Today the team traveled hundreds of kilometers once again to our final destination of Eswatini – we have arrived!

We are exhausted, and we are spent, but we are here.

Our team is made of up 11 members – 4 brand-new to Eswatini, and 7 returning to this incredible place. That return almost feels like a homeward call, as the chilly winter mountain air of Eswatini has beckoned us welcome today.

After crossing the border we stopped at Ngwenya glass for a few souvenirs and a short but picturesque rest, and continued onto our guest house where we will stay for the duration of the upcoming Youth Leaders Retreat beginning tomorrow.

Our theme for this trip is “Hope Has A Name,” and our theme verses come from Isaiah 40:31 and Hebrews 10:23. These verses speak to the faithfulness of God, over and over again. Isaiah talks about waiting on the Lord, and certainly this was a trip born out waiting.

Many of you will know that our July trip was cancelled last year at the very last minute due to political unrest in Eswatini. Between the rioting and COVID-19, for those of returning to Eswatini, that wait has felt very, very long. For others of us, this trip has been years in the making, waiting to come (for the first time) or come back.

But God has been faithful in the waiting. Even in the midst of the bleak times, dark, cold times.

God has heard the cries of His people. He knows our hearts for this nation. Today we see the beginning of some of those prayers being answered for those on this trip. God’s faithfulness to us is being displayed in a glorious way by bringing us safely to this place for a time such as this.

Tonight the power went out at our guesthouse while waiting for dinner. The lovely women at our guesthouse still provided dinner. A hot meal feels deeply faithful tonight. A propane heater is evidence of God’s faithfulness tonight. Hot showers is faithfulness in action.

God hears the prayers of His people. He is working. He is moving. Let us listen and praise.