Week of Highlights
A review of the previous week…
Sunday highlights: Kayla brought some frisbees, so Sebe and Sindi joined our team in a game of frisbee football up and down the dirtroad… It was a lot of fun, but we had to call it a tie because it was getting dark.
That night, I spent time with Tenele. I am writing a book about Swazi adventures, and she’s at the center of the story, obviously, so she’s been reading through that and we’ve been talking about it. She’s now very open when I ask questions about her past. When you look at her, you’d never imagine the life/hell she’s been through. Even I forget sometimes. Even I like to think it’s just a story, it’s in the past, it’s something she won’t have to deal with again. But it’s not just words on a paper, it’s the torn pieces of her heart and soul that are still on the mend. As she answered some questions about her past and Cedric, at one point, she started crying. Tears streamed down her face and she put her head on my shoulder. I forget that she is still in dire need of healing.
-Teaching Tenele English and Math and entertaining Lucia at the same time. It was so precious! I gave her a journal to write it. Her assignment was to write an entry tonight and she eagerly completed her writing assignments. She uses it to process through the day.
-We went to Hope House and prayed over Bosisiswe, a woman with a stroke who spoke no English. I could really feel the Holy Spirit moving and then we sang with a group of 4 Swazis that were so joyful. They sang and danced filled us with joy.
-Finally got to spend some time with sweet Jojo
-Monday’s bible study with the girls was about Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. We talked about how the woman left her water jar at the well to go share the news about Jesus with others. We made our own makeshift well and had the girls leave their worries, sin, etc. at the well. Then we challenged them to share the good news like the woman did. Tenele chose to tell her friend Tiny (Tiny is the girl who brought me to find Tenele two years ago).
-I was sick and had to stay home. Chris, Kayla, and Rachael took Tenele to find Tiny in squatter camp and share the story of the Samaritan woman with her. Though I wasn’t there to experience it, it was beautiful to see Tenele beaming about her time with Tiny and sharing the hope. She said that Tiny recognized that Tenele really did change her life and felt empowered that maybe she really could change her own, too.
Wednesday: Lauren, Laura, Andy and I went to Mangwaneni to get some girls. We found Khanyi on the way in! Khanyi is a girl who was also a prostitute with Tenele and one I tried to put back into school without realizing she couldn’t even identify the alphabet. We also met Sandile’s sisters and heard about Nonsikelolo’s blind eye… This poor, incredible young woman was going to an evening prayer service and was walking in the dark to get there. A man jumped her and asked for her money. When she told the man she didn’t have any money, he choked her and then slashed her eye with a knife. We prayed over her, but her joy and confidence in the Lord was astounding. Now that is unshakable faith.
Later that night, the electricity went out and we turned it into an awesome time of worship! Ayanda gave her own sermon about love during our bible study (it was an assignment from her religion class) and she did…wow…just wow. The electricity finally came on as we ended our jam session to the song “Yes, Lord.”
Thursday: We all went to the hope house, and EVERY time you go to the Hope House, you can feel the Spirit moving in incredible ways. As Chris prayed over Bosisiwe, chills came over my body like a wave of the Spirit came down in that room. It was a feeling I’ll never forget.
I call my brother, Garret, “Harry” as his nickname and Tenele has caught on and LOVES calling throughout the house, “Harry! Harry!” And just the other day, Lucia said it, too!
Friday: A bit of a rough day…I had a terrible headache and just felt heavy…like I’ve had bricks in my head all day… :/ We had our second meeting with MYC about our partnership with running the home and drafting a MOU.
Saturday: We went to Mlilwane Game Park to swim, have a picnic lunch, (where Lauren and the others fed wild impalas), and we also went to Ezulweni market…where I bought an AWESOME djembe drum!
Sunday: We hung out with some other Americans! We met a high school AIM team that has also been here this summer. They had us over for a lasagna dinner and fellowship. We were able to really lift them up and pray for them. It was mutually encouraging as several of the high school girls told me how important teachers are. They encouraged me in staying in that mission field by saying that’s where the battle is for the younger generations and that teachers have an incredible platform for impact.