By Barbi Moore, Director of Global Outreach
For 18 months we have been preparing for this team that was co-sponsored by BFC Student Ministries. We had told our Swazi leaders about the summer 2010 team with so many students and their families. Our Swazi friends were excited and greatly anticipated the arrival of this GO Team filled with so many of our young people.
This was my 12th trip to Swaziland and while I was excited about this team I must admit I had moments of slight panic about how dozens of teens would do in Swaziland. How would they respond to the needs they would see? Would they fully participate in ministry and have the stamina for the schedule while on-site? I shouldn’t have been concerned for a minute as these students exceeded my greatest expectations!
Brent and Michaele LaVigne laid a lot of ground work for this team even though they would already be home in the United States by the time this delegation arrived. Andy and Amy Curry, our new on-site coordinators, followed up on many details in preparation for our arrival. Pat Burton, my assistant, worked for many months on the preparation of each person with their travel plans, passports, and fundraising. Thank you to these and all our team leaders for what took place from July 22-August 2, 2010.
Here is the story of this great intergenerational team…
Compassion Team – Half of this July/August GO Team were on the Compassion Team with 32 great members. Christi Busic and Susan Hall gave leadership to this group and their activities.
The Compassion Team had the opportunity to deliver 200 pairs of black school shoes to Gigi’s Place and see street children receive what was probably their first pair of new shoes and socks. The excitement was tangible at Gigi’s Place that day! Thank you BFC Kids who gave their offering from VBS 2010 to buy new school shoes for children in Swaziland.
This team provided a two-day Vacation Bible School at Blackmublizi Nazarene Primary School for 800 students. They participated in the chapel at the Living Waters Nazarene Primary School, served lunch at Gigi’s Place and visited people in their homes who were dying of AIDS, TB and malaria.
Lastly, this team got to do something new. We have tried for some time to obtain permission to do an assembly at some of the Nazarene high schools in Swaziland. We were finally granted permission and did two high school assemblies in the rural area of Sidvokodvo and in the urban city of Manzini. In all we ministered to about 800 students through these two high school meetings. Karen Miller led a dance team. Shelley Coil led a praise team – in English and siSwati. Cyndi Curry led the drama team and Bill Dillard in sports. Rev. Chris Pollock talked about how we all have scars in our lives – some that we can see and others that we cannot see. He told how Jesus wants to help heal these scars and use us for His glory. White index cards were given to every student at the conclusion of the assembly so they could write a prayer request. Hundreds came forward to drop their white card in a box so that someone could be praying for them. Please be praying for these students as they have concerns over grades, relationships, death of family members, and dreams for their future.
Construction Team and the first Jubilee project - It was Rev. Will and Karis Stemen, our first on-site coordinators in Swaziland that told me about the Embekelweni Church of the Nazarene over a year ago and their need for a roof on their new Sanctuary. We were working in other communities at that time so were not able to help. The LaVignes brought this church to BFC’s attention again and we decided we could help with the funds from BFC’s Jubilee offering. Andy and Amy Curry were the on-site coordinators that had the privilege of working with Embekelweni’s pastor Siyabonga Kunene on how we could partner with their congregation on a new roof, doors and windows. We learned more about this congregation and that they had been working for 10 years to lay the foundation and build the block walls. Pastor Kunene said that it would take another 10 years to raise the funds necessary for the roof!
Andy Curry made daily trips to Embekelweni to help develop a plan of partnership. Jon Cargill, Mike McGarry and Kevin Metcalf were ready to help lead our construction team and to work alongside Andy and the local people. Our team did a great job in working with new Embekelweni friends to finish the roof, doors and windows. Pastor Siyanbonga Kunene expressed his deep appreciation to the people of BFC for the gift of a new and completed Sanctuary for his congregation.
