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Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of His godly ones.

Psalm 116:15
I met Lucy Dlamini on our very first trip to Swaziland in 2005.  She quickly created a soft spot in my heart with her most welcoming greetings and extreme thankfulness. Each time we would meet, she would throw her hands in the air and repeat (in English), “O my God, O my God, thank you, thank you!  God bless you, God bless you, O thank God!”
Her smile was contagious and her grip was strong as her small stature exuded great strength.  Her loving character and  sense of humor regularly caused my soul to laugh in delight.  Lucy was a woman who crossed cultures, language barriers, and misunderstandings in profound ways through her ability to communicate with her whole being. I have woven in and out of her life for the last six years and she has always been the same Lucy.  She always made me feel good.  And I recognized and appreciated that about her.
And now I have learned that Lucy has died.  I have experienced a sadness that has left me at a loss for words. But more than anything, I want to honor her.  I want to honor Lucy Dlamini, one of God’s precious women of Swaziland. 
Lucy has been a volunteer cook at the Bhalekane carepoint since 2004.  In all of her loveliness she also knew how to carry a stick and love many children into obedience, respectfulness, and order! She was a Swazi hero who carried the blessing and burden of orphan and vulnerable child care every day.  She has been a hardworking gogo of Timbali Crafts and always brought life and spirit to our meetings, sewing days, and retreats.  Lucy was daily decorated with unique scarves that reflected her inner beauty and her friendly and upbeat nature:)
Lucy was one of the first gogos that welcomed and loved our son Josiah and his future wife Meredith on their first Swazi trip in 2005.  (Lucy is pictured on the far left)
Lucy (on the right above) with some of her Timbali/Carepoint sisters.
(in front and on the right below)
In 2009 Lucy enjoyed the Timbali Women’s Camp entitled, “Imphilo Lensha” which means new life.  I believe she is now experiencing the ultimate new life.
I love you Lucy!
As Lucy’s health began to decline she was unable to attend the Timbali meetings and our last women’s camp in the fall of 2011. But I was able to visit her a few times at her homestead along with Julie Anderson, the founder and director of Timbali Crafts, and full-time Swazi resident.  These were precious moments that I will treasure forever.  Even as she experienced pain and many losses, Lucy did not complain. She remained the same loving and welcoming woman who lifted me up.  She would say, “Doctor, doctor, I am so glad you have come. O my God, thank God. When you pray I am healed. When you pray I feel better.  When you pray for me my problems go away!Your prayers are my medicine. God bless you!”  She accepted my loving care for her and she added her faith to mine.
Lucy’s homestead
The last time I spent with Lucy
Lucy was a widow with 2 living children and 3 who have died.  Here she is with her pride and joy- her granddaughter!  (above & below)
Part of Lucy’s heritage is her son and his family, pictured below. She has left her Timbali skills to her daughter-in-law, Khosi Dlamini, (pictured below) who helped to care for her in her illness. 
Swaziland is not the same without Lucy.  Bhalekane and Timbali are forever changed by her absence. I pray the Lord will raise Khosi and the next generation of women to step into the shoes of the courageous and persevering Lucy Dlamini, who truly served her family and the children of Bhalekane with faith, joy, and strength.


  1. Thanks for writing this! She will definitely be missed here in Swaziland. She is in a much better place and is dancing and singing right now, I’m sure of it!

  2. She will be very missed. What a great tribute to the beauty of her soul and the impact she had on our lives!

  3. Oh Marcia, I am so sorry.

    I pray for the God of all comfort to be close to you and those who feel the great loss of Lucy. I know she is with our Jesus dancing in heaven.

  4. Marcia,
    Laura Clapp shared this news with me Sunday at our initial meeting to plan our June trip there.
    Lucy was one of the first gogos I met during Vanguards first trip to Swaziland. I too was always greated with her overwhelming love and gratitude for life and people. I pray for her family as they move through the grieving process and that they will live their lives as she did.
    This is a wonderful tribute to Lucy.

  5. This is really precious Marcia. Lucy was a very lively woman, and she will be greatly missed! She is now in glory and no more pain. Thank you Lord for that.

  6. My heart hurts deeply as I think about this loss. Lucy truly was such an inspiration to me. Her attitude of gratitude that she always displayed encouraged me each time I was around her.

    Bhalekane will not be the same without her. I can’t imagine what it will be like this summer to go and not see Lucy, my friend.

    Marcia, thank you for sharing these words and pictures. She has a legacy that she has left behind, and I am deeply thankful to have had the few moments that I had with her. Those moments have forever changed me.

  7. What a beautiful tribute to Lucy. I am sad that I did not get to know Lucy, what a beautiful woman of God. But I look forward to getting to know Khosi better. She too stands out in a crowd with her beauty and grace and joy. What an honor to get to serve alongside the women of Swaziland!

  8. My heart is broken and sad at our loss, but I am grateful for Lucy’s gain. Marcia, thanks so much for honoring Lucy. I am grateful to have known her and have been touched by her life. The fingerprints of Lucy’s life carry on.

  9. My heart is so sad at the loss of sweet Lucy. Every time I think of her, I think of the joy that exuded from her life. She lived a life of gratitude and worship that was so evident. You didn’t need to spend very much time around Lucy to know that she loved God! Oh, the dancing she is doing in the presence of the Lord right now! Can’t wait to dance with her again some day!

  10. Even though I don’t think I ever met Lucy, your testimony to her life and death have brought me to tears. I praise God for women like her and join you in praying that many more will rise up to care for the precious children of Swaziland.

  11. What a truly beautiful tribute! Thank you for sharing and I am praying for all who are missing her.

  12. I am so sorry for the loss of this precious saint! I have not met Lucy, but I have met and grown to love many other “Lucys” of Swaziland. They are amazing, strong, resilient and courageous women who I would be honored to emulate as I grow older in my faith and experience! I echo your prayer, Marcia, that the younger generation of Swazi women will rise up and take their place in the Kingdom! Be comforted today, friend, that Lucy is fully embraced in LIGHT and LIFE now and forever!

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