The story of Joseph motivating children in Swaziland

Ngcebo Mbuli tells us how the Bible is being brought to life for orphans in his country.

All across my country children are growing up without a family around them. HIV is so prevalent here that just over a quarter of 15-49 year-olds are HIV positive. Many people are left orphaned because by the virus. This means hundreds of children in Swaziland are living in poverty and being driven into a life of crime and pain.

Many children here don’t have a Bible – they can’t afford it because their priorities are food and clothing. But I want them to grow and love the Bible and to recognise its value in their lives.

So here in Swaziland we’re trying to address the emotional and spiritual needs of deprived children. We’re teaching them the skills they need to flourish through Bible stories.

Hundreds of young people run from their homes to come and listen

We’re using the story of Joseph to bring the Bible to life for young people who otherwise wouldn’t engage with it by showing a DVD in public places which tells the story of the life of Joseph. When news spreads of this event – and this is the part I absolutely love – hundreds of young people run from their homes to come and listen.

In our DVD Joseph takes on some of the toughest issues of life by looking to God for strength. After seeing Joseph’s story brought to life the children are all also motivated to do the same.

The enthusiasm of these children for the Bible after seeing the DVD is an excellent thing. I thank God that they have the opportunity to learn from Joseph’s story and be comforted and strengthened.

We want to reach out to these children and show them that God’s word can be a source of comfort and strength. So we’ve also been running Bible-based trauma healing courses to comfort and equip young people.

Dudu Maseko is a teacher at Kuhlahla Primary School in the mountains near Swaziland’s north western border with South Africa. I went to visit the school to hear about the change in her students since our programme began.

Children are involved in the cultivation and sale of drugs

Dudu spoke of the children she teaches with a pained expression; she told me that, ‘children are involved in the cultivation and sale of drugs. The money then leads to girls engaging in sexual relationships for money.’

When Dudu talked about the effect of the Bible-based trauma healing offered in her school her face brightened. ‘Bible Society saw the needs that they had. The trauma healing was of huge benefit to us, the children, and their traumatised parents.’

For me and my team in Swaziland prayer is essential – especially as we try to reach people in these vulnerable communities. Pray with me that children all over Swaziland would have the means to thrive and would find comfort and joy in God’s word.

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