Real Life Stories demonstrating the harsh realities of llife in Swaziland. The stories you'll read happen all to often in the children, women and the vulnerable of Swaziland.  These individuals have all experienced the love, care and guidance of Challenge Ministries and have ultimately come to discover the incredible protection of God.

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Challenge Ministries October 2014.pdf

The Love of a Father

It has been well established that as a child enters adolescence, their relationship with their father becomes even more important than in their younger phases of life. It is the father who instils the identity and blessing into the young person that will affect how they go through the rest of their life, as well as how they see Father God. Is it any wonder, then, that Satan tries to remove the father figure from many young people’s lives so early on?

Lindiwe held so much disdain for her father that she would deny her real surname to avoid being called by her father’s name. In her eyes her father didn’t care about her. He didn’t have time nor take the time to care for his children. She longed for a loving father; so she put her uncle in her father’s place, running to him to confide in.

In 2009 she was raped by her uncle. Lindiwe’s father ignored this fact. His refusal to act on Lindiwe’s pain added fuel to the fire of her bitterness towards him.  She exploded with anger and hurt and ran away from home. She turned to her friends to provide shelter for her, like a nomad moving from place to place. Drugs and alcohol became a part of her life and provision for them was sourced in braiding people’s hair and giving men what they sought after.

Sometime in 2011, Lindiwe returned to her father. Disappointed by her behaviour in prostituting herself, he gave her the beating of her life. His point was made clear through the firmness of the beating. Lindiwe couldn’t even sit due to the pain. This infuriated her even more, motivating her to leave her father’s home for the second time.

An older man crossed paths with Lindiwe at this point. He offered to pay for her schooling. In response, Lindiwe complied by giving him favours. However, when this brought about a baby; the older man denied any responsibility.  Naturally, his promise of an education was never realised.

While Lindiwe was struggling with thoughts of what she was going to do next; her father was trying to make contact with her. She didn’t answer his many phone calls and ignored even her step-mom’s pursuits after her. She desired to move back to live with her family but didn’t know how it would work and she wasn’t willing to inform them about the baby she was expecting. She recognised that she needed help and wanted to have some sort of counselling. Eventually, she opened herself up to her stepmother. She told her how she wanted help and her stepmom suggested Elusitweni Women’s Centre.

Lindiwe arrived at the centre to begin the program on the 7th March 2012. Despite being 9 months pregnant, her bump was so small that the people around her were unaware of her pregnancy. Thus, it was a shock to her family when she gave birth just four days after arriving at the centre. Lindiwe was afraid of her father and hoped that he would not be called to visit her at the hospital. He surprised her by arriving and not chastising her, simply sitting there by her side.

Upon her return to Elusitweni Help Centre, continuing in the induction phase, Lindiwe was surprised when she received a card. Her surprise grew as she realised that its sender was her father. Gently, she opened the card. “We love you” was written across the page. This affirmation was what Lindiwe had been longing for, for most of her life. Since then, she has been inundated with visits from her father at the centre. Lindiwe finally has the love of her father. He calls this experience, “The rebirth of his lovely daughter.”

Although, there was restoration for Lindiwe and her father, Lindiwe’s desire was that one day her father would accept her son. She was disappointed every time he ignored her baby. Yet, God has worked on her father’s heart.  Now he has even grown to enjoy time spent with his grandson. The restoration is complete.

Praise God that He can turn what was meant for bad into good. Like the valley of dry bones becoming a mighty army, nothing is too far gone for God to restore it to what He intended it to be. Praise the Lord for restoring this important father-daughter relationship.
                                                                                       






















Lindiwe (age 18) at Elusitweni

 

 

Nonduduzo's Hope

I walked over to Nonduduzo with my voice recorder, pen and paper.  “It’s a sad story,” she told me when I sat down. However, she was determined that she wanted to share it.

In December, Nonduduzo went to visit her homestead. As she approached her mother, she was shocked by how thin and wasted her mother looked. Nonduduzo knew that her mom had TB but hoped that this wouldn’t affect their time together. In the morning, she discovered that it would. Her mother couldn’t even stand up and was so sick that Nonduduzo realised her time with her mother had to be cut short. Her mother just didn’t have the strength for Nonduduzo to stay longer with her, which had always been the case and why Nonduduzo lived somewhere else. Nonduduzo was extremely disappointed.

