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Going Forward in the Midst of a Pandemic

As of today eight weeks have passed and it has been a total silence from our side to you, yet when concluding our previous post we promised to introduce our students in a week's time. Friends and family we are really sorry about that, it wasn't our intended mission to lie to you all.

To be honest with you all it has been eight eventful weeks where some days we felt the author of life wasn't really lenient on us at all. But before I overwhelm you with our overwhelming experiences let me begin by saying we are truly thankful to the Lord for making it possible for us to do what He called us to do even this year in the midst of it all. On the 5th of July we welcomed the 20 students to the AOH house in Nhlangano, we were filled with joy to finally meet them in person. On the following day we began orienting them about the program and the the year. As the week went by we had few introductory sessions with them, just like any class they are also different. The week went by very smooth and we were really getting to know them and the second week started and we were doing The Calvary Road(by Roy Hession) book study. The book was really challenging everyone about the unconscious sins of "Self".

In the midst of the wonderful and amazing discovery of how sinful a man is, we heard a knock on the door. It was people from the municipality and they came to verify an allegation brought to them anonymously that the house has become a threat to the community by keeping/housing strange people who don't go out during the day but evenings are busy. Lucky enough the people from the municipal office know about the program so they understood that we have changed houses because this one is bigger than the one we have been using ever since 2017. That incident happened before lunch, so we finished our morning session and went for lunch. After lunch as usually we continued with our afternoon session. To our surprise while we were in the midst of the session there was an aggressive knock on the door, I turned the key and opened there stood three mid-aged fellows on their plain clothes. Before I could greet they asked why was the door locked?, while I was about to answer they pushed their way inside and left me standing on the door step outside and they commanded me to follow them in.

Outside was parked a police branded sedan, so I assumed they were police. Quoting their their exact words as they entered the house, "NEMAMBALA KULICINISO", translated as,"SO IT'S TRUE".We didn't know the truth they were talking about that time, we were just confused and scared the way they were intimidating us. The began making harassing statements like, "kulanjiwe langephandle", translated as "people are hungry out there". They mocked us that we couldn't stay at our homes because we were hungry, they told me I could do anything to make money even using my own people to make myself rich.That was really hurting because I know I am not rich and I am far from being rich, we are renting both the students' house and our family house because we really can't afford to buy or build one. I can't even afford to buy a car for my family, the only thing that separates my family and poverty are the funds some generous believers give towards us and AIM regulates it so it comes to us as monthly salaries (may God bless your generosity).The students and staff were there scared and shocked, for a moment it felt like a dream. Before we know it more police officers came with three more police vans, some were carrying guns. Fear and confusion became the order of that day.

They told us that we were under arrest so they loaded everyone at the back of the vans. They didn't allow anyone to even go to the toilet, at that moment we were not wearing masks. They took us to the police station where we waited outside for about an hour or so before they could give everyone a mask. They then assigned each one one us to an officer who would take our statement and then charged us with an offence of breaking/contravening with the covid-19 Act of wearing of masks and keeping social distancing. Luckily for us the number was too big for them to lock everyone in the Cell for the night, so they released us to go back home and come back the next day to see the magistrate. It was really a long day for all of us and the atmosphere was really gloomy, on top of the fear caused by the advent of the police now it was the uncertainty of the future as all our fingerprints were taken and that meant we now have a criminal record. That was so sad even on me when thinking that the students' came to the program trying to get direction for their future but now it was like they see it slipping off their hand.

When we got in to the house I tried to be strong for the students' sake and encouraged them to pray for a miracle. It wasn't easy I won't lie but I am thank for the AIM Eswatini leadership and all of you who prayed with/for us. The following day came and we did as we were commanded we went there to meet the magistrate and Xolani Moyo was there with us to provide visible support to us. To our surprise the media people were there to capture our story, it was a big thing ans that made it even more overwhelming. As we stood there outside of the court of justice we were praying in our spirits. After waiting for almost 2 hours the magistrate told the office that was in charge of our case that they should just take us back to the police station and make us pay the admission of guilt (which is E 60.00 per person). That was a relief to us since that meant the fingerprints won't stick (void). We were able to pay for everyone the E 60.00 and we were free. When asking the police officers where to from here? they they told us that they can't allow us to continue in the house because the house is smaller than the number of people staying in it. We were then forced to move the team to an alternative place, so thankful that Moyo was there with us he helped a lot with the transporting of the students to the AIM Nsoko team house that very same night with his ministry's quantum(micro bus).

The real challenge began for my family now, that decision of moving the ministry down to nsoko meant we have to move back home. It was like a wake up slap on our face that our family is bigger than the space we own. At home we only have a one bedroom house that is half-done but livable state, yet we are renting a three bedroom house at Nhlangano (of which it has been good to us). Our Eliana is in school this side (Nhlangano) so now we had a problem with that too. We began praying for that (family side) of which we still now in between the two places as we have the ministry down at Nsoko and our family has to stay at Nhlangano so that Eliana will continue with school and also that we can't have enough space for our family to fit in our small house back at home. Please be praying with us in that too good people.

Coming to the ministry, we had few counselling sessions with he students about everything that unfolded and the transition. They are now doing well and they have adjusted well to our new home for the year. Seven of the students has given their lives to Christ a week ago. We are moving forward with the program and the response is very encouraging. We see a drastic change to some of the students' lives. The only challenge we have been having is that we don't have internet at the team house at Nsoko, while we need to have some sessions through Zoom call with some facilitators.

Thank you so much family for standing with us in pray, when we said yes to the Lord in going forward with the program this year in the midst of the darkness of a pandemic we knew that the sting of this ferocious rampaging micro beast called Covid-19 hurts everyone infected or not we are all affected but I guess we didn't think it carries so much venom. But even in the midst of it all we are moving forward for the Lord has promised us that the victory is so sure.

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