A few years ago, I had the blessing of meeting Page Hughes. She is a pastor's wife who also is a frequent speaker for women's groups. She spoke at a ladies' night out supper and I had the pleasure of going and meeting her. She is one of those people that you just can't help but like from the first encounter. I soon found out that her daughter Gene' was passionate about Swaziland. Gene' has spent as much time as God and her parents have allowed her in her relatively short life. This past summer, after Gene' graduated from high school, she went with on an Adventures in Missions trip to Swaziland. Her Passport team ministered at many carepoint during those weeks. One of them, Mangwaneni, is within walking distance from the neighborhood that we hope to live in when we move to Manzini at the end of this year. It is also a carepoint that Betsie, Anna, and I were able to spend time at when we went to Swaziland with Children's HopeChest in 2008. Here's what God showed Gene' at Mangwaneni:
This past week we have been visiting a care point unlike any other carepoint I've ever seen.
It's across from the dump in Manzini.
This part of the city is poverty ridden and basically disgusting.
Since I've been doing ministry over seas, and specifically in Africa, I've seen a good bit of poverty? but nothing quite like this.
These children literally live in filth. They smell like urine, They always have a runny nose And they're covered in dirt.
This would make most people hard to love, but not these kids.
As soon as we show up to the carepoint they are all smiles, they just want to be held and loved.
In many ways this carepoint is gross, you feel like you need to take a shower as soon as you leave?
But these kids are impossible not to love.
Over the past week this carepoint has taught me a lot about myself.
As a human I am born in to the filth that is sin.
Compared to Jesus Christ I am absolutely disgusting.
I am dirty because my flesh seeks sin and will for the rest of my life, but Christ is strong in me.
I am just like these children.
Disgusting, living in the gutter of the ways of this world.
But Jesus Christ loves us anyway.
Even though we're gross.
Not only does he love us anyway, but HE DIED FOR OUR FILTH!
That blows my mind.
Jesus loves me just like I am, a child of the gutter.
Please continue to pray for these children and my team!
To the ends of the earth,
To read more about Gene' and her teams' experiences in Swaziland, visit their blog: http://swaziland.adventures.org/