We woke from a restful night to a gorgeous mountain view that is breathtakingly beautiful. After a delicious breakfast, we divided up to run errands for Youth Leader’s Retreat. Some went for firewood and groceries along with Swazi friends to Manzini. Others went into Mbabane to buy jugs of water and supplies for a Children’s Ministry that we anticipate may occur simultaneously with Youth Leader’s Retreat. This group also packed all supplies that will be used on Saturday for ministry.
Time finally arrived to start our mission work in Manzini. It felt as if we had race horses locked behind a gate ready to start their race. Our team, especially our youth, were so ready for the gate to open. Wow, the team immediately jumped in and joined God at work! As the youth were arriving at Manzini Baptist Church, our youth greeted and met everybody who arrived. They instantly joined the neighborhood children who had gathered outside the church. Tripp taught a child how to play his ukulele. Needless to say, the children were amazed. Carter organized a game while Hensley and Sarah were playing hard and including all the children in the game. As always, the Swazi youth trickled in throughout the beginning of the meeting. Some traveled 2 hours by bus or kombi. Several youth left school and caught the public transport without even a blanket for either night. Sleeping on a cold concrete floor will not be comfortable, but they are so happy to be at the retreat.
The indescribable singing voices of the Swazis makes worship unforgettable. Anybody who has heard them sing understands completely. Our youth were fired up for Jesus. They led the retreat in a fun game that the Swazis loved. Tripp and Carter shared the rules and then the fun began. Sarah played a savvy game of gaga ball. Several adults played and were eliminated immediately. Being agile is important! We were proud of Wesley, our birthday man, giving a great effort in a very fast-paced game of gaga. (Apologizes are sent for not knowing the full name of this new game that Tripp introduced.)
The team introduced themselves and greeted the group. Meeting our first time team members was special for the Swazis. Wesley shared that he has been married 46 years and the youth gasped in amazement. It is so important for them to hear from Christian men about their faithfulness and family. The youth were so pleased to hear from Greg and Lisa and about First Baptist Church members.
Jimmy led the opening night session speaking about guarding your heart. He shared about how our hearts only have one seat, one throne and that is for God. God does not share His seat with anyone or anything. After the message, we had dinner. Several youth leaders cooked the traditional rice, chicken and vegetables. It is a real treat for the youth. Our ladies served plates and our youth eagerly carried the plates to the Swazis. We enjoyed the meal as well.
Hensley smiled so much at the retreat her cheeks hurt her. Carter and Tripp led with stellar leadership skills. Sarah illustrated beast-like competitive skills in gaga ball. Needless to say, we all had a great time worshiping the Lord and fellowshipping with our Swazi friends.
Just saying …. Jack Cherry found Matthew’s passport on the church floor and returned it promptly to Matthew. For all who know Jack, we all just say WOW.
Thank you for your prayer support. We are excited to join God at work for the Saturday sessions of the YLR.