The church in eSwatini rallied to save a girl’s life and then continued to meet a grave need in their nation.
Timothy Myeni, the Nkilongo Member of eSwatini’s parliament, bluntly stated to their prime minister on March 31st, “We are living in fear, violence is escalating in this country and we don’t know what will happen tomorrow.”
Political unrest and rioting have been the order of the day in eSwantini for well over a year now. Many people are simply trying to go about their daily lives, but it’s entirely possible to leave work and discover someone has set your car on fire. Casual violence and destruction of private property has become all too familiar as the nation struggles with determining its political future.
World Challenge’s partners, Challenge Ministries Swaziland, shared in past articles about how God has miraculously protected their children’s center and recovery centers in the past year. Helen, who is a center director with her husband, shared, “Intense would be a suitable adjective for first quarter of this new year. Time and time again, God has carried us through difficulties and met every need. He has provided, protected and blessed beyond what we could imagine. We know it’s a team effort, and the Lord uses people to be his hands and feet here on Earth, so we are thankful for all who have prayed and given of their time, blood, sweat and tears for us.”
In some of those challenging and frightening times, what has been given to support them has quite literally been tears and blood.
Bongekile is one of the teenagers who takes part in the ministry’s children’s center. Just a few weeks ago, she was caught in a freak car accident. The team got the urgent call that her case was not looking good. She was losing a lot of blood, and the medical team was considering amputating one of her legs.
To make matters worse, the accident happened late in the day, and the blood bank was closed. With so many people injured in riots or street violence lately coming into the hospital, their blood supply was already short.
Helen and the team made an urgent call to the church prayer hotline. Pastors reached out to their congregations and people immediately began driving to the hospital to donate blood for Bongekile. In all, she needed nine units of blood to keep her alive as the surgery team worked to save her leg. As nurses and doctors fought to keep Bongekile alive and save her limbs, the church family arrived all through the night to donate more blood, each giving as much as they could.
When the sun rose, this precious young woman was still breathing and had both her legs, thanks to dedication of both the hospital teams and the church.
While Bongekile still has a long road of recovery to travel, the whole team and church is rejoicing in the wonderful way God has used his people to lift her up and support her during this time.
The whole event, though, has highlighted how bad the situation with blood reserves has become for many hospitals in the area. The team has invited the blood bank to hold blood-drives at their center, and they have created a WhatsApp group of willing blood donors who can be called upon in emergencies. “No matter the time or the distance they have to drive in order to give their blood,” Helen said, “they have proven to be selfless. What a church family!”
While the land around the church is rocked by political and social upheaval, God’s people are insisting on being a redemptive force in their nation, meeting needs and caring for one another.