A Dream comes True!

The story is told in Swaziland that King Sobhuza I had a dream in which he saw strange people with white skins and hair such as you will find on the tail of a cow. In this dream he saw these people coming into his country in houses built on platforms and pulled by oxen. Furthermore, he saw that these people had, in the one hand, a book and in the other, metal discs. In this dream, King Sobhuza I received the command to accept the book (the Bible) but to reject the metal discs (money). The king commanded his son, who would later become King Mswati I, to search for these people whom he had seen in the dream.

Some time afterwards, news was received of a group of people, resembling those whom King Sobhuza I had seen in his dream, telling people in the Wakkerstroom area about Mvelinchanti ("He who appeared right at the beginning"). He also heard that their teachings was based upon the same book that the king had seen in his dream. The king therefore sent a delegation to them to invite them to come to Swaziland and to teach the people this message. In this way it happened that the Methodist Church, in 1844, sent James Allison and Richard Giddy to Swaziland together with two evangelists, Job and Mparini.

In 1845 the first mission was built at Mahamba, approximately 30 km east of Piet Retief, on the border between South Africa and Swaziland. In 1847 one of the Swazi tribes had to flee before King Mswati I who wanted to punish them for something they did wrong. They arrived at the mission to hide from the soldiers, but when the king's soldiers arrived, the missionaries came under the impression that they were also going to be punished. Together, with about a thousand Swazis, the missionaries fled across the border. This is where Mahamba ("those that flee") got its name from.

It was only in 1880 that missionaries returned to Swaziland to continue with the spreading of the gospel in this country.


 

This lovely church building is situated at Mahamba where the Methodist church still proclaims the gospel of salvation to the Swazi people