Three words come to my mind as I type this post:
Anticipation: We are all anticipating our time at the care points tomorrow. We are excited, scared, full of wonder and expectation. I know I am wondering what my reaction will be when I “see” and “experience” the care points. Will I cry? Will my heart be broken? Will God ignite a passion in my heart like I’ve never known?
Who will I bond with? What will they think of me? What is their story? When I look into those big brown eyes, I am anxiously wondering … what will my response be?
Motivation: It’s been seven years since Scott Hall was motivated to travel to Swaziland to see what it was truly all about. He came alone, not knowing what to expect. Captivated by the sight of a little girl named Nokwanda, he would never again be the same. What captured his heart was a six-year-old little girl, walking with her two siblings toward him. Her 18-month-old brother, Sethu was on her back and her three-year-old sister, Nomvuyo was holding her hand.
Nomvuyo, Sethu, & Nokwanda – 2008
She was six! A care-taker at age six!
Nokwanda and her siblings came to the care point to eat. She would get three bowls of food and would first feed Sethu, then Nomvuyo. After she took care of them, she would take her bowl and eat half and save the other half, putting it in her bag for later.
Sethu, & Nokwanda – 2008
This little African girl motivated the heart of this 40-something-year-old business man from Georgia. How, you might say? Love, compassion, mercy, the hope of Jesus … all of these things tuned Scott’s heart and caused him to share his story with others to be a voice for the voiceless.
That’s why when he found out he couldn’t come along with us on Sunday because of a passport issue he worked so tirelessly to remedy the situation. He is highly motivated to get here so he can continue to be a voice. We received this email from him today regarding his status:
As you may have read, I was not allowed to board the plane on Sunday due to the limited number of blank pages in my passport. I was instructed to call the passport office, make an appointment and hopefully they could extend a bit of grace and allow me to travel. I continuously called the number and tried to make an appointment through the automated system, however, that system was down. With yesterday being a holiday, I was unable to get to the passport office until this morning at 8:00 AM – along with a few hundred other people that were in a crisis as well. We were all told unless you can prove there was a death or a pending death, they would not be able to give anyone an emergency appointment today.
I left the passport office with not a lot of hope, but with one thought. Did I know anyone that might be able to get to get in touch with a congressman that could possibly make a phone call and secure an appointment for me? Today, my “angel contact” was Penny. She has a friend that works for one of our congressmen. She called her friend, who in turn made a phone call, which resulted in a 10:00 AM appointment at the passport office.
I am happy to say that I picked up my passport up at 3PM today, and I am booked on a flight out of Atlanta at 7:23 PM tonight and will arrive on Thursday in Swaziland!
What causes a 50-year-old man to spend four days to get to the other side of the world to see the least of these? Pure love and genuine compassion!
Nokwanda – 2013
Affirmation: Amy shared a beautiful devotion with us late this evening. God has really been showing her a lot about Psalm 139:23-24. I found this very interesting because I’ve been reading Psalm 139 over and over recently. She opened my eyes to some new thoughts tonight though.
Verse 23 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts.”
She challenged us to really ask ourselves about the motive of our hearts. She asked us to articulate why we came. Did we come so we could feel good about ourselves for helping these poor little children? Did we come for personal gratification? Did we come to perform and receive affirmation from others or did we come to share the Good News of Jesus Christ?
She challenged us to search our hearts and discern the real reason for coming. Did we come to thrill our own hearts, and our own need for something significant or did we come to fulfill the needs of others and experience a divine dance with our heavenly Father?
Who knows what God will teach us individually? Who knows what kind of impact we will have on these little ones or the impact they will have on us? God knows!
He knows, He sees, He plans, He ignites passion, He motivates, He affirms.
I can’t wait until tomorrow!
Swaziland Summer Team 2015