SWAZILAND—Twelve Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union affiliated volunteers embarked Aug. 10 on a mission trip to Swaziland, delivering hospice buckets and sharing Christ’s love. Joy Bolton, executive director of the Kentucky WMU, led the group along with Wayne Myers, an International Mission Board missionary.
“The sense of God’s love for each person gripped the team as we discussed the visits,” Bolton shared. “We each realized that not only did God love each one of these Swazi people so much He sent His Son Jesus, but God loved the ones visited so much that He would send a team from Kentucky to share the gospel and bring a bucket of things to help their family care for them.”
Bolton continued, “No visit was by coincidence. We were led by God to these individuals who needed to hear the gospel or be encouraged that they had not been forgotten by God.”
The teams spent their first Sunday in Swaziland teaching Sunday School and participating in worship services. They also brought Kentucky WMU “salvation dolls” to local pastors and their families as a gospel spreading tool.
In each home that received a hospice bucket, the contents were carefully explained to the ill individual as well as their caregiver. The teams made a point to also share the gospel during each visit, in addition to singing and giving a gift of rice and beans.
Throughout the week, the WMU team assisted with a three-day children’s camp. They were tasked with finding creative ways in which to share the creation story and engage the children. The goal was to share the story of scripture from creation to Christ. Their first day saw 54 students attend.
Jay Hatfield, Central Association director of missions, and Jerry Tracy preached for revival services. Melissa Logsdon-Young and Cheryl Hatfield shared their testimonies as well.
In addition, the team was also a part of a National WMU Training event for the Swazi National Women’s Committee during their time in Swaziland. The week ended with a training for pastors as well.
Team members included: Susan Bryant and Connie Page, Graefenburg; Jay and Cheryl Hatfield, Willisburg; Melissa Logsdon-Young, Fern Creek; Benita Decker, Farmdale, Frankfort; Teresa Smith, Highland, Shelbyville; Vivian Overall, Clayvillage; Linda Devine, Bruner’s Chapel, Harrodsburg; Jerry Tracy and Joy Bolton, Shelbyville First, and Wayne Myers, Frenchburg.
Not only were the people who the team ministered to lives touched, but team members themselves were impacted, they shared. “When I put the socks in the lap of one grandmother, she was overcome with emotion. She was barefoot and now had her own socks,” Susan Bryant, Kentucky WMU president, shared.
“Several of the people who accepted Christ wept as they prayed,” she said. “It was as if those who heard the gospel were relieved that someone came and gave them a last opportunity to be saved.”
The group’s time in Swaziland saw fruit in many ways, including four decisions made during one day of delivering hospice buckets and a teenager professing Christ during a revival service.
“We were very excited to learn that the buckets we delivered were from Kentucky. We were so blessed to see the generosity of Kentucky Baptists touch lives. If you packed a bucket, you were a part of this week of ministry,” Bolton said.
“In the revival services there were decisions every night,” she added. Several people said to the team, ‘We’ve been waiting for you.’” (WR)