Lectionary Selection: Genesis 29:15–28
Prayers for Swaziland:
O God, thank you for your word in the Bible, which educates and encourages us. Thank you for the life and sacrifice of Jesus, who provides us with a path to follow. Like Jacob, help us all to be flexible and patient for your will to be done. We remind ourselves that God does not choose only the well-equipped, but equips those who are committed to serving. Help us each to find new ways to serve you in our church, our neighborhood, and our world. In Jesus’ holy and precious name, Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Swaziland:
In Genesis, Chapter 29, we read that Jacob expected to be joined in marriage with Rachel, but Leah was the wife he was given first. Similarly, when we came to Africa to do mission work, we expected mostly to be helping AIDS orphans at Swaziland’s Neighborhood Care Points (NCPs). Instead, we find ourselves occasionally helping with the NCPs, but more often working patiently with several young adults, some of whom are indeed AIDS orphans. When we think of orphans, we usually remember the adorable faces of young children shown on television by organizations asking for donations. What we have found in this part of Africa is that those who survive being orphaned still often have difficult young adult lives due to poverty and lack of available jobs. Wages are low for many, so people often eat the cheapest food, which frequently leads to poor health. The government provides free health care, but the wait for care can be long.
One of the AIDS orphans we are helping is Pumi, a young adult who is 28. She has been orphaned since her mom died when Pumi was in 3rd grade. (Her dad had left before she was born.) She and her Granny are allowed to live in the rooms of an uncle’s rural homestead, where there is no well. Despite the odds, Pumi managed to finish high school and earn a secretarial certificate thereafter. She supports herself and Granny as well as she can by working as a secretary. Pumi has a strong faith and sweet spirit, so we have come to love her dearly. During this last year, Granny was showing signs of dementia, and Pumi has suffered from a lung abscess which causes her to have difficulty breathing, sleeping, and working. Lately, we spend days taking Pumi to doctors and the hospital while trying to see that Granny has food. When Pumi has pain, we cry with her and we pray with her. Since we are trained educators rather than medical workers, we had not expected to become “experts” in lung abscess management. However, even “old dogs can learn new tricks.” We plan to continue serving God as we learn many new things including the true meaning of “patience.”
Thank you for your support of this work and for praying for this ministry.
Mission Partners in Swaziland:
More information on Swaziland:
Global Ministries Missionary in Swaziland:
Diane Hutter and Terry Hutter, members of First Christian Church, Augusta, Kansas, serve with Khukhan'Okusha Zion Church in Swaziland as coordinators of development programs.