Partners in Christ

What does it mean to be in a partnership? 

Today we traveled from the Lubombo region to Mbabane, the capital city of Eswatini, with quite a few stops along the way – petrol, the mile long market, the Mantenga craft center for lunch, and the Swazi Cultural Center for a tour of a traditional homestead and Swazi dancing. A great day of travel, seeing the countryside, watching the scenery change and the temperatures drop. We are certainly in the highveld now. 

Every team has a different dynamic – some are big, some are small, some are lighthearted, some are serious, some are young, some are more seasoned. This team has become such an interesting time. 

Our two translators, Mpumelelo and Xolani, have been traveling with us, and if you know anything about these two men, you know two things to be true: they love to serve the Lord and they love to serve our teams. They will jump at the chance to change a tire, wrangle children before church, translate both on the road and doing ministry. In some way, the very best of doing these trips is getting to do life with them for two weeks. 

So our team of five has become a wild time. From discussing our childhood penchant for fistfights to embracing a deep discussion of the qualifications to become a pastor, this team has cultivated real relationship, laughed a lot, but also pushed one another on theology, belief, and what it means to follow a Jesus. 

And that’s why this is a partnership.

The word partnership often has an economic connotation, because we place our value on it. In Philippians 1, Paula tell us, “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” – Philippians‬ ‭1‬:‭3‬-‭5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

So to enter into partnership with Paul in the gospel means to enter into the relationship that puts the gospel as the shared goal that shapes everything in both parties. 

That’s what real partnership is. That’s why this ministry continues – because the gospel is first. Even on a day of travel, a lighthearted day with pizza and a thousand questions about why the Swazis are the way that they are, the gospel is at the center of it all.

So tomorrow we go forward to ministry at Lesibovu, with the knowledge that this team and this ministry, Swazi and Americans are united in the gospel. We are partners with one another and partners with Christ.
Above all else.