Hey y’all! Sorry, I have been behind in blogging these last couple of months, it has been a busy season for us. Hopefully, I can make up for a bit in these next couple of months as we reflect back on the YEAR that we have spent in Swaziland. A Year. One Year…(well almost, in two days it will officially be a year) Crazy!
Today I want to talk a little bit about the power of prayer. Our Church back in Georgia,Warren Baptist, has had a ‘Pray Thru September’ month…that along with what God has personally been showing and convicting me about in my own prayer life…has caused prayer to be on the forefront of my mind and heart.
So I thought I would share just a couple of “prayer stories” from this side of the world.
We had only been here for a handful of months, and we were finishing up our school fee process. For those of you who don’t know, it does cost money to attend school here past the seventh grade. In addition to a tuition fee, there is also the cost of the uniform that is required. The struggle to finish school is very real. At this time, we were waiting to hear if we had any money to pay the school fees for a group of kids in one of our unsponsored care points. We found out there was NO extra money. We had reached our deadline, and we’re out of time. We came together as a staff, where there were lots of questions and tears…how do we tell these kids that are hungry to learn, and desperate to go to school, that they won’t be able to attend this year. If you miss a year of school the odds are pretty high that you won’t ever go back to finish. The staff all prayed together, and decided to dedicate that night as a night of prayer. Us, along with the Malloys, contacted some of our prayer warriors to join us in prayer. One thing I know, what seems impossible to us is made possible through the power of God! Within two hours God had answered our prayers. We had THREE different groups of people say they will pay the school fees. There is power in prayer folks!
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen Ephesians 3:20-21
So there are some differences living here in Swaziland compared to living in Georgia…just a few. Ha! Ok, understatement of the year there. To say the least there are many many differences…most of which we love and embrace…one however not so much. That would be the amount of snakes found here, but not just any snakes, extremely venomous, and some of the deadliest snakes in the world.
Stephen got a call late in the night, around midnight, by a frantic young lady saying her friend had been bitten by a venomous snake, a spitting cobra, could we take them to the hospital. Stephen, Josh and Smanga (one of the staff members), went to pick her up and take her to a hospital, which during good driving conditions is about 30 minutes away. Now, one of the dangers of driving at night here, are dodging all the animals that can be found on the road after dark. This will in turn slow down the driving time tremendously. It was a race against time. Once again, we found ourselves crying out to God for His healing power, and protection on them as they drove fast in the night to the hospital. When they left the hospital that night the Dr wasn’t sure if she would survive until morning. I am beyond thankful to say that she made a complete recovery. It was so evident that Gods healing hand was on her…and that night He went before them and prepared their way…there was not one animal on the road on their trip to the hospital…which is unheard of. THERE IS POWER IN PRAYER!
Since living in Swaziland, God has used our Swazi friends, and people in the community, to convict and challenge us in so many ways. They have great faith in a very big God! In Swaziland you pretty much have two seasons, the Wet and Dry season. They are very true to their names. When we got here last October it was coming to the end of the dry season and it had not rained for eight straight months. This dry season was very much the same. When there is no rain for so long, often times that means the communities water supply dries up, and there is no water…as in, none at all. Many people depend on their gardens in order to survive, water is a must.
Let me tell you about a small little church who believe in a very big God. Once again the dry season has been very true to its name. Dry. Very Dry! This church came together and began to fast and pray for rain. Shortly after, it began to sprinkle, and people were happy. In response to the sprinkle, the pastor of that church said, we did not pray for a sprinkle, but that God would make it rain hard! The next couple of days, IT RAINED HARD!
I am continuously humbled, reminded and convicted of the many times I underestimate the might of the incredibly great, all powerful God that we serve. How many times have I put Him in a box or not persevered through my prayers? How many times have I stayed in my comfort zone and not stepped out in faith, believing and trusting that He is the God He says He is. I pray that God continues to refine our hearts, and push us out of our comfort zone, so we can truly see His mighty hand at work!
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12