I had my first of what I hope will be a series of fruitful meetings yesterday. Dr. Wallace set up a meeting between myself and a long time resident of Swaziland who has worked in the field of teaching and agriculture. We met in the downtown shopping mall at Mbabane in a small resturant in the middle of the mall. I had a calzone. (Swaziland has a sense of what is modern as well as what is traditional.)
We talked for a bit about the history of the country, about the reign of the former king and about how the goverment works at the present. It was a wonderfully helpful talk. I hope to be able to amplify some of the points once I’m back in the States and have had a chance to collect my thoughts a bit more. Our hour and a half meeting stretched to almost 3 hours. We hope to meet again so that we can talk further about how communication works within the Kingdom.
I find myself telling the story of how the Diocese of Bethlehem first heard of the plight of the people of the Diocese of Kajo Keji. We had an email from them telling of the need they had to feed the hundreds of thousands of refugees coming from the north to the refugee camp. The people of the camp had decided to buy salt with a little money they had been given. They thought it would make the grass and weeds the people were forced to eat more palatable.
When we heard of the story in Bethlehem, the Bishop and World Mission Commission responded with an appeal to the whole diocese. In a few weeks we raised 10’s of thousands of dollars – something like 80,000 in the end – to purchase food for the refugees.
They told us their story and we as a group of christians responded. But the key was that they had a way to get their story out to the rest of the world.
I told that story to my new friend from Swaziland. He understood the point immediately. “Tell that story more” he asked. “People here need to hear it so that they can know that people want to help if they know of the need.”