June 10, 2011
It was a blustery day in the 100 acre wood. Really. Seriously. We’re not kidding. Like one of those intolerably windy days from the beach, this wind is fast, hard, and relentless. So relentless, in fact, our power went off during the night. The team awoke to hot showers, but no light and no hairdryers (!). Our awesomely amazing chef, however, had a generator, so our breakfast dining experience was still superb.
The team layered up with clothing to the point of some of them looking like a bulked up weight lifters. And we were on our way.
As we turned onto the dirt road to the Timbutini Carepoint, we encountered one joyful child running along the side of our van. This is not an uncommon sight. However, this child was by himself. Exuberantly, Mandy Flanders rang out with, “Pick him up and give him a ride!” The rest of us, still encumbered with American thought-processes, debated the idea among ourselves, “Can we do that? Is it okay?” The staff driver, obviously one in spirit with Mandy, stopped the vehicle and spoke to the child is Siswati. With that, he bounded over to the van and jumped into the front seat, to the joy of the rest of the team.
Due to time constraints, an executive decision was made to depart from our normal routine and have our morning team devotional at Timbutini. At least it appeared to be Robin’s decision. Truth be told, it was God’s decision. Keep in mind the wind was still howling. The Disciplers were miserable in the wind. Just as we sat down in the church building for our team devotional, in walked the Disciplers and they joined us for Mike Ikeler’s devotion. Now it just so happens that Mike is also in charge of the Disciplers devotion. These events combined for the Holy Spirit to move.
As Mike ended his devotion, we bowed our heads to pray. But the prayer we heard flowed into pure beauty. Instead of mere spoken words, the soft voices of the Disciplers began to lift up praise to God in four part harmony. The voice began to crescendo and blossomed into a full blown song of absolute beauty to the ears, all in four part harmony, as only those in Africa can attain. And they didn’t stop. The sound of the silence of those listening was deafening. Such prayers, such voices of song, are rarely heard. It was that kind of moment.
After several songs, the voices literally faded away again in soft tenderness. Just as we were collecting our emotions, Mike spoke to the group and asked that we join him in washing the Disciplers’ feet. The six disciplers sat as we took wet wipes (okay, when you’re in Swaziland, you improvise), and gently wiped their feet clean. For the women, we then placed lotion on their feet and gently massaged those feet that serve so very many. Next, we gathered around and prayed over them. These six young men and women serve these kids, over 4000 of them beyond our two care points year round.
The experience was of the Holy Spirit. And as this blog is closed, Team 2 refers you to the following verse: Acts 2: 1-2: “ When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from Heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.” Today, we experienced this violent wind and the Holy Spirit, here in this one hundred acre wood. This entire day was orchestrated by God, and we are thankful.
June 10, 2011