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Dying of AIDS all alone in a shack

As detailed in Sunday’s blog, Karen and I just returned from Swaziland. Here was one of the more heart-rending visits we made:   Pastor Gift ushered us into one typical homestead.  The only light came from sun leaking through chinks in the walls and the low doorway. Lyi…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
As detailed in Sunday’s blog, Karen and I just returned from Swaziland.

Here was one of the more heart-rending visits we made:

 
Pastor Gift ushered us into one typical homestead.  The only light came
from sun leaking through chinks in the walls and the low doorway.

Lying
on a pallet on the packed earth floor was the shriveled form of a
skeletal woman underneath a pile of blankets.  The skin on her face was
stretched taut over fragile bones.   She was dying of AIDS, (though it
is starvation that will finish her off as she is now too weak to manage
food).  Unable to sit up, she welcomed us with her voice and her eyes. 

 
“I’m ready to die,” she told us.  “I know Jesus and know that he
will greet me.  But here I am alone. Few people come to visit me.”   We
asked her to be ready to welcome us with a hug when we get there, as
she will likely be there first. 

And now we were not white foreigners
visiting an African woman, but we were brothers and sisters in the same
family, happy to share moments together and touched by the real hope of
being reunited on the other side.

One of our team members, Debi Ferrarello, describes how we ended
our time there: “Deeply moved, I touched my sister’s face, shoulder,
hands, and prayed a blessing upon her.  Paraphrasing a recurring line
from William Young’s The Shack, I looked deeply into her eyes and told her, “Jesus is especially fond of you.”
 
As a group, we sang a serenade of love for her and for our Father,
of worship and of praise.  God’s love transcended culture and
language. 

In the humble chapel of a mud hut in the African bush, a
dear sister soon to be with Jesus and an unlikely band of Americans led
by a Swazi pastor and his wife, God’s glory shined.”

Comments (5)

  • My heart is broken as I read the blogs about Swaziland. I will be definitely praying for them! And It’s so encouraging to see how God is working there.

  • Nicole Eckenroth

    this just tears me apart, but also brings me joy for this woman. how is she content with this? the peace of Jesus Christ is an incredible immeasurable thing! your ministry is such a joy, and u r spreading the light of christ!

  • Amazing how God knits us all together in hope and pain.

    Amazing to become family white westerner, Swazi pastor, and death ravaged sister!

    Amazing what God has in store on the other side the pain of this exposure!

    Amazing to be moving toward participating with God his redemption of Swazi!

    Amazing to get to be light to the world!

    Thanks Seth, we are blessed by your work!!!

  • My team met Maswane this summer in Nsoko…I didn’t have the opportunity to, but hearing her story changed my life. She passed away, 19years old (my age) in september of this year…she is now dancing with Jesus 🙂 Thank you for sharing this.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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