It was cold today. While the elevation is nothing close to that of Addis, Mbabane is situated in a mountainous area, which makes the city look rather small. The colonial rulers wanted the capital to be in Manzini, but the Swazis chose Mbabane because it is cooler…and indeed it is.
The group we are training today and tomorrow are made up of several lay leaders representing the Anglican Women’s Fellowship, Youth, and Sunday School. One participant did not show up, so we have six in total.
Thokozani taught the “Passion” segment as he has for the trainings we have done with him in the past. By “Passion” we mean that which is the driving force behind disciple making, namely loving God and loving our neighbours as ourselves. He has a unique story about love for a neighbour. When he moved into the house where he and his family now live, their white neighbour rejected them. Thokozani had a choice…he could respond in kind and be part of the hostility, or he could respond with love, patience, and acceptance regardless of how his neighbour treated him and his family. Two years later, a grandchild of the white neighbour saw Thokozani’s child playing in the front yard…and crossed the street to play with him. But while the ice was broken, the rejection was still there. Then on another occasion, the neighbour saw Thokozani going to church dressed in his cassock and asked him why he wore women’s clothing…Thokozani explained that he was an Anglican believer and told his neighbour all about Jesus and what Jesus meant to him. In time, all barriers have been removed and the neighbours are now good friends…all because Thokozani chose to love rather than hate.
That’s part of making disciples…loving God more than ourselves…loving people like God loved them…even enemies and those who spitefully use us and persecute us. In short, what drives us to make disciples is that we are walking in the footsteps of the One Who loves the world so much that He was willing to die for it. It is our passion…or, at least, it ought to be.