I wanted to share this testimony from a church that has been partnering with us in Swaziland since 2014. These are the partnerships and stories that prove the fruit of short term missions. God honors our ‘yes’ to go, and returns the blessings to us ten-fold!
“New Hope B.I.C. Church in Harrisburg, PA had its first vision trip to Swaziland (now Eswatini) on October of 2014. Once we decided that as a church, we wanted to plug into this mission, things at New Hope have never been the same. The church receives updates from Swaziland periodically through the year which are shared in the church service. These updates usually include stories and pictures from the Anchor Center in Mbutu that our church supports.
During these past 9 years, we have sent teams 7 of those years and in2013 we sent two different teams to teach Swazis to build an Earthbag House. A number of us have been there multiple times, but we have had more than 40 different people make that journey.
The real impact has been shown in our summer VBS program. In 2010, while loading a shipping container to send to Mbutu, the kids of our Vacation Bible School program collected over 100 pair of new shoes. In 2011, the kids put together draw string backpacks filled with pencils, notebook paper, etc. and our teams then took them over in their suitcases to distribute to the school kids.
Starting in 2012 and continuing to this year, the kids have raised funds to help pay for school fees. They really get into helping the kids of Eswatini, with some simply breaking open piggy banks, some holding lemonade stands in their neighborhood, and others holding yard sales, etc.
For me personally, God had my heart from the very beginning on the trip in 2010. Wil Sauder and I have co-chaired the Swazi efforts until this year when Wil passed in a freak accident. I am now the chair of this mission. I have been there 7 times and will return again in late July of 2020. It’s so much more than going to see friends that we’ve made over the years, it’s like going to see extended family in Mbutu. It took a little while for the relationship to evolve into more than just mission participants. It was on my third trip that I realized that God had made this so much more. This was the first time that I actually saw Swazis crying because we were leaving. That’s when you really know that were all just one big family of God.
The other huge difference that I have observed is probably higher on my list than the friendships. In looking back, I remember how dependent the Swazi people were on the missionaries and teams. Now it is absolutely amazing to see so many young Swazis taking on leadership roles in the Carepoints and in their communities.
Adventures in Missions has provided the schooling and training and then helps these leaders take on important roles back in the community. All I can say is God is soooo good!”
New Hope Church