) before walking over the to main service, but there were so many small hands to hold, songs to sing, babies to love…I spent my whole morning under a pile of children as we sang and danced and listened to bible stories. As we worshipped in Siswati, I realized I was singing along, in Siswati, to a song I did not know comprised words I cannot pronounce, nor understand, and not of my own volition. I realized this is what heaven must feel like: open, honest, pure worship for a shared Savior, despite cultural ties, languages, and preferences. It was so beautiful, to be worshipping and praying alongside such unfamiliarity so comfortably that my eyes welled with tears. I felt like what I was doing mattered and like it wouldn’t be over in just a few short hours.
Our host family’s oldest child and I had a little astronomy lesson tonight. From Hlane in eastern Swaziland, every star in the sky can be seen, as well as Jupiter and Venus. I pointed each of them out, the stars I know by name and constellations. There were easily hundreds, foreseeably thousands of stars visible.
You placed the stars in the sky and you know them by name. You are amazing, God.