Snail Mail from Swaziland By: Jeremy Ferguson

We live in a world of constant communication.  No big surprise right.  This last month our family sent and received 16,540 texts.  Of course, my 16 year old daughter accounted for 13,580 of those texts on her own.  We get messages all the time and with today’s technology it’s really just white noise.  But can you remember the last time you got excited about receiving a message by mail, seriously snail mail.

Almost exactly 1 month before we leave for Swaziland,  I sat in disbelief as my wife, Raelenna, called me at work to say, “you just got a letter from Gonondo.”  All I could think was, “you have got to be kidding.”  It was from my brother in Christ, Gonondo Mamba from a remote village in Swaziland, Africa and just reading his letter reminded why God is calling us to his country and to his church.  When we showed up at his church last year, we entered the world he knows.  A young girl had just died the night before of AIDS, the people in his church community only able to eat one meal a week, no opportunity for employment and survival is the daily challenge.  Yet here was Gonondo.  A young man in his early twenties.  Already a man among men in his leadership.  One of the only men we saw in the community who was there to lead and guard the children.  Eager to serve Christ and steadfast in desire to not be like all the other men who were causing so much of the damage to the women and children of the community.

While we planted a garden, he won us over with his welcoming spirit.  The second day, I got my guitar out to sing with the children and found him right on my shoulder, singing along with every song.  I’m cracking up just thinking about how this guy was really up in my space because he was so eager to learn the songs and lead out in singing them for the children.  As soon we finished the song he would say “again.”  So we sang it again and again till finally I just handed him the guitar and said you try it.  To my amazement, a guy who I’m not sure had ever held a guitar in his life, was now strumming three chords and smiling ear to ear while we sang Lord I Lift Your Name On High like it was 1999 and we were hearing it for the first time.  We all saw something in him that was unmistakeably a gift from God to lead his community and really be a strong minister for Christ. The guitar I brought had been given by a man in our community.  The facebook message had went out that we wanted to take a guitar to Adfrica angive it where we knew God could use it.  In minutes, God had provided a guitar and after a day with Gonondo and his God-given talent for music, the guitar had found it’s new owner.  He referenced the guitar in his letter, asking for some new strings as they have now failed and he has been unable to replace them.  Beyond sharing worship and the guitar, God blessed our time together with His presence.

At one point we sat together in a hut, me reading from Isaiah 40 in English and he in Siswati.  And then we watched God work a miracle as a grandmother who we were told had been unable to stand in months sprang up on her feet and rose up on wings like eagles.  What an awesome experience to see God at work all over the world!  There was definitely a message today that didn’t get lost in the white noise.  I have a brother in Christ who is eager to see us again and who knows what God has planned for this trip.

Share on Facebook

Tags: , , ,