Today is February 20, 2018, my 25th birthday. I am thinking about how thankful I am for all I learned being a part of Global Ministries and now as I work at my return placement with the Partners in Service program. Last week, I had a Partners in Service retreat where I had a chance to both reflect on my current assignment in Kentucky and my Global Ministries assignment, in Swaziland. During this time of reflection, I understood that I gained more patience and the ability to listen from my Swaziland placement - which ultimately helped me on my return with my current assignment by understanding my place and role in an organization. In the Zion Church, I learned about the importance of prayer and disciplined meditation. Knowing your place and being present are just some of the disciplines I learned in Swaziland.Read more
In the last two months the church has been remodeled in the pulpit area by one of our very own, Babe Gumedze, who is a pastor or “mfundisi” at Kukhany’Okusha. He has put new tiles around the perimeter of the windows as well as around the back wall where the main stage is. I watched him and was his assistant when he needed an extra pair of hands. Babe Gumedze has been doing this since he was twelve years old, more than thirty years. I learned that his favorite book in the Bible is Hebrews because no one knows who wrote it. It is also his favorite book because it is one of the books that talks about the relationship of connecting the Old Testament and the New Testament together. His work made me realize that doing things for God and the church are not always perfect. Babe Gumedze’s work was done by hand, which took patience and time. Babe did this out of love for the church; these are all things that God praises.
I found a new way of looking and perceiving the church’s role in my faith. I also, think it is more of a blessing doing things with your hands rather than machine. There is a humility and humbleness with hands. Babe Gumedze’s handcrafted work is beautiful and a blessing for the church. We all thank you Babe Gumedze for your hard work.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 5:13-20
Prayers for Swaziland:
Welcome to the new year of 2017! I would like to share a prayer…
We start fresh and anew in 2017 and as the children go back to school I pray for a blessed new year for Swaziland. They say 2017 is a time of action and success. I pray that the Kukhany’Okusha Zion Church and fellow members be the salt of good taste. I pray that God's grace makes Swaziland shine bright. I pray that the youth of Kukhany’Okusha have a good first day back to school. I pray for many passings and high marks/achievements in their first term back.
Global Ministries has enjoyed a long relationship with the Council of Swaziland churches. The fundamental objective of the Council of Swaziland Churches is to coordinate the efforts of member churches and Christian organizations in furthering the unity of God's Church as the body of Christ in eSwatini (Swaziland). And, the effect goes beyond ecumenism and the unified spiritual and moral development of the Christians who belong to the member churches. In its encouragement of member churches and Christian organizations to undertake joint action in serving the needs of society, the Council brings a practical perspective to its work. It seeks to build self-reliance within the churches, empowering them through training to enable them to initiate and implement a range of development activities to help relieve and reduce poverty, especially in rural areas.Read more
Carol Ann Cannon Gilley
November 18, 1936 – September 19, 2016
Lillian Marie Moir
August 25, 1940 – November 13, 2015
As we work with the Neighborhood Care Points (NCPs) here in Swaziland, we are reminded of Jesus’ love for children. Many AIDS orphans are left behind due to the scourge of a terrible disease and of course they are innocent victims. Most of the NCPs are in rural areas that are sometimes hard to reach by car during the rainy season. Each NCP with which we are familiar has 2 “Grannies” who fix one hot meal per day for school age children and preschoolers, as well as trying to provide preschool training for the young ones. In addition, on Sundays the building houses church services. When these Grannies (or Go Gos as they are called here) show up each morning, rain or shine, they represent all Christians who take seriously the call to be “our brother’s keeper.”Read more
Lectionary Selection: Mark 8:31-38
Prayers for Swaziland:
We know that many times we get caught up in focusing on worldly things, so we ask for your help in refocusing our hearts and minds.
We humbly ask that you
Enlighten what may be dark in us…..
Strengthen what may be weak in us…..
Mend what may be broken in us…..
Bind what may be bruised in us…..
Heal what may be sick in us…..
And please revive whatever Peace & Love that may have died in us…..
In the Awesome name of Jesus,
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.
Greetings once again from the Kingdom of Swaziland! We have been pleased to watch the NCP (Neighborhood Care Point) at Mgungundlovu successfully growing many vegetables. In fact, on one trip recently, we brought back a carload of fresh lettuce to be sold by a local shop. The peppers, carrots, cabbage, sweet potatoes, maize, etc. continue to grow thanks to the work of several proud gardeners. At the other NCPs, Gogos (Grandmothers) continue to provide much needed preschool training and warm food for children.Read more