Saturday, July 30, 2011


Several days ago, I wrote here on my blog about a precious child in Swaziland who had been killed by his step-father. The boy Mamba had attended a carepoint for years that was part of the Adventures in Missions ministry. He was loved by many there in Swaziland as well as a sponsor family here in America that had been blessed with actually getting to visit him on trips to Africa.

And a few weeks ago, I posted and asked you to pray for the Gerbers as the patriarch of that family had passed away.

Scott Borg, an AIM staff member, is in Swaziland for a short season. He shared this update today and his perspective on the events:


We've been in Africa just over a month now and I've been part of two funerals.

One was for Johan Gerber who left all of us too early but lived a life full of good things. It was sudden and remains sad as we all miss him. In his life he blessed hundreds of children in the children's home where he served. He raised three children who I think are pretty great people. He loved one woman for around 40 years and never left her side until she went home last year. The grandchild he was able to live with for several months was loved beyond words.

The second funeral began today. This one is for Mamba -a little boy who died a tragic death. With a vibrant spirit and a life ahead of him this death is more than sad. It just feels raw and wrong. Unjust, unfair, unbelievable. Seeing the little casket with mourners all around was surreal. How can this be true? But one little boy has mobilized people around the world to pray and to see life a little differently. Somehow the Lord is using this sad end of his life to motivate many to move closer to His heart. The funeral will last all night in a vigil according to cultural norms.

For some reason I was asked to say a few words at the burial at dawn tomorrow morning. It will require me to examine my own faith in times like this - can I trust God even in the midst of this horrible and unthinkable waste of life? Can my anger and shock be transformed into peace and faith in a redeeming Savior? Where else is there to turn in a time like this? Nowhere!

Somehow I think Johan might know what to say. The grace and happiness on his face in the picture above was there every time I was in his presence. There was a spirit in him I admire. He had a way of making everyone feel like he liked them and everyone liked him as well. He knew some things I am still learning.

Little Mamba had that same spirit. That's why the story of his short life is so compelling. Everyone who came to the Thulwane Care Point knew Mamba and liked him. And chances are he would be the first child to walk up to you and let you know he wanted to be your friend.

That's why the Lord can take an anonymous little boy in a rural area with little to nothing in terms of material things and use his life to move thousands of people to action. Mamba did not live or die in vain.

Thank-you Lord for your presence in our lives. We need you every hour.

Please continue to pray for all who loved Mamba and Johan, both in Africa and across the globe. They touched many, many lives in their own unique ways. They will be greatly missed.

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