To tell you today’s story about Eswatini, we actually have to travel back to last night! After returning to our guesthouse from dinner, we had a bit of a tussle with a retaining wall which resulted in a blown tire. This ended up being a giant blessing in disguise, however. Once we took the tire off the van, we realized why the tires have struggled to hold air – the back tires of our van were stripped to the steel rims.
After touching base with the rental company, today we switched our van for a baki, or a pickup truck, which means our lovely translators (Xolani and Mpumelelo who are saints) are riding in the bed for now. We should get a new van tomorrow before we leave Shiselweni. Please pray we do!
Regardless of that chaos, we had a great day of ministry. Maggie and Elinor led ladies bible study at Thunzini while the others took care of the car situation! After a quick peanut butter bag lunch, we headed to Matsenjeni for homestead visits, which were incredibly successful. Olivia led children’s church snd then Jimmy held a prayer service with the ladies. Finally, we covered the children in about 500 stickers (no joke), and then headed back to the guesthouse for sweet, sweet and much needed rest.
The weather today was just stunning – bright, perfectly clear day with the slightest hint of a breeze. As wind whispered through the whole of that thin tin structure at Matsenjeni, the walls rattled with the sound of Xolani’s voice translating Olivia’s story of God’s creation to a crowd of young, patient listeners. As she described the light separating from the darkness, the daylight bathed the concrete pad through the door and the windows of the church, casting brilliant rays onto the floor and into the faces of these beautiful, gentle children. That sun feels like the face of God Himself shining down on us. This space feels holy – like the sun may never set on this day, this moment.
““May the Lord bless you and protect you; may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord look with favor on you and give you peace.”’” (Numbers 6:24-26 CSB)
Even in the midst of great fear with stripped tires, sudden chaos with new cars and trucks, messy moments of confusion or miscommunication, the sun still shines. God turns his face towards us. He shows his graciousness towards us in these sun chasing moments, in the voices of our friends greeting us, in the hugs of our community, in the faces of these sweet children reciting the Lord’s Prayer, faces and arms covered in stickers – that same prayer we know.
Nukulukuku wetembekile. Let us stand in the sun.