Swaziland Outreach Day Camp

April 2015

Swaziland, a small country of 1.2 million people set in the eastern corner of South Africa bordering Mozambique, is the only absolute monarchy within Africa under King Mswati III who has ruled 29 years. Swaziland is ranked among the poorest countries in the world, with over 60 per cent of its inhabitants living below the poverty line of less than US$1.25 per day. It has the world’s highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS, with 27 per cent of 15 to 49 year-olds suffering, rising to 40 per cent among 16 to 24 year-olds. Despite the societal struggles, Swaziland is rich in natural beauty, culture and people with a heart for Jesus.

One of these people is Young Life Area Director Sthembile (Sthe) Nsibande, “sister, mother, friend and teacher” according to an 11th grade YL student. Because Sthe wanted to give Swazi kids a hope and a future, Young Life ministry began in 2012.

At a recent Day Camp for 194 kids (146 of whom were girls) in April 2015, YL leader Liyandza shared what meant the most to him at camp. “I was able to bring 29 kids. They were so excited from the very first time they heard about camp. In the beginning, they didn’t understand what was happening during the day’s activities, but then they were happy to be there. The camp meant a lot of things to me. I learned how to better share the gospel and also how to talk with my kids, especially during cabin time. That’s when I discovered I was made for this.”

Nokwanda, a YL student, said: “At first, we were surprised by the crazy environment but we ended up enjoying every part of the day and wished camp could last longer. We learned that God loves us and has great plans for us. That He has placed each one of us in this world for a purpose. One of the best things about Young Life is that it helps young people who don’t have a caring adult alongside his or her life. Young Life leaders instill the word of God in us and encourage us to grow in our faith.”

Because of Sthe’s faith, she is reaching leaders and kids like Liyandza and Nokwanda who are coming to know Jesus in a deeper way.

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