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Making Choices, Improving Lives

Written by Wayne & Ingrid Wilson
April 12, 2006

Wayne & Ingrid Wilson - Swaziland

One of the greatest lessons to learn when serving the disadvantaged and marginalized is that they like to make choices too.

{mosimage}So often, when people are inspired to give to others who are less fortunate than themselves, they approach those who they want to serve, offer what they have, and wait for a response. The responses are not always what are expected, but almost without fail a response is received.

The Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church (KZC) has a relationship with an HIV Hospice in Manzini, Swaziland known as Hope. Last January, KZC leaders decided that it wanted to share a portion of their received funds for HIV ministries with Hope House, so they set aside about R3000.00 (about $500.00) to be shared. Initially, the leaders offered Hope House food supplements, because it is common knowledge that people who are taking drug regiments must eat nutritious food. However, representatives from the KZC leadership went to Hope House, sat down with its director, Ms. Sarah Dlamini, and dialogued to discover ways in which KZC could assist this most worthy community project. This allowed Hope House leaders to make a choice.

Most people who are reading this article might think that the task of asking, “What do you need?” and receiving a response is at most a 15-minute conversation. But in Swaziland, one must enter one’s office, spend at least 10-15 minutes giving updates on their families, 10-15 minutes on their day, 10-15 minutes on their activities, and finally the topic at hand is discussed.

As the conversation began, Rev. S. Mkhonta, KZC General Secretary, shared with Ms. Dlamini what the church had to offer. Then he gave her one or two suggestions on how we might be able to assist. Without giving a quick response, Ms. Dlamini waited for about 30 seconds, thanked the KZC leaders for their concern and willingness to share, and then she offered suggestions on how the funds may be used. In the end, the dialogue, the exchange was more important than the outcome of the conversation, because each party understood the importance of what they were offering and why. Ms. Dlamini offered her expertise; Rev. Mkhonta offered his church’s financial gift and together they both would be enriched.

Pictured in this article is the outcome of the conversation- a secondary water pump. It turned out that another donor had recently donated an industrial washer and dryer to Hope House. However, Hope House has the problem of low water pressure. The secondary pump increases the pressure of water to the washing machine, allowing for soiled linens and clothing to be cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized properly. As a result, the pump will truly be a blessing to the entire Hope House community. It just goes to demonstrate that asking pertinent questions is often far more helpful than offering solutions.

May God continue to bless you, the KZC church, and all the missionaries in the world who are trying to make a difference in these blessed but challenging times.

Ingrid and Wayne Wilson
Your Missionaries in Swaziland and Mozambique

Wayne and Ingrid Wilson are missionaries with the Kukhany'okusha Zion Church. They are development project officers.

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