Nati stood on a hill in the African village of Melanda, Swaziland addressing a Mission Discovery team after they completed a playground for the children of the community. Surrounding us were the simple mud-huts typical of this region of Africa. “This is Mission Discovery’s second year to come back to my village,” Nati said. Nati leads tours of his home village and the nearby town of Bulembu.
“Your return means so much. One would not describe your work here today as a sentence, or a paragraph, but a book.” Nati pointed to two simple swing sets and a slide completed that day by the team. For three years the swing set parts sat in weeds, incomplete. But by that day children were swinging on the set and sliding down the slide, one of many work projects completed over the month long work of Mission Discovery teams that ended on Friday.
Nearby to Melanda, is Bulembu, Swaziland where a group of Christian businessmen have purchased a town that is dedicated to rescuing children who lost parents as a result of an AIDS pandemic that is killing the population of Swaziland.
Now in Bulembu 226 children from infants to 18 years of age are given again the chance to be loved appropriately, have an education and all in the atmosphere of Christ centered programs. By 2020 there will be 2,000 children, a small fraction of those who have been orphaned in this tiny Kingdom.
Over the course of our time there teams lead a games day, painted the new school building opening soon, constructed a huge brick patio outside the central dining hall, built playgrounds, helped children with homework each day, repaired play equipment, and lost endless soccer games!
Though our teams did a lot of work, the Mission Discovery participants would all report that the greater work was done in them. Simply being a small part of the big picture of God’s work there does that.