South Eastern Africa
Opening the Gates

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                       28 Jan 2008

    Scene opens with:  Nkosingiphile Dlamini opening the gates on the way to the homestead.

 Narrator:  C

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.

 Narrator:  C

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.)

 Narrator:  A

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. 

 Narrator:  A

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. 

 Narrator:  C

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! 

 Narrator:  A

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 God’s 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


Pronunciation Guide:

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

Smanga Ndlovu

Thunzini                                 Toon zee nee

Velebantfu                              Ve lah bahn too

Vusie Nxumalo



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