“Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other!”
This definitely sums up our day. We had the best Valentine’s Day…..ever!
Our team has seen God in amazing ways, but today….oh, today! I am sure most of you know the sweet story of the Applewhite family (Brian, Tricia & Kaitlyn). They have sponsored a little girl, Temaswati, since 2009. They have faithfully written Temaswati and have always sent many pictures of their family. Each year when one of our teams visits Swaziland, Temaswati would run to one of us and say, “Are the Applewhite’s here?”, then she would reach in her backpack and pull out one of the pictures they had sent her. This happened year after year after year. In October of 2012, Kaitlyn finally convinced Mom and Dad that they needed to visit Temaswati. When they agreed, this amazing little girl got to work. Raising money for a family of three to head to Africa was no small task. But this little girl is not one of “little faith”! She organized a yard sale where she sold many of her personal possessions. She was willing to do whatever it took to get here to see her special friend. Her sweet sister in Christ. Her obedience was honored and God provided the funds needed to get this family here! They were finally going to meet Temaswati. I am not sure who was more excited. The Applewhites or the rest of the team. To see these two girls meet for the first time was more than any of us could imagine.
The Wednesday before we left, we were scheduled to pack our crates. That day, I received an email stating that Temaswati was no longer at the care point. She was going to another school and was no longer there. I can’t explain the sinking feeling I felt. Knowing that I had to let them know. I talked with them that evening. We prayed. We cried. And we prayed. We knew that God was in control and prayed that he would honor their obedient faith to step out.
We arrived in Swaziland on Sunday hopeful that Temaswati would at least be able to come to our Fun Day that we have on Saturday. This is where both of our care points get together for a special meal and lots of fun. When I spoke with the missionaries, I was told they had just found out that Temaswati was not just at another school. She had been placed in an orphanage. Two hours away. While this was for her own safety, this created another downward hill on the roller coaster ride. Monday morning, we began to throw around ideas of how to get the family to the orphanage. Our missionaries tried all day Monday to reach the orphanage to see if a meeting could be arranged. No response. We continued to pray. We thanked God that Temaswati was in a safe place, but still desired for this family to meet her. Please God, let this be a part of your plan. Please honor their obedience. If this meeting was to happen, it was going to be only because God would arrange it.
Calls continued to be made on Tuesday. Finally….someone actually spoke to the orphanage. We were told she was not at the orphanage. This was not the answer we expected. One of the natives went to her relative’s home near the care point and the relative confirmed that she was indeed at an orphanage. But which one? Another downward hill of the roller coaster.
If you haven’t figured out by now, communication in Swaziland is somewhat difficult. Stories are sometimes unclear. This was certainly one of those unclear stories. We continued to pray. Oh, how we prayed. Again, there were so many pieces to this story, that only God could complete it.
Wednesday, we had confirmation that she was indeed at an orphanage and we would be able to take the family there and hopefully, they could see her. There was no guarantee that this would happen. They may make the drive and not be allowed in the orphanage. This was a chance worth taking.
The plan for today was that one of the missionaries would take the Applewhites to the orphanage with two of our D-team members. When we arrived at the care point, we found out they needed to leave immediately in order to make a 12:00 appointment at the orphanage. They were actually going to see her! We were headed up the roller coaster! We praised God for His faithfulness. Thanked Him for providing a way for this meeting to take place. Then we sent them on their way with lots of tears of joy!
We all waited anxiously to hear what was happening. Then a call came. She was not at that orphanage, but she was at a nearby one. The journey continued along many dirt roads, asking locals for directions. They arrived at the correct orphanage at 12:45 to finally meet Temaswati. The end of the roller coaster ride. The perfect ending to God’s story for this little girl to meet the family that has been praying for and loving her for the last 4 years. What a sweet meeting as Kaitlyn and Temaswati ran across the lawn to hug each other. A meeting that only God could arrange! And He arranged it on a day that we celebrate LOVE! Thank you, God, for honoring this family’s desire. It just doesn’t get any better!
“Delight yourself in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
– Psalm 37:4
Thank you for all of your prayers! Happy Valentine’s Day, Temaswati!
PS-Yes, we do have pictures, but right now our internet will not allow us to upload them! I promise to try again in the morning.