Enaleni – Day 2

Doug, Ann and I had the remarkable opportunity to follow our families ‘special friend’, Ncumsile, back to her homestead after our day at the CarePoint. It was an amazing experience! Ncumsile lives with her mom (her dad died)…and her 10 siblings and 3 cousins. They live on a little homestead that has two mud/rock/stick huts. When we arrived we were welcomed in the Swazi way (guys get the little benches to sit on…girls sit on the mat). Ncumsile’s mom was very hospitable and with the help of our D(iscipleship) Team translator we had a wonderful conversation. We found out that none of the kids go to school because their mom can’t possibly afford it (about $75US/year for a girl Ncumsile’s age). We also found out that Ncumsile’s mom is one of the ladies who creates the very necklaces that we’ve been selling at the Enaleni Market. In fact, she was in the process of making some while we were there. When we started talking about how our family met Ncumsile and prays for her all the time (we’re not allowed to talk about sponsorship)…she sent one of the kids into the hut to fetch the envelopes, pictures and letters we had sent Ncumsile and said that she recognized me from the pictures. I was able to introduce her to my family from the pictures. I also took the opportunity to buy all of her necklaces off of her (for an inflated price)…and let her know that our family would love to take care of Ncumsile’s school fees for the year. Her response was… “Now I know that Jesus loves me! God is good to me today! Thank you so much!” I’ll see Ncumsile’s mom tomorrow when she walks the 45 minutes to the CarePoint so I can pay her for the necklaces. I’m looking forward to seeing her and to introducing her to people there …and inviting her to church on Sunday.

– Todd

Team Reflections

Sarah – “Better than Coffee”

Well, the bus ride to Enaleni on the second day definitely seemed longer, hotter and bumpier than the first day! As one who suffers from some motion sickness on bumpy rides, I was pretty grumpy on arrival at the carepoint. Luckily, one of our team members knew exactly what my soul needed. On her recommendation, I decided to take a quiet moment keeping the kids company during their breakfast. After several moments filled with nothing but the heart-filling sounds of happy slurping, a young child came over and with a shy smile, plopped down on my lap, then quickly grabbed my hands and wrapped them round my waist in a playful hug. There is no cup of coffee in the world that could have lifted my spirits and prepared me for a day of hard work than that special moment – and that’s coming from a member of our “coffee church”!


Michael, Nick and myself went with Lelo (our project manager) to get rocks for the drainage system for the latrine. As we were collecting large rocks, two local Swazi men came by, saw us collecting rocks and went over to a group that was sitting on rocks under a tree. All we could hear was “Coolu-Coolu” which we understood to be “God” from church the night before. They stood up, picked up their rocks and tossed them towards us to put it in the trailer. The rough interpretation was that “God needed their rocks”. We thanked them for the rocks and found out from Lelo that what they were saying in Saswati was “Thank you” for allowing them to give up what they could to help out the church.


So, today I traveled to Ncumcile’s house and met her family. Even though she has next to nothing, she gave me a necklace that her mother made to sell in the market. I feel very blessed.


We had a really busy and hot day again. In the morning, Ann, Sherise, and I went to buy the gifts for the home visits. It was lots of fun, but lots of work too; carrying lots of kilograms of maize, sugar, beans, soap, tea, etc. We thought that if we felt hot, sweaty and tired, imagine how everyone back at the carepoint felt.
Some afternoon highlights: watching a 3-year old girl singing and laughing and loving the attention she was getting from Mitch (our 17-year old football player team member); helping all the younger kids colour and watching their pride as they showed us their finished creations; getting to visit our sponsor child’s home; and watching the kids herding cows as they were blowing the noisemakers they got in VBS today.

About Tomorrow…

Tomorrow is the last day of VBS at Enaleni. We’re going to be having a foot-washing/shoe-fitting ceremony. We’re going to be washing each child’s feet and fitting them with the shoes the church so generously donated (we’ll be sure to post some pics). I believe the plan is also to pray over each child as they’re fitted with the shoes. It’s going to be an extremely powerful day.

On the work-project side, we’re going to be getting the 20 trees/plants for the orchard and putting the floor on the latrine.

Well, that’s all for now. Be sure to check yesterday’s blog entry out as we updated it with more details and pictures this evening.

– Sherise

12 thoughts on “Enaleni – Day 2

  1. What an awesome day! Todd…your experience leaves me speechless….these are things you get to experience once in a lifetime if you’re lucky.Scottie! (spoken in a scottish accent) Your post brought me to tears…I’m so proud of what you are doing and what a God moment!Mitchacho….I can just see you and that little girl….you rock my friend. I think the world of you and what you are doing.The shoe-fitting ceremony is an awesome idea and will be so powerful. What an honour it will be each of you. I can just imagine the emotions that you each experience every day…..God is so close to you all in what you are doing. He can be seen in each of those children in such honest and true form. You are seeing Jesus everywhere there! Keep it up everyone….can’t wait to see pictures of tomorrow.side-note….Brenda…how’s the XSi working? Been praying for you.Jon Courtney (living vicariously through you all!)

  2. It is so exciting to read about the impact this experience is having on you all. What an enourmous privledge to have you all representing Riverwood. Thankyou for your service an sacrifice. You are helping us all to better understand the heart of God and greater purpose in life for which we are called to.Tanya – I can’t find any of the financial information without you here. I have begun to pray for your safe return. Is Scott still cranky? How did the KFC church meal go? Did the congregation double or triple because of the menu? Todd – did you really tell Amie her curfue was lifted until you got back. Being out till 2 am every night without any accountability – are you sure that was a good idea??John Sr.

