Team Introductions Part 1

Wow, there’s just barely a week left to go before we head off to our great Swazi-Adventure. If you’ve ever gone on a big trip you’ll understand how time can do this funny thing where it both slows down and speeds up at the same time; there isn’t enough time to get everything done but somehow the departure seems distant and almost unreal. That’s definitely been my experience this last week.

And so, with our impending departure before us (and all the uncertain internet access that goes with it), now seems like the perfect time to begin introducing the team that God has assembled to represent Riverwood in Swaziland. We’ll do this in a couple installments as a group of 20 is just to large to introduce all at once. Our team thought it would be great to share a little about ourselves and our prayer requests for our journey. Todd has given us the challenge to dig deep and love deeper, something none of us will able to do without Christ’s help and your prayers. Without further adieu, I give you the SwaziTeam of 2009.

This is my second short term missions trip; I’m not sure if that’s serving me well or not. That gripping fear and uncertainty that forces one to rely fully on Christ’s strength alone is absent, which makes me wonder if I’m just that confident in God or if I’m relying on my own strength. Time will tell which one it is as I’m sure to fall on my face if I’m going it alone. So, please pray that I will have confidence only in the strength I have in Christ. As long as I am doing that, every other point will be moot.

I would really like to have some prayer that I will be able to get my homework done over this trip and that I’m able to keep my grades up. I am really looking forward to going on this trip and am unsure of what I am going to find there.

I must admit that I’ve never really had a desire to travel to Africa until one Sunday after the service I looked at my husband and said: “I think we should go on the SwaziTrip”. And he agreed. Instant agreement – right there that was a sign! Seriously though, as we prepare for this trip and learn more about Swaziland and the Swazi people I can’t imagine a more exciting and interesting place to be. Please pray for our health and safety in our travels and while we work in Swaziland. Please pray that we will be completely open to new experiences and to hearing God’s nudging. Pray that we will not get too tired and that we will work to the best of our abilities. And pray that I will show God’s love like crazy to the people of Swaziland and to all the people I am traveling with. Thanks everyone for all your support.

When I first thought about going on the SwaziTrip I was a bit apprehensive as I’m more used to spending a week in Cuba just relaxing and lying on the beach. But I decided that it was time to step out of my comfort zone, open myself up to new experiences and opportunities to grow. I’m looking forward to the challenge and opportunity to serve God and the people of Enaleni. Please pray for the group’s health and safety for the trip, that we will show God’s love to the Enaleni & Bhobhokazi kids and in return to grow in our relationship with Christ.

I eagerly look forward to meeting the children of Enaleni and Bhobhokazi as well as the faithful servants who are serving and loving the kids in Swaziland. Beyond the obvious excitement of going to Africa, I am looking forward to seeing how the Lord is going to work in our team as well as what the Lord is going to do in me as I journey with this amazing team. From personal experience, I know that the Lord uses each experience (positive or negative) in our life to teach us more about Him and His character. I ask that you pray for spiritual protection as well as physical protection for our team. I will be leaving 3 beautiful daughters behind and I ask that you pray for our families back here in Canada as well as us in Africa.

This is my first Mission’s trip and though I’m excited for what’s in store for me in Swaziland, I’m also nervous about how God plans to challenge me in our time there. I am one of 3 photographers in charge of capturing our journey. I pray that God will use my gift to reveal a world of beauty and hope that exists in both our care points and that my heart will be opened to God’s love for these people and to His love for me. I hope that I can give back as much as I suspect I will receive in my two weeks away.

Stay tuned throughout the coming week for introductions to the rest of the team.

– Sherise

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