An Opportune Setting in Swaziland

Patti Richter | October 21, 2015

The young seminary graduate has never seen a Star Wars movie, but she doesn’t shy away from adventures, especially missions-related ones.

Erica Zeiler received a master of divinity at Denver Seminary and served with two area churches for a decade before discovering Adventures in Missions through a Google search in 2009. Later that year, she headed to Africa on her first mission trip: three months in Swaziland.

“I picked Adventures Swaziland out of several mission choices due to the needs—its physical and spiritual poverty,” she said. “It’s one of the poorest countries in the world and has the highest HIV rate.”

English is a primary language there, along with siSwati, though Erica says the general literacy rate is low but growing: “Most adults can’t read but high-school students can.” 

Erica led teams on short-term trips with Adventures Swaziland until 2011, when she sensed a call to make a two-year commitment. She stayed with the organization beyond that term, until the end of 2014.

Mostly Orphans and Grandparents

Swaziland is a kingdom, an absolute monarchy, with the crown’s wealth set in steep contrast to its people’s poverty. The tiny country is landlocked between South Africa and Mozambique. Erica describes the western region as more scenic, while…

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