God has blown me away. I came into this trip planning on pouring out God’s love to others, not expecting anything in return. God, in all His power, has shown me that He is so much more than I can fathom. He has taken anything and everything I expected or didn’t expect and showed me that He has his own plans and ways of doing things. A verse that He has placed on my heart while I’ve been here is Isaiah 55:8-9 – “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.”
One of the biggest ways this verse has rang true while being in Swazi has been the love God has shown me through the people here. I have felt loved and accepted by so many Swazi’s but one girl in particular has been a God-send in showing me how much He truly loves me. Her name is Sphilile. She is only 13 years old, yet she has had more trials and suffering in her life than I want to even think about having in all of mine. She lives with her parents, both who are mentally handicapped, and nine brothers and sisters. During conversations I have found out that she is both physically and emotionally abused by her mother. She has also sold her body in the past. I met Sphilile at Gugu’s school, where we have been helping them learn English and sharing who God really is. At the same time we have been investing and pouring into the children there, Christ has really poured into me through Sphilile. He has spoke directly to me through a letter Sphilile wrote me. I’ll share with you a piece of the first letter that is so simple, yet bold about God’s love for ME.
My name is Sphilile. I want to tell you about love. I love you Staci because you tell me everything in a book. Please you must love God because God created you and me. I love you very much. You are so beautiful Staci. Jesus died for you Staci. God love you very much.”
Everything this letter says is what I thought I was coming to share with them, but God used an unexpected note, written by a 13 year old girl who has never really seen love, to grab me and tell me specifically how much He loves ME. God knew what I needed to hear and sent it to me in a way He knew would grab my attention. He disregarded the ‘plans’ I had coming into this trip and reminded me that He is in control and will teach whoever needs to be taught whenever He feels. “For my thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord, “And my ways are beyond anything you could imagine” –Isaiah 55:8. God’s personal love for me, Staci Hitch, is only one of the many things He has shown me through the people I was planning on ministering to.
UPDATE ON TANZILI
In my first blog, I shared about a little 4 year old that was in need of prayers. I just wanted to thank everyone who included Tanzili and her family in your prayers. God is so good!
We were given an opportunity to take a box of food to Tanzi and see her for the first time since we took her to the doctor last month. I wasn’t sure what condition we were going to find her in, but as we approached her homestead I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Tanzili’s gogo (the one who was beaten and who we thought was on her death bed) was sitting outside along with two magas (Tanzili’s aunts). They had five little children, including Tanzi, out in the tubs giving them baths. When I picked up Tanzi and really looked at her, I noticed her eye was completely healed, no swelling or even redness. She still had the scabies but they did not look as bad and she had even gained weight. Her hair was turning white again from a lack of nutrition and she had developed swelling in her feet, but she was home and had adults with her providing care! She was getting a bath and had on fresh clothes. Her family was getting a box of food and there were people staying at the homestead that were older than eleven years, meaning the food should not be stolen from them.
Wow! God is good! He is Jehovah-jireh and Jehovah-rapha, the Lord who provides and the Lord who heals. And prayers are powerful! Thank you so much to all who took some of Tanzi’s burden and prayed diligently for her. God is faithful and is answering prayers as I am typing this.
As our team goes into our last week in Swazi, here are some things you can continue to pray for:
-Tanzi and her family
-Swaziland in general
-for our team, that we have boldness to hold nothing back as we minister this last week and give everything we have to telling people about God’s love and hope ; for strength as we have to prepare our hearts to say bye to all the people in Swazi that have become our family and for our upcoming travel
Thanks to all, God Bless and see you soon!