In a culture where fathers are often absent and male role models are few, it is such an encouragement to see the men who are stepping up as leaders for their families and serving their communities. Our friend, Babe Lukhele, faithfully volunteers at the CarePoint his three children attend and serves at church each Sunday. He also happens to be a skilled artisan and makes the most beautiful hand-woven baskets.
Our family had the opportunity to help he and his wife harvest one of their cornfields and then de-kernel the corn a couple of weeks later.
During our time at his homestead, Babe Lukhele graciously showed us his workshop and demonstrated how he makes the baskets I have long admired and frequently use. The time spent with him at his home was particularly special because two of his children are sponsored by two of my dear friends back in Salt Lake City, so his children have always held a special place in my heart, not to mention they are some of the smiliest kids you will ever meet . . . seems they take after their father. I am exceedingly grateful for the time we were able to spend deepening our relationship with this special family and hope we can find other ways to do life alongside our friends here.
What a joy and privilege it is to watch great leaders rise up! There are dozens of young Swazi men and women who are adding incredible depth and richness to an already remarkable ministry. These young adults are nothing short of an answer to prayer, walking realities of a dream that began long ago. So far, some of my most savored moments are those spent speaking with these young leaders or, better yet, seeing them in action – pouring into and shepherding the children at the CarePoints. They know the children because they themselves are from the same communities they are investing in and are able to “pour out” because others have poured into them. Their vision for the future of their country is inspiring and their passion for Christ and the children they serve is vibrant.
The most significant example of this is the Swaziland Leadership Academy, founded several years ago, which identifies local leaders within the CarePoint communities and provides a nine-month intensive training and discipleship course, along with a two-year practicum back at their home communities where they help disciple and mentor the youth of the community. The fruit of the SLA program is already ABUNDANT and so much hope and promise lies in its continuation, yet future funding is insecure and remains a major prayer request for those within the ministry. Please pray for God’s provision for the SLA and for the amazing leaders it has produced who serve selflessly every day here in Swaziland. We are seeing first-hand how these local leaders are impacting the future of the children and communities they serve. I fully believe these remarkable and dedicated young adults are the game changers who, with Christ at the helm, will help break the cycle of poverty in Swaziland.
Originally published on Townsend Travels at https://townsendtravelsblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/local-leaders/