As the sun sets each day in Swaziland many children go to bed hungry, cold and alone. But through our ICBC vision and the incredible generosity of people who partner with us, there is hope and help with our weekly soup kitchens at our rural community church plants (ICBC’s).
For many of you who make this possible you may never have the opportunity to witness this act of love and hope so we have created a way for you to witness it and see what a huge impact you are making as a very small thank you for your love. We hope you enjoy this reflective clip.
Each week at this Pastor’s house, the children come to help cut wood for the fire to cook a hot and healthy meal. As the fire is lit the children are hopeful for the food that is to come. The Pastor puts much patience and great love into the meal he prepares for them.
The children arrive weary from the long walk to get there, some of them having crossed rivers to get there. One of the little girls arrives soaking wet and with only one shoe, her tiny 3 year old body is shaking with cold. In her hand she holds tightly onto her red shoe, for at least one shoe is better than none. The other was lost in the river she fell into while making her way to the soup kitchen. The Pastor’s wife gently removes what clothes she can off the little girl, so they can dry a little by the fire, and tries to warm her up as much as she can.
As more children arrive they kick off their worn and dusty shoes, drop their “skuf-tins” (lunch boxes) and gather in the Pastor’s house excited to learn more about God’s love from the Pastor’s wife.
The oldest to the youngest listen intently to the bible story as they learn more about God’s great plan for their future and His incredible love for them. Afterwards with eyes tightly shut and sincere hearts they pray aloud to their Father in heaven.
Meanwhile outside the pot is stirred in readiness and the lunch tins, as empty as the children’s stomachs, wait to be used. The smell of the food fills the air and with joyful expectation the children burst out of the house. They line up quickly with the occasional push and shove in excitement for their food. Once in line they wait patiently for their turn, having finished eating a healthy portion of rice & soya they return for a second helping to take home with them for the next day.
With their faces glowing from satisfied stomachs they skip and jump on their way home with much laughter, joy and energy. As the embers of the fire slowly die the pastor rests happy knowing that today these children will sleep with stomachs full and hearts filled with hope.