Have you ever felt, truly felt, the Presence of the Lord in a place? Moving, stirring, working? A year ago, I visited a Swazi homestead to bring food and other necessities to a family who did not have food even for that night. They had desperately prayed to the Lord to provide for their children.
“…He regards the prayer of the destitute and does not despise their prayer.” -Psalm 102:17
God heard their cry and we had the unbelievable privilege to be the chosen instruments that brought food to them. I knew that the Lord was there, and never in my life have I felt such a strong sense of God’s presence. I left that home visit with a reminder of the power of prayer. Many of you at home read about this family here and interceded on their behalf.
I prayed for that family all year, specifically that they would be able to find work. Returning to Swaziland this year, I hoped I would be able to see the children from this family again.
Every day at the CarePoints, the children receiving home visits wait patiently by the gate for us to drive or walk them home. Standing there were two sisters who looked familiar to me. “Casey, you have a picture of my family on your phone,” said one of the sweet girls. It took me a moment to process, and then, Oh! I recognized who she was, and I am pretty sure my tears began already. I was getting to return to these girls’ homestead, AND they remembered me! These children whom I had been praying for all year long remembered me.
When we arrived at their homestead, the parents were not there, because they were AT WORK! Praise God, the mother and father both had found employment. While the family still struggled to provide enough food for all six children, the homestead looked better and cleaner, and they even had some goats and chickens on the property. The 17 year old special needs daughter was now in school and seemed more coherent. The parents are working- the mother cleaning houses and the father driving a taxi- and the improvements in their situation made my heart swell with thankfulness.
Home visits are done at the end of the day, after school and after time at the CarePoint, so by the time we reached the homestead and unloaded the provisions, the sun was lowering on the horizon and we knew we must say farewell in order to give the kids time to fetch water from the well and return home before darkness settled in. We decided to drive them in our car to the well. The kids taught us how to pump the water, and we each took turns filling the five gallon buckets. We loaded five full buckets of water into the trunk of the van and we rode back the rutted dirt road.
I’ll never forget that drive- the uphill mile the children usually go on foot carrying 40 pound buckets on their little heads- now in the plush seats of an old van, heavy buckets sitting in the trunk. The sun was sinking lower, the breeze entering through the open windows and we sang silly songs, laughing and honking the horn. True joy filled that van.
Before we left those six little children that day at that one room home with the majestic mountain view, as the sun sank lower and the cool breeze blew on us, we joined hands in prayer and once again, welcomed the Spirit of the Lord into that place.
Many of you at home read this family’s story last year, and you prayed for them. I prayed for them all year. I know God answers prayers, and I know He is All Powerful, but I continually underestimate exactly what He will do when I am faithful to call upon His name. This family prayed that desperate prayer, and God answered. Our church family and friends prayed, and He answered. The next day, one of those precious sisters brought me a Thank You note from her mother. God is at work in that place. Do not cease praying, dear friends.
For those watching the ministry from afar, be those that intercede on the mission team’s behalf and on behalf of our Swazi friends all year long. We will never know on this side of heaven all of the miracles that have happened in Swaziland because of our prayers.
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” -Colossians 4:2