re: makhosanzana [what a great name!]

Makhosanzana and Teacher Sindi

Makhosanzana and Teacher Sindi

Even at 12 years of age, Makhosanzana is a beautiful young girl who stands almost as tall as her Cup teacher Sindi Mduduli.  She has a beaming smile and is one of Cup’s SwaziStars at Ngwane Park CarePoint, and she is growing in the Lord week by week!

Makhosanzana got saved at the CarePoint through Kids’ Club 2 years ago.  She had been coming to eat occasionally before, but has been at the CarePoint every day since she met Jesus!  She will tell you that her favorite part about the CarePoint is the KidsClub and the SwaziStars Bible study … because “God changed my life through them!”

At KidsClub in Swaziland, 40+ teachers at Cup’s 19 CarePoints have the chance to use fun and stories to share the gospel of Jesus and the truths about issues of life/health/hygiene/relationships with thousands of kids twice each week!  And many children are being transformed by the power of Jesus and the forgiveness of sin in His blood!

Recently, Makhosanzana’s mother met Teacher Sindi along the road and thanked her for all the changes in her daughter’s life – “she’s a different girl at home and she is doing very well in her schooling!”  Many kids don’t study and pray for God’s help.  But not Makhosanzana – “…she studies hard, and prays to God for help, and she is doing very well,” says Sindi.

Makhosanzana wants to grow up and marry a godly man and have children of her own.  She dreams of becoming a teacher, so that she can give to others what God has given to her through her Children’s Cup teacher, Sindi.

Would you pray with us for Makhosanzana, that God would grow her up as a godly woman here in Swaziland, and that He might use her as part of a transformed generation?  And also for her teacher, Sindi that God would provide all that she needs and that she might continue to be used by God to have an impact on more kids in her area?

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re:boot

walking with people in the pain of the problems of life:

…simply devastating.

realizing that solutions are farther off than expected:

…tragedy indescribable.

coming to grips with the aspect of my ego in the desire to provide solutions:

…utterly paralyzing.

being reminded of Grace for egomaniacs and blind men:

…re:boot the thinking, one more time…

re: my last 7 hours…

…that is, my last 7 hours today … not my last 7 ever…

I woke up feeling like a train ran over me, and it seems the family flu has caught up to me.  So Dayquil and Advil it is for breakfast, with a skip the gym morning, and a few extra cups of coffee.

So now you know that anything I write about needs to be taken with an understanding of my physical and emotional condition.  I’m a wreck.

8.15am – Mancoba calls me from our CarePoint to tell me that one of our cooks has died in the night.  Of the 8 of them, I am not sure who he is describing.  I told Him I would see him after lunch.

9.00am – my team shows up for Discipleship team meeting.  Good stuff, looking back at this year, and ahead to next.  Talking about the transition into Danny’s [new guy] leadership as I transition out for our end of time with Childrens Cup in January.

By 10am we are reviewing our camp from the last weekend with a group of 200 youth, and the conversation turns to the guys/girls discussion time re:sex/love/relationships.  The girls were especially interactive and frank, and here was the headline question:

“I hear what you’re saying that we shouldn’t give away our bodies so easily to any guy, but you also say we should obey our parents.  It’s spring – the fields need plowing- and my mom tells me to go find an older man who will sleep with me and pay for our fields to be plowed…what should I do?

[long pause – let that sink in]

It’s now 4pm, and I’m still nauseous.  If it were one girl, easy, let me pay for the field to be plowed.  But according to the 5 Swazi’s I’ve talked with this about since 10am, this is the norm.  My teachers said any man can buy a girl for sex from almost any family for an $8- bag of rice, or a $15- fee to plow the fields.

1pm – another meeting, I have no idea what it was about.

2pm – at Madonsa, the cook who died, left her husband and 2 kids, who both come to the CarePoint.  She was young – mid-30s, and very healthy looking.  I never expected it to be her.

She had the most beautiful smile, always with a hint of mischief as she served.  I miss her already.

She had not tested for HIV, even though some teachers had urged her.  She was fine, and then went to hospital sick, and died two weeks later.

3pm – As I left the CarePoint, beautiful children chased my car down the ‘road’ calling out my name in Siswati, which means “our hope.”  And the tears welled up as I bounced thru the potholes… Oh Jesus, whom have I but You?

I have buried 2 staff members and 1 student in 6 weeks. [this is just at our 2 CarePoints -Cup has 19 total in Swaziland alone]

After 5 years here in Swaziland it hurts more than ever.

I want to be angry.  I want to sleep.  I want to run.  I want to fight.  I want to yell. I want escape.  I want to curse.  I want to weep.  And the weeping comes…

And I’m not even the one effected by all of this.  I don’t have a mom selling my body for 4 days of rice.  I don’t need to sell my kids for food.  I am not going to get HIV from a sexual partner outside of marriage.  I did not lose my mom or wife today.

Truth is, my last 7 hours would be like a dream for most of those kids ….