Entrusted to Me

“On this account I am suffering things…” 
(2 Timothy 1:2…the
finished verse is at the end)
It’s probably not a surprise to you if I say that this
past year was the most difficult year of my life, for many, MANY reasons.  But the greatest suffering was the rejection
of the one who inspired this dream of mine seven long years ago, my Tenele-Belle, my child.  On her account, I suffered much:
June 2014: I said goodbye to an incredible life and incomparable teaching career, one I
had dreamed of.  I moved “indefinitely”
to Swaziland to run the girls home.  I
said goodbye to my American kids and to my family, and then I met a new family
waiting for me at the girls home.  
July 2014: The first few weeks were an incredible bliss
as I was reunited with umtfwana wami, my precious daughter who had two children
of her own.  Two weeks later… I found out
she was pregnant with her third.

August 2014: Tenele went to Project Canaan, a place for young mothers.  When she had a miscarriage, I was called to
meet her at the hospital.  The doctors
beckoned me into a back “room” (no doors, just a curtain) where she was
literally going through labor without delivering a child.  As soon as she saw me, she burst into
unending tears and I held her hand as she suffered through immense physical
pain and emotional confusion. 
September 2014: One of our girls, Sphe, chose to leave the home for good so she could be with her boyfriend.  Tenele moved in at a pastor’s house with
her two kids.  Unable to take the stress
of mothering two kids on her own and trying to find a job and trying to ignore
her heartache, she resulted in abusing her kids.  I was horrified one day when I went to visit
as I found marks all over her precious children.  I took away her kids and moved them into the
girls home with me. 
October 2014: 
Tenele had major breakdowns and I got a call from the pastor one night
saying Tenele had not returned and he was worried about her.  That morning he informed me that she had just
gotten in and went right to her room and cried and cried and cried.  “She needs to be tended to,” he told me.  When I got there, she had her bags packed and
her coat on ready to go back to the streets. 
Disgusted, I sat with her in confusion as to why she thought this was
her only option.  She felt as if I had
abandoned her.  I had to explain that I
never abandoned her and never would, but that her choices had
consequences.  We cried together and
prayed and hugged and healed for the time being.   
November 2014:  Another one of our girls, Tibo, ran away and then was removed from our home.  Tenele
decided to go to Teen Challenge, a rehab center, because she wanted to learn
how to control her anger, avoid drinking, drugs, and sex, and become a better
mother.  I wasn’t able to communicate
with her all month, as her first phase kept her in seclusion from all
The reunion after her 6 week induction phase.
December 2014: I saw Tenele after 6 weeks, and the change
in her was INCREDIBLE!  She was the most
joyful I had ever seen.  She poured out
all of the amazing things she had been learning and the director told me how
impressed she was with Tenele’s character. 
January 2014: Mom and Dad came to Swaziland!  And Tenele finally met Mkhulu, her grandpa (Dad).  Another one of our girls, Sebe, ran away, preferring her previous life of begging on the streets.

February 2014: One of my girls, who was demon-possessed
said it was her duty to kill me.  Tenele
left the project and went back to living in Mangwaneni and Moneni, a place of
drugs, drinking, and prostitution from which she had been delivered years ago.
March 2014: After leaving the project, Tenele was
overcome with fear of facing me and although she sent me a letter through
someone saying she would come and visit, she never did. 

April 2014: I saw Tenele for the first time, and she was
soaked with smoke and high like the Rockies. 
She had gone back to her life of drinking, doing drugs, and selling
May 2014: I left Swazi for my six week visit to the
States and during my second phone call to my girls Ayanda announced she had
some news for me about Tenele.  “I’ll
tell you when you get back,” she tried to avoid telling me.  When I said no, she continued, “Well, do you
really want to cry right now?”  I told
her I was in a good place and wouldn’t cry. 
She said, “I saw Tenele yesterday. 
She thinks she might be pregnant.” 
It didn’t surprise me.  I had had
a dream one month prior that she indeed got pregnant again.
Unfortunately, it’s not just Tenele that ran away with my
heart.  Since the opening of the home, I’ve
lost five girls to different circumstances, and the most painful were the ones
who, like the prostitute Gomer in the Bible story of Hosea, preferred the life of the past rather than learning
how to live in the present. In one year, my heart has gone under the most
severe up and downs I’ve ever had in my 28 years combined.  

 “…BUT I am not ashamed, for I know Him in whom I have
believed and am confident that He is able to guard what has been entrusted to
me until that day.”

-2 Timothy 1:2
  With all the heartache and confusion of this
year, I begged God to send me a gift.  I
begged Him to show me that He’s listening to my prayers and that even though I
don’t understand, that He’s still working. 
I begged God for a mini miracle. 
And He gave it to me one day before I left Swaziland…
With tears, Tenele prayed for her kids.

It was a stressful day as I was cramming in lots of
errands before I departed Swaziland the following morning.  Ayanda was with me in town and things just
weren’t going as planned.  It was a day
of wrong timing, so Ayanda and I missed our ride back to the girls home, so we
had to take the kombi, public transport. 
There are hundreds of kombis (vans) that go in and out of the city and
all over the country, and a kombi cannot leave the kombi station until it is
full.  Ayanda and I ran to a kombi and
grabbed the last two seats available.  As I
swung my backpack around, the lady next to me tapped my leg.  I thought I had hit her with the backpack, so
I apologized, but she kept her hand resting on me knee.  I frowned and turned to look at her…to find
TENELE smiling, sitting next to me!  I
gasped, and went into a shocked reaction: red face, heavy breathing, and it
felt like the kombi temperature rose 40 degrees.  I just couldn’t believe it.  I was looking at my miracle.  Out of all the kombis, of all the times, of
all the seats…Tenele was sitting next to me. 
We rode together joyously to the girls home as she said her goodbye to
me before I left for the States.

Indeed, God reminded me that it is HE who is able to
guard the ones he has entrusted to me. 
He simply asks that I feed his sheep and take care of his lambs.  He will do the rest. 

Recent Comments

  • Peg Martin

    Saturday, 23 May, 2015

    God is Faithful !


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