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.
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.
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.