As we traveled the two hour drive to Nsoko for church this morning, our bus was filled with praise music – our kind of praise music. We arrived ready for worship. After greeting the regular attenders, we quickly found our seats and sat quietly anticipating what it would be like to worship “Swazi-style!” All was quiet, until suddenly the air was filled with the sound of uninhibited praise and worship to our Lord and Savior! They were not ashamed to lift their voices in praise to Jesus!
Psalm 100:1 says … Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
We were blessed with another joy-filled day! Sunday worship in Swaziland is like nothing most of us have ever experienced. There are no lights. There is no written order of worship. There are no hymnals or words on a screen. There is no certain time that you sit or stand, no man-made rules or regulations for dress or proper etiquette. It’s a time and place of freedom. It’s a time to worship, with hands raised, feet dancing, and voices making melody to the Lord.
Our team has experienced a time of worship each morning and evening of our stay here in Swaziland. Before embarking on the day’s adventures we spend time worshiping and praying. And at the end of the day we come together again to sing and give thanks to God for His provisions. One of the songs that we have loved singing to the Lord is “Place of Freedom.” The words are so very powerful and minister to my heart when I sing them.
Chorus:I wanna lift my hands, till I can reach heaven I’m gonna shout your name until the walls come falling down. I’ve come to worship. I’ve come to worship. I’m gonna sing my song like I am unashamed. I’m gonna shout for joy, at the mention of your name. I’ve come to worship. I’ve come to worship.
I believe that today, as we raised our hands to the heavens, God was delighted in our worship. A group of Swazis mixed with a group of Americans came together in worship to Him. There was no language barrier or concern about color or race. We simply made a joyful noise to the Lord together and … it was beautiful!
The church we attended was at The Anchor Center in Nsoko where our friends the Spraggs minister. It was a joy getting to visit with them this week at the care points Warren sponsors, and it was so very special to get to see with our own eyes where they live and serve.
Swazi looks really good on the Spragg family! They glow with the love, joy, and hope of Jesus, and it is evident that they are walking in obedience to the Father by living among the wonderful people of Swaziland. They shared with us their greatest needs: community acceptance and care point sponsorships. They are serving at multiple care points and only one is actually fully sponsored. An unsponsored care point means the lack of consistent meals and discipleship for the children. Please remember to keep the Spraggs in your prayers! They are adjusting well and God is using them!
The message today was Romans 1:16-17 …
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
It was a powerful message about evangelism and growing in faith.
After the message, the preacher asked some of our team members to lay hands on two of their oldest members and pray for them. We prayed for a 110-year-old invalid woman and her 80-year-old daughter. I cannot relate to you the privilege it was to pray for these two women of God. During the service the invalid woman was literally carried into the church by several of the members because she does not have a wheelchair. What a powerful sight to see!
Our days are quickly coming to a close in this magnificent place of God. Please continue to pray for us as we make intentional connections on Monday and Tuesday at the care points. Pray that God will give us the power to proclaim the Gospel without shame or hesitation. Ask the Lord to help us share clearly what He has done for us and what He can and will do for them!
Love to you all …
Swazi Summer Team 2015