At 17, I found myself in Njojane, a bush community in Swaziland, a small kingdom known simply as the AIDS capital of the world.
It was simple, really, the way this story started:
The Nudge–the spiritual encouragement to go.
The Answer–the ten day journey to Africa.
The Call–the unnerving hunger to return.
And all because of two people:
The loving and gracious God that I serve
A small Swazi child–Khetokuhle
In a matter of ten days, my heart was broken; splintered, shattered, annihilated for the Swazi people. At the end of those first ten days, I had to come home to the US. Much to my dismay, I had a life and a college education waiting here for me. Every day since my States-bound plane touched the ground, the light in my kid’s eyes is the first thing I think about in the morning, and the last thing on my mind when I fall asleep. The past year has been difficult. It was a fight. There has been roadblocks and abounding struggle. There has been breakdowns and confusion and unending heartache for a people nine thousand miles from the place I call home.
And then there was a boy. His name is Hunter, and he fell in love with my heart for the Swazi people, and I fell in love with him. After just four month of dating, he followed me halfway around the world, only to fall in love with my people. My forever home became our forever home. We’re getting married in May 2016, and then we will embark on this wild and crazy adventure together.
My love for Swaziland is opposite and contradictory to the passions of my peers and the world in which we live, but entirely in line with the expectations of living like Christ. It is painful and it is overwhelming.
I wouldn’t trade it for anything.