The people of Swaziland are beautiful. Striking features, skin that seems to glisten, and responses of “Yes” when asked any question. It is rude to say no here, even if you do not understand the question. The pace of life is nearly as opposite as the hemisphere we are now living in. You can not walk into Lowes and get the plumbing parts you need, and the items on the shelves at the grocery store have few if any common names. (actually stared at a bottle of “AJAX” for a few minutes as it was the only thing we recognized)
As a “white” person in a foreign land, you are looked at differently, thought of differently, and certainly have different expectations.
Many Swazi’s will justify theft based on need (not morally wrong to steal if you have need), punctuality is not of high value, and a 15 passenger Khombi(local transport/van) can often hold 25 persons.
Tribal religions have run into the standard Christian faith. Though many will say that they will not use witchcraft…many will first follow tribal/witch doctors instructions. Tummy ache?- just tie a tight rope around the child’s waste.
Children are not often valued, many are kicked from their homes, many are orphaned, yet many are cared for by volunteer women in the community that have amazing hearts to reach the lost. It is not just Black and White, there are no solid rules. There is a blend here. Do we as Americans do everything right? The best way? To many of us, we may think so. Despite the differences and the disparities, there are local men/women that will care for many children who are not their own. They themselves have been through horrendous circumstances and want to see these kids in a safe environment and not experience what they have. Similar to the US Foster care system, but different(no hoops, no paperwork, just love and care..Certainly not Black and White).
At the end of the day, we are all fallen. None of us meet the standard as set. If you do not know it is wrong, how can it be wrong? I remember being a child and LEARNING what was wrong and why(and it took multiple “lessons” to learn these things J--ahh, the taste of a bar of soap is not easily forgotten). This is the big difference we are seeing here in Swaziland. It is not just a Black and White (skin color OR clearly drawn) issue. It is much deeper, and I imagine it will take a lifetime to fully understand.
The Joy?- Jesus gave us all something that IS Black and White. His word is clear! We believe that that Word does change people’s lives. It is universal. We have seen lives changed in the USA, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and it is changing lives in Africa. Hope has a name, and He is not concerned with color!