  3. Greetings to you all…I don’t go to your church and I don’t know any of you, but my boss’ emails filter through my inbox, and I must say that your newsletter caught my eye a few months back and I have been following your adventure ever since! I think all of you are brave, and I admire the faith you must have to take on such a venture. I love reading about it. Today, the pictures caught my attention. WOW!! Thanks for sharing…you have touched me. If all of you are a true representation of your church, then God must be extremely proud of what your church does!! and maybe it means that at some point I should check it out!!Take care and keep sharing…Taunja

  4. Thank you for the updates, I really enjoy hearing about your experiences there. The pictures are amazing!! I feel so blessed to be part of a church that is willing to go out of their comfort zone to show the love of God to others. We are praying for you all.Sean & Leslie, Matthew is being such a good boy at our house. This morning he said he wanted to live their forever 🙂 Don't worry, we'll give him back, eventually.Cal

  5. Swazi Team, you are all amazing! My thoughts and prayers are with you all and I am so proud of you. Thanks for representing our chuch so well. Enjoy the trip and hug the kids for me. Dodie

  6. No doubt each of you feeling a twinge of sadness realizing that your time at Enelani is almost over. I’m imagining that each of you are either reflective or jubilant after the foot washing and shoe presentations. You will come back changed. I am praying that the Lord will help you to be gracious as you reintegrate to our culture. This will possibly be the hardest part of the journey. We are thrilled to be sharing in the missions trip with you. The photos are making me melt. The picture of the foot drawing the heart was over the top for me, almost prophetic with the foot washing and shoes. You have left your mark on Enelani and these children. You realize that when these children use the latrene they will be thinking of you. And appreciating that you care about every aspect of them.Not sure how many more times you’ll be able to receive messages before you arrive back in the land of snow, so praying you have a great weekend, especially church. I remember Todd describing the offering challenge. You may want to split yourselves between each section to level the playing field. Have lots of fun with this, you’ve earned it.Also praying for safety as you travel and relax a bit.Lynn

  7. I’m so excited to read about what you guys are doing over there, especially for those kids. Thanks so much for your sacrifice and hardwork, although it looks like they give you just as much joy! Doug you’re doing an awesome job and the family is praying for you back home!Take care everyone!

  8. Dear Lord, I lift up Ann, who has already had many amazing experiences on this trip. Please continue to use her to Love Your people around her. As they pass the halfway mark in their journey, I ask that You would continue to provide strength, and health for the team. Please give Ann a great night sleep tonight, and show her how precious she is to You Lord. Please give her a picture, a word, or a song that would resonate in her heart. Something that she would know is a gift from You. As she ministers to these wonderful children, I ask that You would lead her in everything she thinks, says, and does. Thank you Heavenly Father for including her on this team, and I ask that You would continue to use her unique giftings to build up the team, and most importantly build up the self-confidence of the children at the care points. Amen.Dear Jesus,Nancy strikes me as a woman who has a heart for the gogos who work at the care point. Please use her to be an encouragement to the women at the care point, as well as the children. Please show her, lead her, and guide her so that she would be a great gift to them. Thank you especially for the rich sharing time they had on Wednesday.As Nancy looks forward to a new year ahead of her, please continue to bless her with wisdom, health, and an active faith. Please let this year be marked – by starting in Africa – as a year Nancy walks even closer with You Lord. Amen.Heavenly Father, I lift Doug up to You, and thank you for his willingness to serve You, and love Your people. Please ease his aching muscles and give him a restful and refreshing night. Please fill him with Your Holy Spirit, and lead him and guide him in the coming day. As he digs, labours, and sweats please be close to his heart and mind. Lord, I’d ask that he would have a great time in fellowship with You.Please continue to meet his needs, and equip him for the work of tomorrow. I keep getting the feeling that Doug is someone the children look up to – pun intended as well – please use him to be a good example for these young men. That they would see You, Lord, shining through him and working in him. Lord, that these young men would want that kind of relationship with You too. Thank you Lord, for the impactful day they’ve had, for all the work getting done, and for leading them every step along the way. You are gracious Lord. Amen.

  9. It’s so humbling to think of you guys washing those children’s feet I can actaully imagine Jesus right there doing the same.Reaching out to hug a child, playing with them, letting them know that you and Jesus love them is so important and is probably the single most important thing you guys are doing out there.Our whole family is inspired by Riverwood, by people like all of you and we all want to be a part of the Swazi Team next year!To think that some of you actually get to meet your sponsor children, their homes, their family, that’s awesome!I can’t wait to wash some feet next year!!! Imagine we are jelous of you washing their feet, but it’s like your washing the feet of Jesus… what an honor! Sincerly, Scott Ballentyne

  10. Enjoy your “fun day” today…it looks like you’ve been working sooo hard, but wow…I can’t imagine the powerful experience you people all must have had, and are still having. Looking forward to the church service when you are all back and we can hear inperson your thoughts and feelings and see your excitement. You all stay healthy and enjoy every moment.The time for you will go by too quickly!Doug: We miss you, and we LOVE seeing the pictures of you in action. Dad is living vicariously through you since he’s been there! Looking so forward to hearing all your stories!Much love!

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