Good morning, all –
We returned home on Wednesday around noon – thanks to all of you for the warm welcome home. It was so wonderful to see family and friends waiting for us to get off the bus. I wanted to give you a follow up from the trip, but needed a bit of time to try and get my thoughts together. I decided if I waited until they were “completely together”, an update may never come.
I’d like to say that we are returning to “life”. To a sense of normalcy. But we are not. Our sense of normalcy has forever been altered. And that’s a good thing. Things that we thought mattered a great deal seem to have been put on the back burner. Some things that we once considered so very important are completely off the radar now. A trip like this will do that to you. It will cause you to take a step back and reevaluate everything. Again, that’s a good thing. I’m sure the entire team has a new perspective on life. But more importantly, a new perspective on their relationship with our Father. James 1:27 has come alive to each of us. And now, we must be held accountable to carry it out. His command has been made real to us and it cannot be taken lightly. Why? Because greater things are yet to come for the country of Swaziland. But those things cannot happen if we do not allow Him to use us. We must be the willing vessels that He needs to carry out His mission and plans for that country.
Seventeen willing vessels left this abundantly blessed country on January 21. Eleven of them having no idea what they would encounter. The team that God put together for this trip has been nothing short of amazing. He has woven hearts and minds together for one purpose. A purpose that is so much greater than any of us. A purpose that we have all been incredibly blessed to be a part of. And to witness such a miracle as capturing a cyclone and sending it back out to sea? …………… I wish I had words to describe that, but I do not. He showed up in such mighty, mighty ways during this trip and boy, did He show off! It was an honor to be a part of this team. And believe me, greater things are certainly going to be accomplished through members of this team. He is so not done with us! He has spoken to each of us and believe me, we will not be silent!
A brief update on Thembinkosi (Jeff & Dona’s Swazi son) — We were able to locate the father who gave Allison (Alabama missionary) permission to remove him from the abusive situation at the homestead. A huge praise!!! Allison went to pick him up on Tuesday as we were driving back to J’burg to catch our flight. We received a text that she had him safely in the backseat. She said as they were driving down the road, she was watching him in the rearview mirror. It was as though he let out a big sigh and all of the fear left his body. Later, he was hanging his head out the window like a puppy! Can’t you just picture the pure joy on that child’s face?!?! And for the first time in his life, he went to bed that night feeling safe, secure and loved. Knowing that he would wake up surrounded by love and not to the evil hands of a relative. Our cup runneth over with gratitude and thanksgiving for the burden that God has placed on the hearts of Mark and Allison Clyburn to live out James 1:27.
May each of us be awakened by this plight and be willing to follow His command. In complete surrender.
Thank you again for your encouragement during our trip. Your prayers truly sustained us through some very difficult times. Know that you are a huge part of the team and we so greatly appreciate each of you. We love you very much —-