This picture tells many stories. Above all it is a story of Gods love, His greatness, goodness and faithfulness.
Gcenile is a Swazi from Nkwalini. She lost both her parents at a very young age and she struggled as she had to survive without any help. She lost both her 2 albino sisters because of skin cancer. She is a child of God and loves the Lord. Although she has many obstacles in her life she wanted to know more about Him and it was made possible for her (through a sponsor) to follow a Disciple Training School. She is learning more about God, about Jesus and the Holy Spirit. When she goes to the hospital she prays for the children and encourage the parents. She is on fire for the Lord.
However, she has one more problem.
Once, a long time ago, I guess, the World Bible Translation Center in Texas, America must have decided to have an Easy to Read Bible in giant print. The Bibles got translated and go to the printers.
I have no idea what happened to these Bibles that got printed but somehow along the way one box of these Bibles got into a container to be shipped to Africa. I have no idea either who’s idea that was and who took the initiative or who paid for it. I’m sure though that the people who were loading this trailer must have prayed, ‘Lord, we pray that these books will get to the right people who need it most and we ask for your blessing and guidance for these books.’
The container gets closed and sealed and is transported to the harbour where it gets loaded on the container ship. Finally, among many other containers the ship is loaded and prepare for voyage. We know that ships are safest in the harbour but ships are not made for that. It crosses the big ocean and I’m sure through some heavy storms.
After a long journey, thanks to skilful sailors, the ship arrives in Cape town, South Africa. The container gets offloaded and finally made its way to ‘Literature4Africa’ where the books and materials get stored, and indeed, this one box of Bibles as well.
Earlier this year we were at KwaSizaBantu, together with 15 others pastors from Swaziland to attend the minister’s conference. Altogether there were over 2000 pastors from all over South Africa and other countries. Jill and I stayed with a family who were living at KSB as well as Gideon and his family. Gideon was going to lead that Monday morning the devotions at the school and I asked him if I could come with him, which was no problem at all.
I was privileged to come to the devotions as we learned from an earlier visit that guests were only allowed on a Wednesday to attend the devotion time at the school.
The next morning, I really wanted to go as well and as we stayed with one of the teachers of the school I asked her if I could go again. Again, it was no problem and so I ended up again at the school to attend the devotions. I met the people who were leading the devotions, there was a couple who came from Cape town and also a man, who also came from Cape town. He was not impressed by me when I shook his hand and he may still feel it.
I found out that the couple were coming to Swaziland and I told them that they were welcome to stay with us at the offices of Swazi Vision. That is exactly what happened and they stay at the offices for a whole week while they were travelling all over Swaziland.
Later in the year I got an email from ‘Literature4Africa’ – I have never heard of them but they told me that they had books and other material for us. The only thing we had to do was come and collect it. We don’t have a trailer and are short of money to purchase one. I wrote back that as soon we have the trailer that I would come and collect the books, tracks and other material.
At the weekend we had a braai where a local farmer was also present and I told him the story and he said to me, ‘Why don’t you use our trailer? See if it is available and you can collect the things in Cape town.’
The trailer was available and suddenly everything went very quickly and before I knew it I was on my way to Cape town – and what a wonderful drive it was!
The people in Cape town were very hospitable. I could stay in ‘Livingstone House’ and the accommodation was wonderful. The director of the place showed me around and was very generous. While I was there we even talked and arranged a pastor conference in Swaziland (which we had with over 70 people in August).
The trailer got loaded with so much material, books, tracks and it would be an absolute treasure for Swaziland, for pastors, for the church and especially for the children and children workers. The next day at 11pm I arrived safely back at Nsoko.
I heard that the couple who stayed with us earlier this year recommended me to ‘Literature4Africa’
Anne and Birgitte vd Zaag are missionaries from Holland and are living in Mbabane. They have set up ‘Heart for Swaziland’ and it is always nice when they come around. Of course, I showed them around and showed them all the things we collected from Cape town. When Birgitte saw the Bible in giant print she got very excited and told me the story of Gcenile and how she battled to read her Bible. She literally holds the Bible against her nose and still battle to read it.
When Birgit got home again in Mbabane she immediately wanted to visit Gcenile and to give her this new treasure. When she got to her place she was lying on the ground with her nose in the Bible and Birgitte gave her this new Bible.
She was so overjoyed with this new Bible.
Soon Gcenile will go on outreach in Swaziland and Mozambique.
This Bible has come long way, over land, winding roads, over the ocean, has gone through many hands, lots of paperwork, gone through borders, people have been praying for it and through circumstances, contacts and friends this book has come into the right hands.
I’m sure when this book was packed into the box that God knew Gcenile and knew that this was the best gift He could give to her.
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