28 Jan 2008
Scene opens with: Nkosingiphile Dlamini opening the gates on the way to the homestead.
When visiting a strange land and a strange culture, it seems that all gates are closed. We found a friend to open many of these gates. Some gates are easily opened while others are a real problem. The most difficult is language. Our friend, Nkosingiphile Dlamini, opened this gate as he introduced us to Pastor Ephraim Mkhalipi of Ntuthwakazi Baptist Church. The African handshake is demonstrated as well.
Nkosingiphile helps us in understanding the culture and the people living in the rural areas of Swaziland. We discover that burros carry heavy loads of grain and most people walk to where they are going. However, ladies, in particular, are thankful for a ride.
(Scene of ND helping ladies into the back of the pickup.)
There are few signs along the road to provide directions but Nkosingiphile knows the way around the rural areas of the Shiselweni Region of Swaziland. He also knows all of the pastors in the region. Centrally located in this region is Velebantfu Baptist Church. It was good to meet Pastor Johannes Tfwala and discover how his church is reaching out into the community.
In the small town of Nhlangano, we are introduced to the pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church. Pastor Vusie Nxumalo has a tuck shop that is his only source of income.
Opening the gates was very important to us as we tried to better understand the Swazi people but there was another kind of gate. Just a few miles down the tar road from Nhlangano. By the time we arrived it was dark. The Thunzini Baptist Church worship service had begun. Our friend is the pastor here. He and Smanga Ndlovu were leading the songs. The slow beat of the song, the spirit of worship, and the dim light from the three kerosene lanterns added to the feeling that God was here!
Pastor Dlamini invited me to the front to greet everyone. Our friend, Nkosingiphile, and this family of God made us welcome in their midst.
Arline: on camera comments
The pastor taught from Gods Word in English so that we could understand. The message was translated into the siSwati language so the rest of the people could understand. Some followed along in their Bibles illuminated only by a candle. As the worship continued, all the gates were now open. We were with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
(Young people singing We are going to the river .)
Overlay: Pray for Pastor Dlamini
Overlay: Pray for the Thunzini Baptist Church
Overlay: Pray for the Country of Swaziland
Ephraim Mkhalipi EE phra eem eem KAH LEEP ee
Johannes Tfwala Joe hahn ness T fwa la
Nhlangano Ninch la gah no
Nkosingiphile Dlamini N ko sing pee lay D zlah mee nee
Ntuthwakazi n too twah ga zee
Shiselweni She sawl way nee
SiSwati see SWAH tee
Thunzini Toon zee nee
Velebantfu Ve lah bahn too
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