Back in Swaziland from two months home in Bethany finds us more ready than we anticipated for doing what comes next.
While home we had multiple meetings regarding BFC’s Swaziland Partnership. We spent many hours with Barbi discussing the coming Go Teams, with Bill Dillard regarding construction of Siteki English Church and work at Manna Farms, with Tim Brown and Ann Loper regarding finances, a pleasant lunch with Pastor and Annette Harvey (Pastor Harvey is coming to Swaziland in March), Ellyn Marsh regarding Celebrate Recovery, SNU’s Joel Mullen coordinator for student mission teams, we skyped with pastors and laymen from Texas and California who are coming to Swaziland in March, and had a Saturday working breakfast with the BFC Swaziland Partnership Council who laid hands on and prayed for us. In our home we hosted the SNU student Go Team. Having all of these planning sessions after living in Swaziland four months has brought into focus not only what we have to do in our last six months but also where to go and whom to call on to get the jobs done.
So, after 20,000 miles round trip we are again in Manzini, Swaziland prepared for the work ahead.
The first four months were relationship building, learning our way around geographically, getting familiar with the culture, and seeing needs to relate back to Bethany.
The next six months we are here to do the coordinating for the coming Go Teams. Barbi and her secretary Pat Burton will do much of the coordinating from Bethany, i.e.: air and hotel reservations, state-side making sure everybody has passports, shots, that sort of thing. Over here we will be busy coordinating work sites, work teams, local transportation, restaurant reservations, meetings with pastors, district superintendents, churches, church dinners, Sunday services, and a myriad of miscellaneous minutia, all of which is vitally important for a flawless experience of those coming to Swaziland at personal financial and other expense to participate in BFC’s Swaziland Partnership.
As the days fly by and the task before us unfolds I’ll blog and let you know what we’re doing, and how it is coming along.
One cannot be here in this capacity without being moved with compassion by the needs we see and the overwhelming love and giving from you back home. Whatever I write about the mechanics of coordinating, intrinsic to it all is the attempt to convey the spirit of love motivating all of us on both sides of the Atlantic, and I must say more than just Americans because help comes from Europe, Asia, Canada, and other places around the world.
The Swazi people repeatedly, sincerely, and emphatically want us to tell you how much they appreciate all our Partnership is doing to help them spiritually, physically, and relationally to be a well nation.
The needs are great but the illustration of the beach comber tossing star fish back into the ocean applies here. The needs are so many, but what we are doing makes a difference to this one, and that one, and this one, and that one.
A wonderful song is ringing in my mind:
Make Me a Blessing
Sing to the Lord #533
Out on the highways and bi-ways of life,
Many are weary and sad.
Carry the sunshine where darkness is rife,
Making the sorrowing glad.
Give as was given to you in your need.
Love as the Master loved you.
Be to the helpless a helper indeed.
Unto your mission be true.
Make Me a Blessing, Make Me a Blessing.
Out of my life may Jesus shine.
Make Me a Blessing, O Savior I pray.
Make Me a Blessing to someone today.