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Nsoko, Matthew 25 and you

If you take Matthew 25* literally in the context of what’s going on in Swaziland, it’s sobering. Over in Nsoko, Swaziland, Pastor Gift’s average day doesn’t look like yours or mine. For example, here in Georgia it’s rare that a random neighbor knocks on our door – maybe a Fedex guy stop…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
If you take Matthew 25* literally in the context of what’s going on in Swaziland, it’s sobering.
Over in Nsoko, Swaziland, Pastor Gift’s average day doesn’t look like yours or mine. For example, here in Georgia it’s rare that a random neighbor knocks on our door – maybe a Fedex guy stops by needing a signature. In contrast, Pastor Gift is the last hope some neighbors have. Here’s his blog:
Yesterday I was sitting in my house doing administrative work when
I heard a timid knock at the door. I reluctantly stood up and went to
check this unusual knock out.
 
There was this lady who was so frail and skinny you
could have thought she was dead. I inquired, “how can I help you gogo”.
She shyly gave a response, “I am hungry my son, help I am dying.” I
immediately thought of what we had at the kitchen. We had no food too except some bread that I was serving for my
daughter when she comes from school.
 
The Spirit within me said, “Are you going to spare food for your
daughter and not give God right at your door.  I went to the kitchen and began to make juice and took
all the slices of bread put it on a tray and went to give the old lady
outside. Her eyes immediately brightened at the sight of food. I
watched her eat as if she had not eaten in days.
 
When she was done I
cannot remember how many times she said “God bless you my son”, “Thank
you so much” with that shaking timid voice. I watched her as she stoop
up to leave her body telling a story of shame as she moved. As she
disappeared she left me with a picture of a miserable face that does
not remember any joy. Here is someone that has lived a life of shame
most of her life.
 
Later we went to this gogo’s home.She is
trying her best to raise her grandchildren that were left behind by her
dead children. The only surviving daughter destroyed her house and left
never to come back.
 
I must say, the people of Nsoko are still full of hope. They hope
in life, they hope in hope, and above all they have hope in God.How
people survive hear sometimes I do not know. But the fact is they do
survive. They hope against hope. As I write in my car there is an
envelope full if HIV results. Almost all of the people who got tested, tested positive. These people are poor and they
are also the most infected. In Swaziland the infection rate is at 42%.
Nsoko has a 49% infection rate. People are dying and in numbers.
Businesses are being affected.
 
The other day I was called upon to rescue a young man of about 22
years. He was from hospital to collect his ARV’s. He had just enough
money for transport and nothing for food. He fell next to the gate
because he could not walk any longer. We have hope though. We hope
against hope.
*Matt. 25 says: “Then the
righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed
you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

 40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

 41“Then
he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I
was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you
did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after
me.'”
 
Please pray for Swaziland — and please click here.

Comments (11)

  • When eternity becomes more than a concept and following Jesus more than a fad we allow scripture to burn a brand on our hearts and commit it all to Him. Halfway anything makes the Living God sick to His stomach. He said so.

  • We need to take Matthew 25 literally in the context of our own lives. Sitting and waiting for someone to show up is not the route to take. I believe God daily directs us into situations that need His hope.

    Too often we’re busy and don’t answer the call. Even when it’s beating on the door of our hearts and homes.

    Thank you Pastor Gift for modeling the commandment of Christ by loving his neighbor as himself.

  • Just a quick follow-up to my post above.

    About two hours after posting I encountered Ricky. How did I know he needed hope? Well, the sign asking for work made it obvious.

    God’s word doesn’t say to pray about helping. I did, however, pray about how to help. I think that is necessary, and the part that we get confused about.

    Any way, just wanted to thank God that He will use me!

  • How many times do we ignore the calls to help our neighbors? It is a challenge to go and knock on our neighbors doors and ask “How can I help you today my friend?” The world has grown smaller everyday, and we are closer everyday.

    What can will all do today to help Dan? Pray in your hearts and let’s make this happen one person at a time.

    Just my humble opinion.

  • Dan,

    What did God say about how to help?

    Everyone else, let me say I know Dan, and he’s the real deal. He meets people in the weirdest ways simply by doing what he’s writing about: he keeps his eyes open daily for those who need hope. While Dan would say he’s imperfect, I say yep, we all are. But Dan strives every day to find Jesus.

    So I’m curious how the story ended.

    Gabe

  • Pastor Gift’s message is a heartbreaking one. Thanks for sharing it here. I first read it over on Katie Rowland’s site. She has a donation link directly to AIM Nsoko fund.

  • Dan responded to my question to him (comment #8) via email and has given me permission to paste it here:

    “I offered Ricky several things.

    He was standing in a parking lot where people enter and exit a grocery store. I nervously approached and said, “What’s going on?” He told me his current dilemma, and I responded by telling him of how I trust in God to meet my needs. I gave him some examples, too.

    My faith arose, and I asked if he knew Jesus as Lord. He said he did! I wanted to build up his faith, so I related the Matthew 25 passage of helping others.

    I asked if he would like me to pray for him. He did. He offered his right hand, so I grabbed it and began to pray. He needs many things. Besides those, I asked God to protect, guide and unleash His miraculous power.

    In addition, I told Ricky of a couple local food banks and gave him some $.

    I believe I did what Jesus wanted me to do. I prayed, listened and moved. Hopefully, I can maintain that type of obedience. It’s such a blessing to share the greatest hope of all!”

  • Hi Seth, this post caught my eye because my daughter and her team are spending this month in Nsoko. I am praying for them, that they will be able to not only serve but bring hope to many! This post has also reminded me to be on the lookout for people in need right here in my small town.

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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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