There are many days when we do not see any tangible results from serving God and carrying out the work we sense God is leading us to do. We try to rest in the fact that God is at work even though we as humans seem to long for quantifiable markers to affirm the work of our hands.
Haven Field Community Church, in Birmingham, Alabama has been partnered together with Children’s HopeChest since 2010. In 2017 year, our team of nine people were preparing to go to our partnering community of Es’Khaleni for our eighth trip. For a few members of the team, it was their first time to visit and for a few others it was their seventh time and for a few others somewhere in between.
Of course, we can see some tangible results such as the building structures that have been built over these last eight years. We know that these buildings house educational opportunities, discipleship, and worship for the young church that meets there. It is great to see the water pump, which was a partnership between the local community, HopeChest, and Haven Field, become a permanent water source for the community.
However, what we really love to see and hear are the stories of the relationships that have formed and developed over the course of our partnership. That year we took a picture of an 8-year-old girl named Anitha, who was the youngest child at the CarePoint our first year. There are so many more younger than her now coming for food and discipleship and so many new children to meet and befriend. A new generation is coming up.
An older group of children are beginning to make their mark and their impact in the community. One young 19-year-old girl name Bonsella is doing just that. She returned from the Swazi Leadership Academy where she went through a season of intense discipleship and training preparing her to come back and commit for two years to serve as the shepherd of the CarePoint. She will be leading the discipleship for the children and teaching them about following Jesus and growing in a relationship with Him.
We found out on this trip that back in 2009, when we first set foot on this CarePoint, she was one of the children hiding in the bushes because they were scared of us. Now eight years later, she welcomed us into her homestead to eat, she is following Jesus and leading the children in discipleship, and she is an active member in the church plant, which started on the CarePoint.
Sometimes we trust in the work God is doing when we don’t see tangible results and sometimes we are blessed beyond measure by learning and seeing God at work firsthand. We were truly blessed on this trip to learn about the work that God is doing in the lives of the people in Es’Khaleni, especially through the life and ministry of Bonsella.