Broken Pieces, Broken Bread 

Today was one of those beautiful bright and bold Saturdays in northern Eswatini. With temps reaching a balmy 81 degrees for what is “Eswatini winter” in sugar country, we spent the day in ministry at Mafucula, teaching, preaching, playing and worshipping. 

Elinor taught the adults in the morning while Olivia led the children, with singing and bible stories under that big tree that bathes the banks of the creek in shade. After a chaotic lunch break feeding nearly 80 people (we planned for 50!), we jumped into a time of separated study for ladies, men, and children. We finished with a short worship service led by Jimmy, who preached an awesome message on Nicodemus! We’re grateful for sweet faces of friends, full hearts and bellies, a slower pace, and an authentic day full of Jesus. 

While aggressively slathering peanut butter and pop-tab apricot jelly onto crumbly brown bread in the back of a white van once again, I am struck by the Lord’s consistent provision. God always provides when we need Him. He shows up. But God often shows up in the broken places and in the messy things. Today was a day full of broken things in some ways – snotty noses, underprepared bible studies, broken bread in the back of a van. 

“Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.” (Matthew 14:19-20, ESV)

Jesus takes our broken pieces, our half-things, our attempts and our failures to launch and crafts beauty. He takes the lunch of a small boy and makes it work for 5000. He too stretches peanut butter and nik naks and juice concentrate into the perfect amount for the present moment. 

Our broken loaves are His beautiful redemption at work. Even crumbly brown bread in the back of a van can be Jesus.