“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 COR 15:58
Last month I attended a meeting run by the Ministry of Social Welfare and the office of His Excellency the Deputy Prime Minister. At different breaks during the function, dramas were presented by a group of student’s from St. Mary’s High School. The dramas were very touching, as they dealt with teenage orphans being abused by people that should have protected them. Most of the student group that performed the dramas were in fact orphans themselves.
At the end of the function one of the student performers came up to me and said “You’re Babe Masoma right?” I told him I was. He then told me his name was *Andile, and that as a child he used to attend the Neighbohood Carepoint (NCP) in Mahlanya.
To give some more context, the Carepoint in Mahlanya was one of the first ministries the staff of AIM engaged in when establishing the base in September 2004. We had 5 staff and around 15 participants in a program called First Year Missionary. I usually spent a couple afternoons a week @ Mahlanya from September 2004 until the end of 2005. Below is a pic of the care point.
What Andile told me next floored me: “I want to thank you for all you did for me. Look at me now – I am 17 years old, next year I will be graduating high school, I am still walking with the Lord, & I am in the schools drama group – I made it this far because of what you did for me. You guys were paying my school fees, when I had no one who was helping me. I am here today because of what you guys did for me.”
I was speechless; I couldn’t believe this was one of the children from the care point. He then went on: “I just want to thank you, thank you for what you did for me, you guys changed my life & I am doing so well today because you all loved me. Babe Masoma, I thank God for your love to me…” Tears were in my eyes and all I could say was “Praise the Lord bro!” We hugged each other for some moments, I thanked him for sharing this with me, and made plans to visit him one day @ his high school.
I was so touched by this. I am not exaggerating Andile's words. He was so thankful, and had this maturity and realization of God's grace that one hardly sees (especially in a 17 year old). I don't know about you, but at 17 I was very different than this young man. I was not thankful at all. What a victory! Praise God He used us in this boys life. I love that this is a group victory, because this was a group effort, the Body of Christ working together to bring change. None of us could have done this ministry on our own, none of us could have paid for these children’s school fees on our own either. We put our money together and look what the Lord accomplished through it. And if you supported myself or any members of our team in 2004, this is a victory for you as well! The Body of Christ working together!
What makes this even better for me was that my first year in Swaziland (right when I was working with my friend Andile) was pretty difficult. Honestly, there were times when I seriously considered leaving the ministry in Swaziland and heading back to America. We dealt with a lot: Our residence was broken into so many times, I had health problems, we had the normal conflict that happens as a staff or with our team, money issues, car problems, all while at the same time dealing with adjustment to a totally different culture. It was difficult, and sometimes that difficulty made you think “Is it worth it? Am I really accomplishing anything? Shouldn’t I just go back home?” The challenges were there and sometimes they seemed to outweigh the fruit.
But Praise God, here in 2012, standing before me was a young man who’s success was directly linked to the Lord’s work through our team. Here was a slice of victory from those times which seemed so chaotic. Seeing Andile, and hearing what he had to say, made up for any discomfort we experienced. I know there was other fruit, but even if we reached only Andile it would have been worth it! Thank you Jesus!
Special shout outs go to our team from '04 & '05: Julie Anderson, Ben Messner, Janeen, Lee-Anne, Katy, Kara, Sarah, Caleb, Amelia, Molly, Ben C., & the list goes on and on...Below is a pic from that time
We know that our labor in the Lord is truly not in vain. Sometimes we see fruit right away, sometimes we may not see until 7 years later, and sometimes we may not see fruit this side of eternity. But we must stand firm and give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord. We must by all means press through the challenges as there is so much at stake. The Brock Family's vision here in Swaziland is to see orphaned children encounter the love of their heavenly father, help raise them up & equip them to go and change their world. Thank you for your love & support to our ministry from 2004 up until today!
Jesus thank you for your victory, thank you for your work in us and through us! Continue to use us all Lord to bring your glory on this earth! Amen!