Oh, Africa. Where the sun is hotter, the stars are bigger, and the babies are cuter.
Our ministry this month is basically up to the Holy Spirit and us. There’s no one around telling us where to go and when to get there. That’s not to say there isn’t opportunity, I mean, we’re in Swaziland, after all. Down the street from our huts is a hospital and across the street from that is a school. We live at a community center so every day after school there are kids galore here. There is ministry opportunity everywhere.
We have only been here for about two weeks but so far, my favorite place to go is the hospital. I have gotten to know the patients, hearing their stories, learning their pains and seeing it all over their bodies and faces. I watch them try with what little air is in their lungs to tell me why they lay there, hopeless. Some have been in horrible car accidents, some have been attacked by robbers, and other patients have just been diagnosed with TB. In the maternity ward, I celebrate with mother’s who have healthy babies and we praise God for another fresh life. No matter the circumstance, God always bring forth hope and joy in that hospital room.
Yesterday was quite the treat! I walked into the maternity ward and went straight to the first lady who looked up at me. She looked young, 23 maybe, and had a beautiful smile. I was attracted to her immediately. We began to chat and get to know each other. I looked over at the bed and asked to hold her baby. Clothed in a precious pink plaid shirt and grey sweat pants, the baby shines brightly. It was one of the happiest babies I had held there. “What is her name?” I asked the mom. She shrugged her shoulders and nonchalantly said, “I don’t know. I don’t have a name.”
“What! This baby is FOUR DAYS OLD and you haven’t given a name? This is absurd. We must name this baby now. Can we name your baby now? Can I do it? Can I name your baby?” Still laughing at all my questions and concerns, the baby’s mom nodded yes and quietly said, “You can name my baby.”
Holding this new life in my arms, I asked God what He wanted her name to be. When I did, Lauren walked up and mentioned how beautiful the baby was. As soon as she said that, it clicked. OF COURSE! “Buhle!” I said out loud. (If you’ve read my blog entitled “I Showed her my Marsh mellow Stash” you know the significance of the name Buhle. It has a very special place in my heart.) I was so excited to go back home and tell my team about the baby I named Buhle! I knew they would be so happy for me and we would celebrate how cool it was. Not only did I get to NAME A BABY but also I named her Buhle!! I was on cloud nine.
For about 15 or 20 minutes we sat there with all the moms and babies. Finally after I referred to the little girl I had just named, one of the other mothers told me, “This is a boy.” Are you kidding me?? I couldn’t believe it. It was like someone let the air out of my balloon. So I did the only logical thing and renamed the baby Surprise David. Surprise is a semi-common African name and David was a man after God’s own heart. Besides, Buhle has a biological brother named Surprise and I love him as much as I love her. So I figured it fit well.
Myself and Surprise David :)