Education Team – It is always an honor to have educators on our GO Teams and this team was no exception. Our youth leaders Jaci Bounds, Rev. Stefanie Higgins, Rev. Chris Pollock led an NYI Workshop the first day they arrived in Swaziland! Over 100 youth workers came to Manzini to spend the morning with our BFC youth leaders. Chris, Stefanie and Jaci spoke on topics that the Swazi’s had selected and they had the opportunity to see some of these youth workers throughout the week for continued conversation and encouragement.
We had three counselors on the Education Team with Amy Curry, Cyndi Curry, and Carry Lance. These ladies led workshops on childhood trauma and abuse at New Hope Centre and with the caregivers from the HIV/AIDS Task Force. Their training was greatly received.
Rev. David Busic, Bill Dillard, and Rev. Scott Peterson spoke at the Ministerial Day with all the pastors from the Central District of Swaziland. They worshipped, prayed, and spoke words of encouragement to these men and women who are ministering to their congregations in Swaziland.
Medical/Dental Team – The 13 members of the Medical/Dental team consisted of four physicians, one dentist, two physician assistants, three nurses, one physical therapist, one pharmacist, and one dental hygienist. We are truly blessed with incredible professionals that give so freely of their time and expertise to Swaziland. Dr. Terry Hall, Dr. Paul Rothwell and Dr. Tim Rothwell were our leaders and worked to recruit this group of professionals.
Dr. Tim Rothwell, DDS, is working to provide a new dental clinic at Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital (RFM). He and dental hygienist Jana Bowes spent their week seeing patients, training three health workers on the basics of dental health and how to do simple extractions, plus assessing the site that RFM has given for this new clinic.
Dr. Terry Hall had meetings with the Swazi Ministry of Health as plans continue for the pediatric version of the Standard Treatment Book to be fully endorsed by the Ministry for use throughout Swaziland. Many children’s lives will be saved through this standardized approach to healthcare.
The medical/dental team provided healthcare to the most critically ill patients cared for by the HIV/AIDS Task Force, gave lectures at RFM, worked in four Nazarene clinics to see patients and work alongside the nurses who staff these clinics, provided annual physicals to the children at the New Hope Centre and spent a day with The Luke Commission.
There is much more to share about this team…
Bill Dillard spoke with regional and Swazi leaders about the possibility of a Great Commission Company coming to Swaziland. He has provided a for-profit business in several developing countries that support kingdom work. In Swaziland these leaders are considering a farm in Siteki that would support more students to attend the Nazarene College of Theology. More meetings are planned in the future to see this farm come to a reality.
Rev. David and Christi Busic, Barbi Moore, Pat Burton, and Andy and Amy Curry attended a meeting on July 22 that included many regional and Swazi leaders on how we can help Swaziland with their AIDS rate and vulnerable and orphaned children. The meeting was scheduled for 2 hours and went 5 hours! Plans are forming for a 2011 Pastoral Couples Conference to help equip these leaders to talk with their congregations about AIDS, abstinence, faithfulness in marriage, and heart holiness. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries is working on a plan for future child sponsorship in Swaziland that BFC will be ready to endorse.
Meredith Diffee, RN, was a part of the GO Team and decided to stay longer to work with Dr. Harry and Echo VanderWal of The Luke Commission. This aspiration began when Meredith met the VanderWals on our first GO Team in July 2008. She wanted to serve with them after she graduated from nursing school and passed her state boards, which she did consecutively in May and June of this year! The Luke Commission is a mobile clinic that provides healthcare to those in the most rural areas of Swaziland where there are no clinics. Meredith served on their team after the GO Team departed for home.
I need to stop. My heart is so full of seeing people serve, lives blessed, and people pointed to Jesus throughout our time in Swaziland. Continue to watch our website for podcasts, blogs, stories, and pictures of this GO Team and more.
One last thing. Don’t miss the opportunity to serve on a GO Team. Make plans now. Pray about how you can be a part of a future team. Pat Burton and I are here to help you find a place to serve!
Posted on Wed, September 1, 2010
by Barbi Moore