Shining in the Darkness

Isaiah 58:9-10, 12
If you do away with the yoke of oppression. . . if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness. . .Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and. . . you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls. . .

We feel so connected to the people here that it seems like we’ve been in Swaziland much longer than a week and a half.

We’ve had time to play with children at the care points, to sing with them and dance with them.

We’ve also had time to cry with them over injuries and physical and emotional needs that we know we can not possibly meet in the few days we have to be here.

We’ve held desperately sick and abandoned babies in the hospital and prayed with mothers whose 18 month old children look like underfed 3 month old infants.

We’ve spent time in communities where there is no clean water to drink, and the parents cannot find enough wood to cook their food let alone boil contaminated water to give to their children.

We’ve trained and worked alongside the teachers from all the care points and played games and eaten meals with them.

We’ve been back to the same care points several times and hung out with the teachers enough that we’ve all made special bonds with the ones God has made most precious to us. They’ve accepted us into their lives and now we’re preparing to leave.

At times it’s been difficult to experience all this, to see the darkness that’s a part of everyday life here, and know we’re walking away. But then we see shining examples of God’s light bursting out from the dry, dusty, needy world around us.

We spent a hot, dirty couple of days in a community re-plastering the house of one of Children’s Cup’s volunteer cooks so that the wind and rain wouldn’t come through the walls of her home. We finished at the end of the day and headed back to the care point a couple streets over. When we rounded the corner, there was the care point: a bright, colorful, joyful place in the midst of the dusty, downtrodden neighborhood where we had been working.

We came to find out that one of the girls that had been so precious to the team was the daughter of the cook who lives in the very house we had just fixed up.

One of the neighbor’s two young brothers had been pitching in to help us work-two helpful little boys, doing a better job than most of us inexperienced volunteers, by the way.

I asked the older sister if she had any kids of her own, and she said, “Oh no, sister, first I must get a job, then I will get a husband and have children.” Which reminds me of what one of the teachers said when I asked him if he had any children, “No, I am not married, but I have many children at the care point. I must take care of them first.”

The impact that Children’s Cup is making in the lives of the children they take care of is awesome. The kids sing prayers and listen to Bible stories as well as learning English, going to school, being fed, getting medical care, being held and loved and told they are so precious to God.

It’s so obvious that the longer children have spent at the care points, the healthier, freer, and more joyful they are.

But beyond that, the light shines to the community around the care points-to the families of the children who are touched, to the neighbors who are influenced and encouraged.

Partnering with Children’s Cup for the seemingly short time we’ve been here has allowed us to sow seeds into all that they do.

The time that we’ve spent pouring love into and equipping the teachers will reap a great harvest for the children.

The work that we’ve done painting and plastering in the community will impact families in the surrounding areas.

The extra tender loving care that we’ve been able to lavish on the children will help them to bloom into all God wants them to be.

Truly God’s light is shining in the darkness and He has allowed us to literally be Repairers of Broken Walls.

Mindy

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~ by Celebration Missions on September 23, 2007.

One Response to “Shining in the Darkness”

  1. I’ve enjoyed coming in to work each morning, opening up Internet Explorer and visiting this blog.
    I’m sad as well that your trip is almost over. I’ve particularly enjoyed your post, Myn, and am glad this has been such a wonderful experience for everyone.
    Love, Ka

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