Orphans have food security for six months in Kaphunga, Swaziland due to a successful maize crop grown at the homesteads of the volunteers. With the blessings of seed and fertilizer donated by WOW, ample rainfall and timely planting, the Asondle Sive Bomake volunteers were able to harvest 100% of the maize crop they planted at their homesteads.
To tell the story of this successful crop is not only to highlight an excellent planting year. It is a benchmark in the story of a group of volunteers, mobilized by one volunteer, a woman, Nomsa Lukhele. To know Nomsa, the founder and head of Asondle Sive Bomake Home-Based Care, is to know a woman after God’s own heart. Starting with just a love for Jesus and a conviction to aid the sick and orphaned in her community, Nomsa has, in the four years since beginning work in Kaphunga, shown that someone walking in God’s will is a magnet for his favor over the work of her hands. Her work is evidence that obedience to God’s call results in the abundant provision of His grace. In a country of female subservience, Nomsa is honored by the local men, who facilitate her enterprises and proudly display her. She has been supported in her work by the power-holding tribal authorities, who allocate land as she needs and even provided a large plot upon which this season’s maize crop has flourished. Simply, Nomsa’s work over the last four years indicates that she has attracted the favor of God and His blessings.
This blessing, though, has not come without hard work and sacrifice in obedience. The volunteers working in Kaphunga face incredible challenges in the mountainous region, where homesteads of some patients are spread kilometers apart. The lack of services available in the country, including running water and public transportation, makes visiting and serving patients and orphans incredibly difficult. But the volunteers are not deterred. With an average age of 55 years, the 30 volunteers set off in different directions and walk, sometimes for hours, to visit the patients and the orphans that need their care. In Swaziland it is a personal work, and all of the volunteers have at least two orphans living with them in their own homes.
Nomsa decided to grow maize for the first time in 2007 to feed the orphans at a cheaper price than buying maize. Many barriers were faced, including late planting due to seed order hold-ups and poor weather, that resulted in a harvest of only 25% planted. But Nomsa did not give up. In 2008 all factors fell into place and the maize, all of which was harvested, grew to well over the heads of the volunteers, who each planted on her own land. In addition to feeding the orphans, some of the maize will be given to the volunteers, providing them with care for their hard work and dedication. This is just a small story of persistence preceding success. It is part of a larger epic of a group of relentless volunteers who face innumerable challenges to do the work God has called them to do. A work that sees the sick touched and the orphaned cared for.