Do you believe God hears prayer? Do you believe He hears the prayers of..for example, an elderly woman in the middle of Africa, specifically  Nsoko, Swaziland, named Gogo Eliyah? Story time.

When I was in Nsoko, I met Gogo Eliyah on our first home visit. This was our first full day in Swazi and I was so eager to be able to encourage and speak truth to someone. Before heading off too her homestead I learned that Gogo Eliyah lived in a house made out of rocks and sticks, that was caving in. She was old, and not very mobile. She had recently dislocated her shoulder. Eric, are team leader, or “Daddy” told us that before AIM had met her, she had been eating grass. She is also taking care of a couple orphans as well, one whom I believe is a HIV+.  So this is extreme poverty and I can only imagine what I’m aboot to see.  I spend some time in prayer and looking for scripture so that I can give her some encouragement…

When we  arrive at her homestead,  I see her sitting outside this “house” and I am just speechless. We put some food and water in her house and She has us sit on these mats outside so that we are not sitting in the dirt.  Very loving people. As we are sitting there, I’m thinking, “Holy crap, in in the middle of nowhere Africa!’ It’s hot and the sun in beating down, and seeing this poverty.. So much to take in.  Gogo Elyiah starts talking immediately and Velly, are translator is translating fast. This is where God opens my eyes eye and begins to break my heart.

Daddy, Gogo Eyliah, and Velly

She tells us how much she loves us for coming to see her at her house all the way from America. She thanks us and tells us how much she loves God and how He brought us to see her. She knows scripture and she can’t even read a bible because her eyesight. She tells us how blessed she is. How God provides for her everyday. She has a roof over her head and food to eat. I look at her house and am amazed how she is so thankful. This woman literally has Nothing. She says just how God provided mana for the Israelites, He does the same for her. Whether is be grass, or the food we brought her, God provides. She has a passion for the Lord, unlike anything I have ever seen. Her faith is so strong. She starts to encourage us. We were sent to encourage her, yet She encourages us. I am speechless and my heart is breaking. God is literally all we need. He is everything.

Gogo Elyiah's "house"

Gogo Elyiah may literally have nothing on this Earth, but she has gained everything because of her Salvation.

This experience outside her home really impacted our team. We wanted to do whatever we could to get her a knew house. I prayed so much for Gogo Elyiah and thought of her every time it rained. Thinking if her house would hold up in the storm. One night I was praying and I had a vision of Jesus standing in the middle of her house, holding up the roof. Rain was pouring down, and the wind was strong, but I knew she was safe.

Just recently, we were informed that Gogo Elyiah is getting a new house! Praise God! I wish I could be there to see her face when it is done. That’s the power of prayer, and His Love. I am so thankful God is blessing her with a new house, but it will never compare to the legit mansion He’s already prepared for her in his Kingdom. A couple hours with this woman of Christ, has changed my life forever. And I thank her for that.

Sawubona!

I have no idea what to write about first, so I’ll prolly just write some stuff about my mission trip to Africa.  As i try to figure out how to work this thing, I’ll just post a piece of my thank you letters from after I got back.

Swaziland was completely eye opening and life changing for me. My heart is still on fire for the people there and I literally think about my trip every day. It has changed me in more ways than I can explain than in this letter blog.

I could probably talk and talk about Swaziland, but I will tell you my day to day experiences. I went to Swaziland from March 15th -27th with a team of 9 other missionaries I had never met. We primarily stayed in Nsoko and traveled to different care points every day. Our day to day schedule consisted of waking up early and traveling to care points for the mornings.  These care points were set up for orphans to walk to and get one meal a day. At the different care points we taught Bible stories by using translators and acting them out with the kids. We would sing songs in English and siSwati and do crafts. A lot of the time we spent loving on them, holding them, and playing all sorts of games. Around noon the Gogos (grandmas) would feed the pap (maze mix) they had made to all the kids. We would then travel back to the center where we stayed and play with the kids there. Then we would eat a quick lunch and start preparing to make our home visits. For the home visits we would travel to different homesteads to see Gogos or Makes (mothers) and their families. It is extreme poverty and starvation. We brought food and water for them as gifts. Along with these things the biggest was the encouragement and love we brought to them. We told them Bible scriptures, got to know them, and prayed for them. After we finished our home visits for the day we would travel back to the center. We played with all the kids until the sun went down. Then our team would spend some time bonding and preparing dinner. After dinner we would spend more time bonding until our daily debrief. In these debriefs we discussed everything that had happened that day, spent time in worship and in prayer. After debrief we continued bonding as a team until going to bed late, waiting to start it again the next day.

I will prolly post some other stories later. Time to figure out how to use this janky thing.