Bulembu Profiles

In Your Own Words: Elizabeth “Ebeth” Lyon

Welcome to “In Your Own Words,” a textual space where we hear from those who have served in Bulembu (teams, employees, volunteers, partners, etc.).

This edition focuses on Elizabeth”Ebeth” Lyon, former Resident Director at Gordon College. She has been team principal for Gordon College teams for the last seven years. We took time aside to find out: “In your own words, what does Bulembu mean to you?” Below is her response.

How have your motivations to come to Bulembu changed over the years?

The first time I came was out of a love for African cultures, and the opportunity came for me to advise an Africa trip for Gordon. I had previously been to Uganda and Kenya. God’s work in Bulembu captivated my heart the first time I came. There was so more to learn about the culture, the people, the ministry, which drew me back again and again. I was also beginning to form relationships with people here and wanted to continue building into them.

I’m still in awe that I’ve had the opportunity to come back seven times! It is a blessing. I keep desiring to come back because I see God’s love for his children, and a creativity in sustainability initiatives. These are aspects I don’t see often in my everyday life. And the relationships I’ve built over the years hold everything together in a really unique way.

If you could only come back one more time with a chance to do whatever you wanted, what would you do?

I like the balance of being able to see all the facets of the ministry in Bulembu. I also like going into Eswatini to see the world the kids come from, because it’s easy to lose sight of that when I’m here. That would definitely have to be a part of it. There is always more to learn, and so I would seek to keep balancing practicality, e.g. how can I help on the ground, and creating space to encourage the young adults. I would also like to learn from the people who work here full time, to learn from their experiences.

What do the clothes you wore to work today say about you?

The clothes I have on now are covered in dirt and cement. I’ve worn them everyday for work projects, because I like to see progress in the work we do. My clothes communicate that I’m a hard worker, I’m not afraid to get dirty and do whatever needs to be done to progress the kingdom of God. I think my clothes communicate the willingness to get my hands dirty in support and encouragement of the ministry and the kingdom of God. And I also have to wear a bright colour because I like to bring the joy of the Lord wherever I go!

How would you describe your relationship over the last seven years with Bulembu in one word?

I would say honouring. I have felt honoured to be a part of the ministry, as well as honoured by the ministry. It has been an honour getting to see new people every year. I feel honoured when I’m asked, “What do you think?” There is a very strong sense of care in this mutually honouring relationship that means so much to me.

By Muoki Musau