Thursday, April 21
Our last three days have been FULL! We left at 5:00am Tuesday for Inguavuma. The drive was uneventful. We arrived atop the mountain around 8:30 to find all 150 patients there in the yard of Gogo Myani’s (Mercy’s mother) waiting for us. Surely some had arrived by 0400 as with previous clinics. We briefly sang some Zulu worship songs, Sabelo preached from Romans 10:8-10, then we saw patients and handed out meds. Gogo Myani prepared a wonderful Zulu lunch for us (some of us even got to see our first chicken catch and kill….hmm……). Many patients received glasses. All were prayed for. We finished before dark, played with 40 children gathered in the front yard, packed up and headed down the mountain, catching a GORGEOUS sunset over Lake Josini on the way. We arrived at the Game Park in time for a delicious dinner and went to bed exhausted but full of joy and wonder at what God had accomplished. Our 5 clinics were over and now it was time to reflect, process, rejoice and give thanks.
Wednesday we rode through the game park at dawn, at brunch, swam, slept, relaxed, and reflected, then went back through the game park at dusk. It was fun to hear the team buzzing with amazing stories (being surrounded by 20+ giraffes eating and strolling about, herds of cape buffalo, zebras, rhinos, a hyena, 10+ elephants as close as the giraffes but not as friendly!). Our evening devotion was from Psalm 104:24 – “How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” It was wonderful to see and reflect on God’s handiwork (and between us we probably have 2000+ pictures so be sure to ask to see them when we get home!)
Thursday we returned through St. Lucia, saw hippos and crocodiles, spent a brief moment at the famous St. Lucia beach -- just long enough for the kids (that includes Sarah R.) to get covered in sand rolling down the dunes, much to everyone’s delight – then returned home in time for the Thursday night worship service. Rev Rob preached out of I John – God’s love. One of our team helped Sabelo pick up van loads of kids to bring them to the church for a 2-night Easter weekend “lock-in”. At the moment there are 90 kids sleeping at the church! It was a great reminder that while the game park is amazing and special the real ministry is back here in eSikhawini. Not just the 5 clinics we do in these two weeks but the 1000+ kids that are part of ACM’s weekly bible clubs. Every day the Mafus and the ACM staff reach the next generation with the gospel – and are offering hope and light in the darkness.
I had a moment to talk with Sabelo about the Impilo ministry (several of the older ACM kids have created a separate but similar ministry with a vision to reach teenagers). They have a vision to reach youth with the gospel and sow God’s love and peace and reconciliation. The week after we leave they will host an event at a local high school using mainstream music to start conversations about God. Sabelo will preach about the greatest love, God’s love, a love that never fails. He tells me the school is a large one so they are expecting over 1000 teens to be there. What an amazing example of a ministry multiplying itself! Teens reaching their peers. The ministry here is bearing incredible fruit and it has been a blessing and a joy to have been part of it for even a short while.
As Mary did before so many years ago, we have seen God at work here and now we are treasuring up all these things and pondering them in our hearts. And like the shepherds we will return glorifying and praising God for all the things we have heard and seen. The amazing thing about God’s amazing grace is that it shouldn’t surprise us anymore! But I don’t mind being reminded again and again about the savior who loved us enough to come and die for us, and who bids us Come, Follow Me!
Siyabonga. Lala khahle.