I’ll be processing my trip to Swaziland for a long, long time, but for now there is one more issue I want to discuss. Perhaps these four photos will explain what’s on my heart:
How do you sum up such an intense experience as a trip to a CarePoint in Swaziland?
Turning off the main highway, our minibus bumped over the rocky gravel road toward Gege, Swaziland. Tree farms, with their orderly rows of pine and eucalyptus, gave way to grassy hillsides, cattle, and the occasional small cinder block building. I tried to snap some photos from the moving bus, with limited success.
About ten minutes into our 40-minute ride, we bounced past a run-down homestead flying a worn, solid black flag. Odd, I thought, and asked our missionary host what the flag signified. He explained that some Swaziland belonged to a cult that worshiped a nasty snake idol/demon, and the flag meant that a snake “church” met at this home. Apparently, Gege was the epicenter of this cult.
I’m back. Or, at least my body is now present in Colorado, United States. The rest of me, I’m not so sure.
Part of me is here, glad to be home. Part of me is still in Swaziland—with the children and “go-gos”(grandmothers) at the Gege CarePoint and with the missionaries from South Africa, Zambia, and the U.S. who are bringing light into a very dark place. I’m sure some scattered pieces of myself left a trail as we traveled. It will be some time before I can gather all my thoughts into a coherent, organized whole. After all, I only got home yesterday.
For now, what I want to tell you is that prayer works! You know that already, right? After all, why pray if God never answers. That would be pointless. Most of the time, however, we more or less take it on faith that our prayers accomplish something. These last two weeks, I saw answers in action.
But I don’t want to go to London!
According to our return itinerary, our Swazi mission team has a twelve hour layover at Heathrow Airport, in London. Of course, my teammates want to take advantage of the time to see some sights. I totally understand—who wouldn’t jump at the chance to spend some time in one of the most interesting cities in the world?
Me, for one.
I can’t believe that October 12 is almost here. After months and months of preparation—planning, praying, working, packing—we’re finally going!
Tomorrow afternoon our team assembles at the church parking lot, luggage in tow. After piling into a 15-passenger church van, Pete will drive us to Denver International Airport, a bit over an hour away. Our first flight, to London, is scheduled to leave at 7:45 that evening. Somehow, in spite of our anticipation and excitement, we’re supposed to sleep on the plane. By the time we arrive at Heathrow it will be just after noon the next day (local time).
Here are the other two prayer points for my upcoming trip to Swaziland. If you missed the first two, I posted them last time.
While we don’t want to overlook opportunities to share God’s love along the way, the primary purpose of our trip is to serve the orphans and their caretakers at a particular CarePoint in Swaziland. Some of the children who attend live with extended family, many live on their own, with only brothers and sisters to care for them—or for them to care for. They’ve watched their parents and other family members die, mostly from AIDS. They’re scared, alone, hungry, and to a large degree, unloved.