When Nonduduzo returned to the farm, she was told that her mother was HIV positive. This realisation drove Nonduduzo into a state of depression. For her, it was the most difficult thing to believe. She ran to her room, screaming and shouting. Disheartened tears covered her cheeks. She didn’t understand why this would be happening. She demanded an explanation from God.

Nonduduzo hurled her thoughts and accusations out as the counsellor on the farm listened to all Nonduduzo’s heartache. Having someone to talk through what she was going through helped Nonduduzo to see things in a different light. God filled her mind with a hopeful song and gave her purpose.

A Door of Opportunity

Last year Nathi wrote an entrance test to a good high school in Mbabane. The response from the school was not positive; they rejected Nathi’s application. At the end of 2011, Nathi thought he might have a better chance because of his good end-of-year results from Grade 7. However, this was not so; the school still denied Nathi a place.
In Swaziland, there is no free education and spaces in schools are limited due to the high demand and few schools. Yet, without an education, children believe they have no future and may become depressed.



However, the staff and children on Hawane Farm where not accepting that Nathi was going to miss out on school. They united in prayer. On the Friday before schools opened, the children gathered to pray that Nathi would find a place in a school.

When Tuesday came and all the other children on the farm headed off to school; Nathi was afraid. He was anxious that if the situation didn’t change, he would be spending the year at home. He was apprehensive because he wanted to move closer to his goal of become a singer. Without an education, his dream would never be realised. He desperately wanted to study English at school, in order to become be fluent in the language, so that he would be able to write his own songs.

While all his friends put on their uniforms in the morning and journeyed to go to lessons, Nathi prepared himself for a day of school hunting with Babe (father) Makhanya. They continued to pray for a place at school and went scouring for a school throughout the city. They were turned away at every school they went to as all the classes were full for the year. Nathi had nearly lost all hope but Babe Makhanya kept on praying. Finally a call came through to Nathi. A school had made a space for Nathi. His school of choice from last year, the school that had originally rejected him, was now offering him a place. The favour of God was so evident to all of them and Nathi was greatly relieved.

To Nathi, God answering his prayers meant that he was that much closer to his dream. He wants to impact and motivate people through music. Nathi is looking forward to reaching out to those who have lost faith and speak hope into their lives, just like God reaches out to him in his every situation. For that, he is so thankful

A Hurting Heart Healed

Mbali and her father were always very close. When he died in 2004 from a sudden heart attack, her heart was broken. According to her family’s wishes, her father’s body was sent to his home country, Zambia, for him to be buried there. Mbali didn’t even have the opportunity to attend his funeral. Without this vital step in the grieving process, Mbali held onto her father’s death without truly dealing with it. However, she fervently prayed that one day she would have the chance to see where her father was buried. It became very important to her.

After the loss of her father, Mbali moved to Hawane farm with her mother and two sisters. In her new home, Mbali had many questions for God and became very angry. She thought that God just didn’t want her to have a father. In her anger, she turned on her mother and became angry with her too.

Yet, these December holidays something changed in Mbali. Her mother made a way to take her girls to Zambia so that they would not forget that they had a family. On their holiday, the family travelled throughout Zambia visiting relatives. As they travelled, a healing process began in Mbali and she finally chose to trust God even in her circumstance. Her anger dissolved after seeing her father’s grave and when she returned home her behaviour towards her mother had changed. She was no longer disobedient and so easily upset. Her trip to Zambia gave her a chance to face her father’s death and leave it with God. She trusts Him that although she knows her father’s death was not an accident, God knows everything and He loves her. Praise the Lord for the transformation in Mbali’s heart that finally brought healing! On the journey to Zambia Mbali says that she still had pain in her heart, but on the journey back, she had peace.

Thank you to everyone who helps to make these life transformations a reality.  If you'd like to support, please Sponsor one of our children and look forward to reading of more changed lives on these pages.

The Love of a Father    A daughter who needed the protection of her father

Nonduduzo's Hope   As she approached her mother, she was shocked. .

A Door of Opportunity   Schooling in Swaziland. .

A Hurting Heart Healed  Mbali and her father were always very close. .