SwaziCompanions of Iowa

Monday, April 04, 2016

Second Week of Easter
We are back home.  Flights last Wednesday and Thursday went pretty much according to schedule – but the 16 ½ hours from Johannesburg to Atlanta is enough of a challenge for these oldsters.  We got back to Des Moines about 11am on Thursday.  That would have been about 28 hours after getting on the plane in Swaziland and about 37 hours after getting up to attend early morning Eucharist one last time at All Saints’ Cathedral.  The early morning Eucharist community there is very dear.  We were grateful to be able to attend one more service with Bishop Ellinah, and for the Dean’s prayers over us that morning.  Julianne Allaway met us at the airport to welcome us back to the Diocese of Iowa.
On Holy Saturday we were able to spend some time with The Rev. Joel Dlamini, who is currently on medical leave from parish responsibilities.  Joel has cancer and his life this past three years has been spent in surgical and chemotherapy treatments.  He has to travel for treatment into South Africa, as there is still little or no cancer treatment available in Swaziland.  Joel spent a few days with us in our home here in Ames in 1999, when some young adults came to Iowa.  Joel is one of the Swazi clergy, who heard his call to priesthood in Iowa. 
We spent Easter Sunday with Bishop Ellinah with the worshipping congregation at the Chapel at the University of Swaziland.  We want to share with you the words of the Collect for Easter in the lectionary for the Anglican Church of Southern Africa:
Lord of all life and power,
You transformed the tomb of death
into the womb of new life
from which burst forth your Son,
the first born of the new creation:
Make us joyful witnesses to this Good News
that all humanity may gather
at the feast of new life;
where with the Risen Son and the Holy Spirit,
You reign for ever and ever.  Amen. 

Monday was mostly a “free” day again—and another national holiday, except it was off to the Mountain Inn in the morning to get wifi access to learn what was happening in Lahore, Pakistan.  The Easter bombing there was not far from either of the two families we know best.  Mary Jane was able to find the Facebook page of one of the priests she knows who was at the Cathedral in Lahore when she has been there.  A second priest of acquaintance was shown in a news story.  They were very busy last week with funerals and visiting the injured in the hospitals.  Her nutrition colleagues are also ok.  Then it was a ‘good-bye’ to the young woman at the front desk who gave us breaks on wifi costs during our second month.
Got a little packing done between having a final lunch with Rev. Orma and dinner with our Anglican guest-house hosts, Tim and Gloria Zwane, and some friends of theirs—Mike and Thandi Dlamini.  Thandi is a retired nurse (former director of the Red Cross in Swaziland, we think) who has worked in recent years with parish nurses in the Roman Catholic churches (and has worked with Paula Sanchini when she brings students from Coe College to Swaziland).  She also visited Christ Church, Cedar Rapids, in August 2013 to speak to the Swaziland Companions group there.  Mike is a retired physician and had been a schoolmate of Tim.
Tuesday was another working day—our last.  Spent some time again with Ms. Thandi Zulu, the Coordinator of the Social Development Office.  There was a farewell dinner with the Bishop, Dean, Archdeacons, and several members of the Social Development Committee and the Projects Committee.
Bp. E. Wamukoya & Dean A. Dlamini
Committee Members

Wednesday we got to the 6:30 am Eucharist at All Saints, returned the car, finished packing, got a couple more photos with our guesthouse staff and loaded bags into Dean Advent’s Toyoto HiLux for the trip to the airport.  It was one of the Dean’s parishioners who got us checked in at the airport.
And so now we are processing the many strands of experience and the many soul stretches we experienced during the two months in Swaziland.  How deeply grateful we are for the many people we met, the many friendships deepened, and the incredible experience of being able to journey with our Swazi companions from Transfiguration through Lent to Easter.  Our experiences were broadened and our faith and worship deepened.  To Bishop Ellinah Wamakoya, the Archdeacons and Dean, the Diocesan staff, clergy, teachers in the Anglican schools, the Cathedral member who made a car available for our use, and so many others, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude. 

We are very grateful for the prayers from so many, and the support of Bishop Scarfe, the Swazi Companions of Iowa, the One World One Church commission, and the gifts from friends that made it possible for us to leave some funds to help the church in Swaziland respond to the present crisis of drought that will continue to impact all, but especially the poor, many of whom have access to little or no water, as they experience still increasing prices for their staple commodity, maize.  
Dave and Mary Jane+


Post a Comment

<< Home