These young men represent a core group of born again Jesus followers in the country of Swaziland. They recently spent a week in the mountains of Lesotho, learning evangelism tools and discipleship lessons. Their passion for the Word of God is evident, their joy complete in Him! Will you join us in praying for these guys as they teach others to teach others….
4 young men from Swaziland attended the Church Planting Boot Camp in Lesotho, June 23-29. The 2 Kingdom evangelism tool was taught, rehearsed, and then taken to the mountain villages of Lesotho. 52 people accepted Christ! Looking forward to Swazi Youth Camp in August, when Basotho team will teach Swazi youth the 2 Kingdoms and church planting strategies. Will you join us in PRAYING that the youth of Swazi reach the youth of Swazi?
It is almost impossible to imagine a people who have never heard the story of Jesus. In the Maluti Mountains, of Lesotho, Africa there are literally thousands of villages living in darkness. In June of 2017, IMB missionaries will make a huge effort to dispel the darkness by providing evangelism and discipleship training to approximately 200 young adults from Lesotho and Swaziland. Teams from America will come and help train these potential “church planters” to take the gospel, to disciple, to worship in Spirit and in Truth. Will you PRAY that the God of all Gods makes Himself known among these people? June 23-28 Church Planting Boot Camp 2017
February 24-March 9, a volunteer team will work among the Swazi people in Swaziland. Ministries will include BGR bucket and food distribution, Bible study, revival services and communication and multimedia ministries. Pray that the team’s time in Swaziland will be a blessing to the Swazis as well as to each team member. Pray the Lord will continue sending His chosen servants to work in Swaziland to help see that the darkness in which the Swazis are living will be replaced by the Light. Pray many will accept His bidding and purpose to receive wonderful blessings and life changing experiences.
“The local church is the means that God is going to use for the spread of the gospel to the ends of the earth. In a world filled with billions of lost people, many of whom have never heard the gospel, it is unacceptable for global missions to be relegated to a compartmentalized program in the church for a select few people. Surely God is calling his entire church to be involved in strategic ways in making His glory known among he nations.” –David Platt, IMB President
In January 2016, the last IMB missionary left Swaziland. Even though there are thousands of miles between Swaziland and the USA, a heart for the Swazi people was not removed. Not by the missionaries or the many volunteers that came for years to minister to and with the Swazi people. Under the leadership of the First Baptist Church, Washington, NC and a retired missionary couple, the Swaziland Partnership was organized to lead various teams to Swaziland. In 2017, 4 teams (February, early July, mid-August and October) have been scheduled. With a very poor health care system, AIDS pandemic, recovering from the 2015-2016 drought and less than 10% of the populace understanding the commitment of following Jesus as Lord and Savior, continual arrival of volunteer teams is crucial to the spiritual development as well as humanitarian assistance of the people. Pray for the ministry of the Swaziland Partnership as the committee continues to seek the Lord’s will concerning areas of Swaziland that need assistance from volunteer teams. In 2017, pray many will seek to find a place of ministry with a volunteer team to Swaziland.
About 300,000 people, one in four have been targeted for assistance because of drought in Swaziland. Rural people are in danger of severe malnutrition and there is only enough water to supply the Swazi capital (Mbabane) for between one and three weeks. Ninety percent of Swaziland’s sugar cash crop relies on irrigation, which has significantly been hampered by the rationing of water. The reduction of water has impacted the education of children as schools depend on flushing toilets. Existing bore holes in the rural areas are becoming dry. The country has one of the highest prevalence of HIV-infected adults. Food security in the country affects anti-retroviral (ARV) intake as ARVs are meant to be taken with food and water. It also affects access to medical facilities as some people are unable to make the journey to the facilities due to illness, weakness or lack of finances. Pray healthy rains will soon begin to fall throughout the country of Swaziland. Pray rivers will be able to “fill up”, crops and gardens will be planted and herds of cows and goats will be seen throughout the country again. Pray for the financial help the country needs to feed its starving people.
August 11-24 a volunteer team will arrive in Swaziland to minister in the Shiselweni region. A dentist from Texas will conduct dental clinics in several locations. Other team members will distribute BGR buckets and make homestead visits. Children and ladies’ Bible studies/retreats are planned. The team will also have the treat of attending a church dedication as well as a Swazi wedding of one of the Swazi pastors. Pray for this team as they minister with the Swazis in the Shiselweni region. The Swazi people have spiritually benefitted and enjoyed wonderful relationships with volunteer teams. Pray for the continual development of these relationships and for volunteer teams to continually minister in Swaziland.
A 16 year old boy arrived at the clinic. He was not well kept and appeared to be exhausted. Upon further questioning, it was concluded he had walked 4 hours to the clinic and had not eaten in 2 days. He was responsible for the children at home and was somehow still maintaining perfect medication adherence (anti-retroviral drugs for those with AIDS). Despite the medications doing their job, the food insecurity still remains a problem. There is an available option for some through the government called, “Food for Prescription.” The problem is that there are only a few sites where the people can access the food and when they do, they have to transport the boxed food home. This was not feasible for this youth. Pray for this youth and many like him as there are no easy solutions to this very common problem in Swaziland due to the AIDS pandemic.
The death of many adults (to AIDS) have left behind a youthful population in Swaziland. About 39 percent of the population is under 14 years of age and those over 65 is 3.7 percent. Many children are orphaned and left in the care of grandparents or left to care for themselves. Increasing economic decline may push Swazis into further poverty. The huge scale of AIDS-related illness and deaths are weakening the government with serious consequences for food security, economic growth and human development. Pray for a change of attitudes and lifestyles to the cause and effects of AIDS. Pray for an awakening of Swazi hearts to a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.
In 1996-2001 the Swazi Team entered a partnership with the South Roanoke and Atlantic Baptist Associations in North Carolina. This partnership begun a wonderful working relationship with the regular sending of volunteer teams that ministered to and with the Swazi people. Even after the partnership ended volunteer teams continued coming. In November 2015 a delegation of Swazis that had worked with these volunteers traveled to Washington, North Carolina to visit churches and individuals that were part of the volunteer teams to their country. The group was warmly received and touched many hearts with their singing, beautiful smiles, testimonies and presence. Through this partnership many lives have been changed in Swaziland and the US. Once on a mission trip, your life is never the same!! Now, our attention is turned to seeing that volunteer teams regularly continue making trips to Swaziland to conduct Bible studies, children’s and youth ministries, work with adults, lead revival servicers, deliver BGR buckets, make homestead visits, medical clinics and sports events even though there is no IMB missionary presence in Swaziland. Pray churches will continue sending volunteer teams to work with the Swazi Baptist churches. Pray Swazis that visited in November will help with the planning and organizations of these teams. Praise the Lord for His wonderful provision!!