July 21, 2016
Seeing or hearing about life transformation is such an exciting thing. Our first home visit here in Swaziland we were part of the team to lead a family to Christ. You could see the countenance of the husband (whose father was there too) change. They asked for a Bible which we got the next day and had sent to the family. We will be better prepared next time. We can't give them an English Bible as they need one in their heart language.
It was during another home visit that we heard about life transformation. And it had to do with Bheki who is the Good News Club coordinator and who we are traveling around with this week.
The family were strong Christians and greeted us in the Name of Jesus. The husband (and father of a 16 year old who has Cerebral Palsy) shared with us a bit about his faith and their church. We heard later that he had been a faithful follower of Jesus and had a great job. Then he lost the job and with the challenges of a child with disability as well as two other kids, he sunk into despair and started drinking heavily. He and Bheki knew each other from the beer hall. Then Bheki started helping the missionaries to do some carpentry tasks. Even with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in another, he was a good carpenter.
He ended up going to a Child Evangelism Training begrudgingly and had an amazing encounter with the Lord. Now he is sober and a strong evangelist. And so is the man whose child has CP. It is so fun to be in the room with these two men worshipping God all together.
For 14 years this family has cared for their child who can't sit up, can't eat anything but soft food, can't speak or walk. And they praise God for His faithfulness. In fact they named their youngest child a name that means "faithfulness" in thanks to God.
When we were debriefing this visit, I shared that I often wonder when I visit hospice patients at home who lie in bed unable to speak or are often just sleeping most of the day, why God doesn't take them home. Many are strong Christians which we know from their family members. But as we talked about as a team, God uses such situations for His glory. We don't always know what that is but in this case we could only wonder if one was how this family worked together to care for the child and how their church helped too.
Our VBS children had donated bags and bags of stuffed animals as well as socks and beanies (it's winter here). When we pulled up to this home, I grabbed a blue elephant stuffed animal from the bag knowing it was a boy we were visiting. Little did I know though that if you touched the leg, it played music. So we put it next to the boy laying on the mat in the middle of the floor and someone inadvertently touched the leg and it played a tune. The boy smiled and made some noises conveying to us how much he liked it. Only God knew that was the right toy or what they call here "baby". We went back out to the van and found a darling pink elephant to give to the younger sister. You can imagine how much time and attention the son takes and how the daughter needs special attention too. In fact the family talked about having to be intentional about this.
It has been a full four days. We thank God for these opportunities and for you who are reading this and helped make it possible.