It’s an American anachronism to believe everyone has the same opportunity for success. I’ve traveled the world and I can tell you from experience life isn’t fair. But whoever you are, you already knew that from living your own life.
One of the painful realities working with orphans and vulnerable children in Swaziland is they don’t all have the same opportunity for success many of our own children have in the US. Typically the mountains are taller, the valleys darker, and life shorter. A smaller economy and a limited range of opportunity create a context for fewer jobs.
Reflecting on these realities I am reminded of Philippians 4 where Paul exhorts us to steadfastness, unity, rejoicing, and productive thinking. Where there is Jesus, there is indeed hope. In spite of overwhelming challenges there are successes. He is faithful to complete the work He has begun in each of us.
The completion of this work in the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in Swaziland can seem slow. Victories sometimes feel too few and far between. It is very much like raising a family. Some seasons seem really long and hard but as you look back there is much progress and time flies!
This year we’ve seen so much success in the ministry. We’ve formulated a legitimate Swazi leadership team. We met in early September and prayed our way to a set of operating principles for the ministry through 2016. A vision for the ministry emerged,
“Transformed communities thru Discipleship, asset based community development and a holistic approach towards addressing the complex issues of abject poverty.”
Also the entire staff worked for months to write a new contextually designed discipleship curriculum creating a standardized three year approach to teaching the children about loving God, loving the world and loving themselves.
Lastly the field research of the Swaziland Leadership Academy is being coalesced into a final report. We’ve heard incredible stories of impact from those interviewed. There are bright days ahead for Swaziland because there are some incredible emerging leaders there.
Finally, there’s nothing like a thank-you letter from someone impacted by the ministry. This past week our country director Matt (Jumbo) Gerber sent me a letter he received from a young lady outside the Care Point ministry who came looking for help:
You might not recognize me, but you have changed my life immensely. In 2014, I came to your office with the sole intention of getting financial assistance to further my education at Sifundzani High school. Little did I know that in order for that to happen, I needed to be in the system of pupils you pay for. I thought that was the end of my dream but after much analysis of my results, you decided to give me a chance; a chance I will forever be grateful for.
You did not settle for mediocre work, which is why I had to work hard at school and I am proud to say I came out of Sifundzani high with credits to my name. All in all, I would like to share with you that I am currently waiting to board a plane to Taiwan where I will be commencing my tertiary education, studying towards a bachelor’s degree in international business and trade. This would have never been possible if you had not taken that chance with me.
I would like to pass my sincere gratitude to the AIM family and every sponsor involved in the organization. The money that you invest really does help the ones most in need. Please continue helping the underprivileged in Swaziland and may God bless you immensely.
Lindiwe Magagula (name changed)