Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Swaziland is a unique place in many, many ways.

On a continent in which civil wars and tribal strife is often all too common, Swaziland has been spared, in large part to the fact that the people are all one tribe. Another factor that aids this peaceful state and adds to the uniqueness is its form of government. Swaziland is still a nation ruled by royalty. In this case, a king and the queen mother. Mswati III has been the reigning king since I lived there in the 1980's. In fact, I had the pleasure of attending his 21st birthday garden party and then the huge,public celebration at the national stadium in which all authority of kingship was given to him. His mother is not just a figure head in this nation but a woman with true power and authority. King Mswati and Queen Ntombi both have very specific roles that they fill. King Mswati is the Administrative Head of State and rules as a powerful monarch in Swaziland, while the queen mother is seen as the spiritual and national head of state overseeing many of Swaziland's traditional rituals and events.

As well as King Mswati's mother, there are other queens. King Mswati officially has thirteen wives. These women often take part in charity events, meetings with heads of state, and traditional, Swazi, cultural events.

But besides the wives of the king and the queen mother, there are many other "Queens" in Swaziland. These are girls who have been named Queen by their parents. There are also many little girls running around answering to the name of Princess.

In Swaziland, names are very important. Here in America, a child will often be given a name just because the parents like the sound of a name. They might not even know the meaning of a name. Not so in Swaziland. In this mountain kingdom, names have meaning and children and their parents know the significance of these names.

This teenager, who is part of the Bheveni Carepoint community, is named Queen.

Queen is a beautiful 16 year old girl who lives at home with 5 siblings and has a 60 minute walk to the carepoint daily for food, water, a safe place to hang out after school. She is also weekly taught by the Discipleship Team about Jesus and His love and plans for her life.

Danielle Brower, our team leader, took this photo of Queen and the Brower's sponsored child, Siphiwe. Queen is the one on the right. Danielle said, "She LOVED having her picture taken! With a name like Queen, of course she does!"

Queen already faces more responsibilities and risks than we here in America can imagine. And in just a few years, she will be facing adulthood and even more challenges. Through the ministry of Bheveni Carepoint, our community of support is trying to ensure that she is given all she needs to make wise choices and have what she needs to succeed and survive in the years to come.

But Queen needs a sponsor.

A sponsor helps ensure that Queen's physical needs are taken care of and that Queen will have a community to support her as she grows up, because unlike the king's wives and mother, this Queen has an extremely impoverished life with all the hardships that go along with that.

A sponsor is also a special friend who will pray for her, send her monthly notes of news and encouragement, and have the chance to even visit her one day. A sponsor means love to Queen. A sponsor means someone cares enough about her to give both their finances and emotional support because they believe that she is of value and has a future filled with hope.

If you would like to sponsor Queen or any of the other ten children still needing sponsors at Beveni, visit Danielle Brower's blog at: http://moms4change.net/sponsor-an-orphan/

And when you do, know that you are helping a Swazi girl know that she is true royalty, the daughter of the eternal King.

No comments: