Lectionary Selection: Colossians 1: 11-20
Prayers for Swaziland:
Siyabonbga Baba (Thank You Father)
For you know our needs, as well as the needs of this world. Reach out with love and forgiveness to reconcile all things and remind us we are your hands and body in this reconciliation.
We pray for your church throughout the world asking for forgiveness for divisions that separate us. We also ask for the strength to heal the wounds that these divisions have caused. We ask that your church be united and strengthened by Christ, as it is Christ who holds all things together for your will.
We pray for those on the Earth, who hold the power and responsibility of authority. We pray that the spirit of Jesu, Inkosi Inkosi (Christ the King) will open their eyes to humility and willingness so they may stand as equals, to those who depend on them for their earthly leadership.
We pray for all who suffer pain, loss, mental distress, cruelty, and the angst this world has to offer. We ask that God’s power and spirit infuse and strengthen them with the healing peace of Jesus and God’s loves dwells within them.
Siyabonbga Baba --> (Thank You Father). You brought us from darkness into the light of Christ. Help us walk in this earthly world as citizens of your kindom with the empowerment of salvation through Jesus Christ. In Christ’s name. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Swaziland:
This week Diana assisted Thembi, the church secretary, in putting together a year-end.
report for the Annual Meeting of the Zion churches in Swaziland. Diana scanned this year's thank you's we received and all the requests for additional educational support for the orphans and vulnerable children supported by the church. These children have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS and or one or both parents have become ill with HIV/AIDS.
After a few moments of scanning, Diana said to me with tears in her eyes, "If we ever doubted why we were here, these children have answered that question."
In addition to the thank you notes and requests for support next year, are death certificates.
Most of these certificates were signed by caretakers or grandmothers (“Gogo’s”) and only a few were signed by either a father or mother. In rural areas, where clinics are few, the death toll continues to rise over the last few years Swaziland has been at the top of the list for HIV/AIDS in the World.
After looking at the monetary requests for an entire school year, Diana was struck by how much such small donations would buy. Donations buy the required school uniforms with shoes, plus a few tablets and pencils. The amount allotted to each student is $50 (U.S.). The uniform, depending on size, costs between $12.99 and $18.99 but that does not include shoes. The average allotment covers the purchase of a uniform and a pair of new shoes. In many areas Gogo's pass along shoes at a discount allowing for the purchase of additional tablets and pencils. Of course, this means students must wash and wear the same uniform all year.
I began by mentioning Thembi, our church secretary who lost her parents at a very young age and who is cared for by her Granny. Now that Thembi is in her twenties, she takes care of her elderly Granny. Thembi is fortunate to have a job that provides, but out of her paycheck comes transportation fees to and from her rural homestead. In addition, she walks five plus miles past the bus station to get to the church. If errands need to be done for the church, she walks. Her wages provide electricity for lights and minimal food for Thembia and her Granny. She buys Millie-Meal in bulk packages to stretch the food supply through the month. All of these expenses are met on $84 a month.
May we fall on our knees and sing praises of thanks to our Creator for the many gifts we are blessed with. As we thank God for our blessings let us remember to share in kind with others around the world. In the U.S. we love to share with our families during the November Thanksgiving holiday. How can we share our abundance with brothers and sisters around the world?
Jesus shared God's love with the woman at the well. How do we share our blessings? May God give us a burning desire to help the poor and disadvantaged in God's Holy name. Donations have already made a difference for some. How do we find ways to make a difference for many more? Let us remember this Thanksgiving to give of ourselves and our material wealth to those disadvantaged brothers and sisters in Christ. Give through Global Ministries.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Diane & Terry Hutter)
Mission Partners in Swaziland:
- Council of Swaziland Churches
- Kukhany'Okusha Zion Church
- Video Resources about Swaziland:
- SWAZILAND: the church must go to the people (Samuel Mkhonta, Kukhany'Okusha Zion Church )
More information on Swaziland: http://globalministries.org/africa/countries/swaziland/
Global Ministries Missionary in Swaziland:
Diana Hutter, a member of First Christian Church, Augusta, Kansas, will serve a two year term with Khukhan'Okusha Zion Church in Swaziland as a coordinator of development programs.
Terry Hutter, a member of First Christian Church, Augusta, Kansas, will serve a two year term with Khukhan'Okusha Zion Church in Swaziland as a coordinator of development programs.