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Ngesikhatsi – A journey to healing in the arms of Time.

We have asked a very good friend of ours and the ministry, JoE, to be a ‘guest writer’ on our blog to share (as promised) some of the stories of change and hope that we have been hearing as a result of Ngesikhatsi. JoE has been part of Ngesikhatsi from the start and it is beautiful to see how God has been using him.



For years Jumbo and Kriek (and those who labour with them) have ploughed the Swazi-land. They have poured love, time, energy and prayers, through both joyous and tearful times, firmly committed in conviction of their calling to those to whom God has called them – the people of Swaziland. Many (read most) of you reading this will know their countless not-always-sticking-to-office-hours of Christ-like investments into the lives of staff and communities. You have journeyed with them; some physically visiting Swaziland, others joining them through prayerfully carrying the day-to-day ministry Jumbo and Kriek lead with the fabulous team God has built over the years.  It often happens that God places us somewhere to ‘labour in the land’ without us truly seeing the fruition of the labour. Since my involvement here, it has brought me great satisfaction to observe how God is revealing to them signs of ‘fruit’ after years of investment. Lives are being improved. People are finding their feet on the stable, unshakable Foundation. Young people are sharing Good News of transformed, rejuvenated lives with their friends. Dreams of a brighter, better future are spoken aloud without fear of being ridiculed or laughed at. CarePoints (CP) are not merely feeding schemes to sustain survival – they are turning into Life-giving nourishment points, enabling lives to move from survival towards a point of dreaming of a successful and thriving in life!


I am JoE.  It is my privilege to be involved with the ministry-team here in Swaziland for the past three years. My involvement started with the development of the Ngesikhatsi (g?-si- kæt-si)Grief Support Course (see Kriek’s previous blog) and currently involves facilitating the development of the Discipleship Curriculum ‘Sisekelo Setfu’, which means ‘Our Foundation’.


Over the past 6 months Bheki Motsa (Discipleship Coordinator) and I have been at work to assess the impact of the Ngesikhatsi Grief Support Course and gather feedback from facilitators who present the course at the CP’s as well as from those children who attend the course. Over the next few blogs, we would like to use this platform to tell you more about the course, share with you the truly rousing stories of Godly renovation of broken hearts, and share the dream we have of training small-group leaders from among these restored young lives.


Back in the nineteen-hundred-and-nineties, (an angry) Alanis Morisette made the world aware of the anguish one can suffer when painful life-events strike.  Most of her initial songs dripped of anger and resentment. Many of them were actually quite accurate in their description of the thoughts and feelings that accompany loss-events. In one of her songs, she hits the bulls-eye on the question ‘how do we get through pain?’ The short answer: we go (and grow) through it.  She sings about wanting a ‘softer, more comforting place’ when she thinks of her pain; I briefly quote from the song:

“Every time I’m at a loss I feel I’m bolted from difficulty.

My tendency to want to hide away [from the pain] feels easier.

My urgency to dream of softer places feels understandable; picturing another place more comforting to go.

I’m confused; I think there must be easier ways… [to get through pain]

I could just walk away and hide my head in the sand.”


As supporting churches and individual supporters, you are well aware of the many and varied loss-experiences at the CarePoints where AIM/CHC staff are operating. Many of those interviewed as part of our evaluations have indicated, “It is easier not to feel anything and forget about the pain, than to face the pain.” [I could just walk away and hide my head in the sand] Living in this denial often creates a continual numbness of the heart, which eventually leads to the wellspring of life drying up. Dreams disappear; personal value plummet; the fog of hopelessness obscures hope.


The course is not a ‘silver bullet’. It’s not the only way to heal hurting hearts. It is however a puzzle-piece, which, through the bigger ministry-puzzle offered to children at the CP’s, is bringing Son-light into their lives. As time moves on (which can be translated in siSwati as “ngesikhatsi”) the fogginess clouding young minds is clearing up. Son-light brings growth and life. It is in this new life, that Hope is encountered. And we are privileged to be witnesses of this in the lives of those who have attended the Ngesikhatsi course.


Through the Ngesikhatsi course, we are trying to create an environment where kids don’t have to hide because of their pain, shouldn’t feel valueless, unimportant or insignificant because they have no one left in their lives to love them. Through the community created by the small group sessions, young people are rediscovering their worth to God, reviving their support for one another, and lifting their gaze, allowing Hope to assure them of their future.   


The chorus, of Alanis Morisette’s song says:

“The only way out [of pain] is through [the pain], the faster we’re in the better. There’s no quick-fix way.

The only way out is through; the only way we’ll feel better, ultimately; the only way out is through.”


To face pain is hard. To face the emotions related to this pain is even harder. But the hardest thing to do, is to find the courageous willingness to wade through that pain in order to grow through the experience, become more resilient, and live a life that truly testifies: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Phil 3:14


Here is one life that has been strengthened by God and found ‘new life’ after attending the course.  All the children in the stories we’ll be sharing have agreed that we can tell their story. They are proud of the growth in their lives and want people to know how God has impacted their lives. We look forward to sharing more of these in the upcoming blogs. Bongiwe and Bheki write the following:

(Picture: Bongiwe (shepherd at Mphaka) Innocent and Bheki)

Innocent Dlamini (16 years) lost his dad at a tender age. He and his brothers have been raised by their mom who is not working, and she is an alcoholic. Everybody in the family has been growing up doing whatever they please because the mother hasn’t been responsible at all and she is always drunk.

Innocent and his brothers started stealing and selling stolen items to make a living. Due to his tiny stature, his older brothers have been using him to sneak into houses through windows to steal. Even at the care point he would steal whatever valuable thing he comes across so he can sell.

After attending Ngesikhatsi Course this is what Innocent said: “I didn’t understand why my father died while we were so young and my mother didn’t care for us. This has been so painful in my life so I started doing all the bad things with my brothers and friends. However, the more I did those things, the more my life felt hopeless and meaningless. I’ve been in a lot of fights and have been stabbed a few times hence I got to a point where I really hated my life. I didn’t want to live.

However, after attending Ngesikhatsi, which I didn’t know at first why I was chosen, I began to feel loved. It’s like a light flashed into my life which made me understand: God has always been there for me and He has good plans for my life! I started to feel hope being restored in my life and it became so real that even now I know Jesus loves me and there is hope for my future in Him. His presence made a difference in my life and now my life is better and I have stopped stealing, and I’m associating with good friends.”


JoE is the Director of a South African non-profit organisation called facingUP Support Services. More info about this organisation can be found by clicking