Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Gauteng, Swaziland, and Beyond! Day Eleven.

This is late as we had no Internet connection in Swaziland...but we are back in South Africa now and trying to catch up!

One never knows who you will bump into…the world is so small. This morning at breakfast we met a man from Holland who had come to the Thokoza Centre because the hotel he had booked into (and paid for!) on the Internet was closed when he arrived at the locked gate. The taxi driver did some quick thinking and brought him here as most hotels tend to booked solid this time of year because of the culturally famous “Reed Dance”. He told us that his ambition is to visit every country in the world before he dies…he is young so the 35 countries left ought to be a breeze.

But more importantly for me was had he visited the heavenly country…did he know Jesus? Of course, I approached the subject tactfully and found out that he may be a nominal Christian. Since he had told me what he was doing in Swaziland, I figured I might as well tell him why we were here too…so he got the Gospel as we present it to our students. It was also a good time to model what we teach them to do and to show them we practice what we preach. Hopefully, we will get another opportunity to chat with him before we leave on Tuesday.

 But there was another couple at breakfast too. I noticed that when I greeted them in Swazi, they replied in a different language, so I asked them from where they came. He said they came from the Kingdom of Lesotho. Turns out he is an Anglican too and was listening very attentively to what I was saying to the Dutch chap. He wanted to know when we were coming to them. “Whenever you invite us”, I replied…so he promised to talk to his Bishop. Great stuff…we needed a spokesperson and here is one who has already met us and liked what he heard.

On the final Sunday, we always like to have a Eucharist service. Thankfully I was permitted to preside over the Eucharist by Bishop Garth Counsel of the Diocese of Cape Town, and Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya of the Diocese of Swaziland graciously agreed. Thokozani preached from Matthew 16: 21-28, all about the need to deny ourselves if we are to be true disciple makers for Jesus.

 The final two sessions are on equipping the workers and multiplying disciple makers who can multiply themselves by making more disciple makers and so on. This is the high point of the training, as I’ve said before. While the trainees are exhausted, they are all excited and challenged and satisfied. One said, “I felt like I had been ambushed! They called me late the night before and told me to be here. But now I am so happy that I came! I have learned so much.”

But pray for these trainees. They now have to apply everything we have taught them and the temptation to simply go back to the way it has always been done is great. Pray that the Lord Himself will come alongside each one and encourage them to press onward and upward for His glory!

Louise and I drove out of the city to see a few nearby sites after lunch. We visited a craft market, saw Execution Rock and Mantenga Waterfall, and met a few interesting characters along the way…

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