Day 3…and WHAT A DAY!

Here are a few highlights and accomplishments of day 3
:


* We moved the floor onto the latrine and the walls are half built.

* The 20 trees arrived and are ready for planting tomorrow (Saturday).

* The kids all received the ‘Epic Students’ hackie-sacks

* The kids also received their vitamin made possible by our sponsor dollars.

* We did 3 more home visits.
* We finished clearing the field of stumps. Wow! Talk about hard work.
It’s ready to be plowed tomorrow.


* We conducted a morning and an afternoon VBS…which included bracelet making and a beautiful parade of kids!

* We had a foot washing and shoe fitting for close to 80 kids!

* We arranged for a space-age paint to be applied to the roof of the church. NASA uses it and it reflects 68% of the heat rays so the church stays cooler. We’ll have it painted tomorrow.

* The $4000 solar pump began to be installed with the hoses being run to the cisterns we mounted yesterday.

* Pastor Todd met with Pastor Peter to go over drawing for the future church of Enaleni. Pastor Peter is dreaming BIG! Pastor Todd also met with the CEO of Kingdom Builders, the ministry that will help build the church in the next year or two.

* We went out for dinner to a restaurant in Manzini…came back to our compound for a quick de-brief…blog reading (THANKS FOR ALL THE NOTES! THEY MEAN SO MUCH!)…a late night blog update…and off to bed to get some rest before our big party and gift day tomorrow.

Now…for a few personal reflections on the day:

Sean – Today at supper we were talking to our Swazi bus driver, Elliot. He was telling us about how he saw God’s love in action when our church started taking on Enaleni by sponsoring children. He told us that since we started helping out the CarePoint many souls have been saved. Now with us being at Enaleni he sees God’s love coming out of our hearts. He said…”We are all brothers and sisters in Christ no matter where we live or what color our skin is.” He was so thankful for us and the difference we are making in Swaziland.

Ken – The last two days have been very rewarding for me. Yesterday Tanya and I had the humbling experience of visiting our sponsor child’s home, and today was an unbelievable emotional yet joy filled experience for me as I had the privilege to wash the feet of some of these children including our sponsor child and to pray over each of them. It’s an experience that I will carry with me forever.

Michael – Today I had the opportunity to wash the feet and give new shoes to some of the children at Enaleni. It was an awesome and humbling experience to take part in this, and to pray a prayer of blessing over each child. It will be something I remember forever. On a couple of them it took three or four tries until we found a pair that fit them properly, but I could see afterwards that they really enjoyed their new gifts.

Scott the jungle-gym!

Doug – Well I had quite a moment with one of sponsor children. I was picking up a lot of kids the other day and it often seems to be quite a battle to keep up with them all, but it’s a good thing! You seem to kind of get used to it and you maybe start to forget that its not just “fun” but this is an impacting few days for them! I saw one child who looked particularly sad for some reason so I came up to him and picked him up. I tried tickling him and being funny but he didn’t seem to respond like some of the others. after a while I let him go do his thing and thought to myself.. “hm, maybe its just harder to get through to some of them”. Today the same timid boy came up to me ME and touched my hand so I picked him up and he muttered the words “no go, no go” with the saddest look on his face. I thought to myself “this little moment of physical touch is probably the closest thing to hope he can remember”. What seemed to be an insignificant hug turned

out to be the biggest moment for this boy, dare I say, ever. It really put into perspective for me, the kinds of things God is doing in these people’s hearts through our work here. It broke my heart of course, but it was good to SEE us having a long term impact on these kids, which is our goal. What WAS encouraging was the fact that he was wearing a pair of brand new crocks that we handed out to all the sponsored children at the care point so I knew he had a sponsor back home in Winnipeg so he is receiving support! Praise the Lord!


Rachel – Today I found out that I would be going to my sponsor child’s home and the feelings were overwhelming. This was even more special as his mother has just passed away and he hadn’t been to the care point often so time spent with him was precious. The walk to his home was very meaningful, we spent time together and I tried to interact with him. His aunt who he lives with was very welcoming and so thankful for the gifts we offered. God has brought us together from two different sides of the world and I am so very thankful for this opportunity. I will cherish this memory for a lifetime!!

17 thoughts on “Day 3…and WHAT A DAY!

  1. aagh doug! that story killed me… to think that this could possibly be my little sponsored guy just breaks my heart. i can’t even come up with words to describe how thrilled i am that you all can be there to give out hugs – especially to those who may not get very many more in life.bless you all as you finish up your projects and spend your last few days there. praying that you won’t fade!julie

  2. After reading through your update I’m just sitting and trying to get a handle on what I’m feeling. The impact you are having on those children, your church, and, if you read one comment left yesterday, people who don’t even know Riverwood (yet), is just too much for words. God is so over all of this and right in our midst that our human thanks for being there will mean very little in the light of our Lord & Master's eternal thanks that is sure to come your way. God bless each of you and have an awesome next day in Him!

