The call of the Gospel is simple: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20, ESV) This verse is at the very core of the ministry of the Swazi Partnership. We directly affirm the call to go and share the name of Jesus to ends of the earth, but especially to the Kingdom of Swaziland.
Over the past two decades, with the help of missionaries on the field and our own experiences with Swazi culture, we have developed specific evangelistic opportunities to reach as many Swazis as possible. These include both personal and collective opportunities to explicitly share the Gospel, and occur on nearly early every short-term trip sent to Swaziland.
Homestead visits are the “bread and butter” of our Swaziland teams. With the guidance of our Swazi brothers and sisters, American teams are sent out with Swazi translators to visit the traditional homesteads of Swazi people. During these visits with the elderly and the sick, songs are sung, prayers are lifted, and the Gospel is shared.
These visits also often coincide with a delivery of food or a Baptist Global Response bucket, full of basic medical and personal grooming supplies. These visits provide opportunities for those in rural communities who are often unable to attend church (due to illness, age, or other maladies) the chance to hear the Gospel in their heart language. Over the last two decades, we have seen many, often close to death, come to know Jesus. These visits give those who may never hear the Gospel the opportunity to know Jesus.
Another significant evangelistic effort carried out by short-term teams are tent revivals. These evening revival services, held in one location across multiple days are important to reaching rural communities with the Gospel. The location for the revival is chosen in conjunction with Swazi pastors (to be held where the need is greatest) and is advertised by word of mouth throughout the churches in the weeks leading up to the event.
Each service can last to upwards of three hours, and includes boisterous worship, singing, and dancing. The Gospel is then shared by one of the pastors, and an altar call is usually held. The sound of the worship and the sight of the tent often draws new visitors, and those who have never heard the Gospel preached. Revivals are a powerful tool in the Kingdom of Swaziland. Dozens have committed to following Jesus during these services, and they continue to be at the heart of our ministry.