Gathering of the Saints 

Today was a sunny Sunday in Eswatini! We worshipped this morning at Mafucula in a combined service between three association churches in the Northeast. After Sunday School, Jimmy preached a great word on 1 Peter and the idea of hope, and we had the privilege of taking the bread and the blood in holy communion with our Swazi friends. 

After taking some of our friends home, we had a short rest at the guesthouse and then shared a meal with the pastors and their wives and families at the Simunye Club. It was a sweet time of good conversation, gentle reflections, and relationship building. Today we’re grateful for the beautiful leadership our Swazi pastors, the incredible help of our translators (Xolani, Thembeka, and Simphiwe this weekend) and the ability to load a van down with far more than the legal limit. 🙂 

Today we had a chance to rest and reflect on our time so far in Eswatini so far before we move to the Shiselweni region tomorrow. One of the most common comments we’ve received over the last few days is how grateful our Swazi friends are for our presence. They’re deeply glad we’re here, in the flesh, worshipping, teaching, learning, preaching and growing with them. To be present with them is a gift. 

From the outside, it may seem like it makes more sense and would be more helpful to take the thousands of dollars it takes to come to a place like Eswatini and send the money to them rather than us fly around the world to be here.   But as the God commands us in His holy word,

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NIV)

We are reminded today that the gathering of the saints is a holy communion. It is a sacred gift to spend sweet time with these ones we love. God loves them far more intimately, but we are so grateful for these sweet moments with friends who are more like family across the ocean. 

“Hope is built on the past, looks forward to the future, and influences the present. It allows us to look forward with expectations while believing in the present blessings of eternity.”  – Jimmy’s sermon today 

The gathering of the saints together is the present blessings of eternity. These sweet moments bring deep gratitude.