Monday, September 24, 2012

A Slice of Victory!!! It’s Not in Vain!!!

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.  

The above picture is not of Andile, but myself & 2 other boys from Mahlanya Care Point.  Andile would have been around their age at the time this pic was taken.

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!    

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Up Up Up the Tea Road

Fridays afternoons & Saturdays around the SLC are more of an open time for the children.  We like to use this time to take the children out on excursions.  Usually we head out somewhere in the beautiful Swazi countryside.  On the 16th of June I took a group of 6 young men and we headed for "The Tea Road."      

Starting in the Ezulwini Valley, The Tea Road winds its way to the top of the Mdzimba Mountains, the traditional burial place of the Kings of Swaziland.  It's a bumpy and dusty ride up the mountain, and there is some interesting architecture along the way... 

But once you reach the top you are greeted with some stunning views.

We hike around, have lunch, do a bible lesson, and have fun!  It's a great time!  It is essential to get the children out and see this beautiful country they live in.  And as guys It's good to get away and have time together.  Doing these excursions has been a particularly favorite time for me.   

Part of the goal is just to spend intentional time with each other,  to disciple these guys and speak the purposes of God into their life.  Another long term goal is to get the children to see the world that exists beyond themselves.   Eventually we will transition to also be serving others in the community. 

We want to see these young men, who faced so much adversity at the beginning of their lives, grown up in the Love of God.  Knowing Him powerfully, and being used by Him to change their world.  

It's an honor and a privilege to be used of God to speak into these precious kids lives.  I am so happy to be on this journey with them.  Please pray that God would continue to give me His wisdom, love, and power to do the work He calls me to.  A continued huge "Thank You" to KAC and the rest of our friends and family for helping us to live out this vision!     


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Steps...(5 Month's @ the Sandra Lee Centre)

Dear Friends,

We have been serving @ the Sandra Lee Centre for over 5 months now!  The transition has been both great, as well as at times challenging.  

It has been GREAT to be ministering to the 27 beautiful children here.  It’s hard to think that all of them were once abandoned.  Many of the children came from very tough situations (abuse, sickness, etc).  But what a blessing it is to be a part of God’s work of RESTORATION in their life.  To love on them, & tell them about God’s love for them is such a blessing!  I (Dennis) am focusing a lot my time with 9 of the oldest children.  I daily help them with their school work, read bible stories to them, and just spend a bunch of time with them.  One of my favorite activities has been to take the children out of the SLC property for excursions.  I have intentionally taken them to the rural areas to see how many of their countrymen live.  Our children here, although their beginning was pretty rough, are now enjoying blessed lives.  They now live in a nice place, with the huge blessings of hot water, electricity, food every day, etc.  So we have been trying at an early age to help them get their eyes off of themselves, but to also see the needs of others.  We want to instill in them a sense of reaching out to others. Some of them have been shocked to see the way people are living in the rural areas.  We want the children to grow up realizing the blessings they have, and to understand that part of living a life as a follower of Jesus Christ is serving others.  This has been awesome thing to be a part of.
Another part of ministry for us that is a blessing has been working with the 8 Swazi women who daily care for the children @ SLC.  We daily interact with them, but also have special times to pray with them, counsel, and encourage them.  On Wednesday mornings we worship, study the Word of God, and pray for one another.  Zwakele & I have really loved this time on Wednesdays.  Zwakele has really been able to connect with the ladies.  

Please pray with us for our ministry to both the women and children of the SLC.  Please pray that we would continue to build deep relationships with them, & that we would be a continual source of Christs love to them.  

City life in the Capital of Swaziland is very different than our past 5 years of living in Timbutini.  At times we really miss the rural area.  By far the most challenging part of our transition has been not seeing Zwakele’s family as much as when we had lived in Timbutini.  We didn’t move that far away (only 1hr & 20 minutes drive), but because of the distance, and the busyness of daily life, we don’t get to visit them that much.  However, it does make the time we do get to spend with them that much sweeter.  We would definitely appreciate your prayers as we still are adjusting to our transition.  Thanks!   

One huge blessing of life @ the SLC has been Thandeka having so many friends to play with, and love on her.  She has really enjoyed getting to know so many of her new friends.  Thandeka is doing so well!  She just turned 1 year old on the 28th of February.  She is also now walking!  She has really enjoyed living @ the SLC!

 Our Dear Friends thank you so much for your prayers for us!  We so appreciate your love to us!  We wouldn't be able to do this without you!