  3. I am almost close to tears… Brenda – the picture of you praying with that girl… the stories of eharts conecting without the use of the same language but touch… Scott, and everyone there..you being a respresentative of Christs arms in being jungle gyms for these kids…wow i’m jelous of you, but since I can get heat stroke easily, I’m praying that you all will be CAREFULL and drink tons, remind everyone, especially BALD members, to keep thier hats on…May God assure you of the impact that you are makign will last, and comfort your eharts of you continue to be impacted by what you see and experience out there… did the younger kids understand some of the foot washing? May God give you special moments and pauses to allow you to process, capture in writing, and commune with HIM over all the amazingly powerfull moments, nature, and cultural expereinces you are encountering…. have you been to Bobokhazi yet? I am praying for an extra blessing in terms of approachig and meeting the gogo’s and chyildren there… may ti be a culterally / survivor respecting one for these warriors that have struggled…. may God once again shower you with rest, comfort, cofidence, courage, strength, and protection….. and the ability to soak in HIS smile and delight on you and even as you see deperate situations and are shocked, may you continue to show HIS delight over these people…. thanks for sharing the photos… they delight my heart You are all truely a blessings… thanks for being vulnerable and blessing us with your experiences and feelings on the blog… and for risking and sacrificing in growing to meet the challenges in going to swaziland…. it sounds like you’re being blessed many times over… I pray for each of you such joy and the ability to delight in the moments and delight in the children sharing thier love on you… recieve it deeply into your eharts, even though it will eave you a bit vulnerable… I pray for Gods protection over your eharts as you contemplate leaveing and having to part (physically) from these jems… dance like you’v not danced before… soak in the sunrise and sunsets, roll in the grass/ dirt with the kids… get african soil into your fingernails and hair, and african dust in your ears… let africa capture you…. God can do the balencing fo rpacticality and readjusting to our 1st world culture and crowded city later…. ahve fun and let your hearts dance, let your laughter roll, and may God not stop tickling you (and you not stop tickling the children) untill you can’t stop laughingand in the midst of it all, and all the busyness and heart stretching experiences, cry WITH HIM. hey- you all are creative and mischivious people? anyone had time to do pranks yet? Karen, I wish i could be there with you so see the children rhythuming out to music… all of you, better get the african vibe going in your bones… ya gotta show us how to truly dance and do a congo line for offering… hey todd, now that you’v been in africa twice, maybe you can challenge jon to a dance… make a mni video of the children teaching you to do the dance proper… or of the adults teaching our church how to truely move and celebrate 🙂

  4. Tanya and Ken, a big HI from Edmonton. You have been in our thoughts and prayers since we found out about your journey to Swaziland. We are just so excited for you…and of course a little jealous. 🙂 We are so happy that God has allowed you this amazing experience, and we are so proud of you both for following His prompting in going. May you both be richly blessed individually and as a couple. Tanya, I cannot help but remember the many Sundays that you did the "mission news" at church when we were kids. I still remember you making up great games and names etc in order to remember the missionary's names and field locations etc. Do you remember the rhyme for Elsie Lewondowski? Wow, did you ever think for a moment years ago that you would be the missionary? Fantastic! The tables have turned. 🙂 We will continue to pray for you as you serve in this mission field and we look forward to hearing all about your experiences next time we meet in person. May God continue to be with you in every way,Love Mike, Nicole, C & D

  5. Thinking of you all and praying daily for God’s presence and provision to be very evident. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us through pictures and words. Blessings to each and every one of you!

  6. I have tears rolling down my cheeks as I read about your day. I can just imagine how God’s arms have become the arms of this team, to hug and love on these precious children. What unbelievable moments you have to cherish. God bless you all, I know that he already has…CheersTaraPS Sean and Leslie: Matthew is being such a good boy and Maggie is getting lots of treats. We’ll be at the children’s museum tomorrow.

  7. My heart is unbelievably full as I read your blog today. God is good! I know some people have said that the church should just have sent the money and not be “wasting” it on the travel. Boy are they wrong! The impact you are leaving on those children will last a long, long, time. The power of touch and smiles go a long way to fill a child’s heart with the love of God. I am just so proud of all of you and the love you are showing these little ones. Savour these moments in order to be able to share them with all of us back home who were not able to be there with you. I pray God’s richest blessings on all of you as you enjoy these last few days sharing God’s love in such a tangible way! Dodie

  8. The photos are amazing. The photos dont need any explanation. They are priceless in what they speak. The story it tells is amazing. Absolutely amazing work and priceless memories you will receive and give to these people. My 2 older kids have lots of questions and try realize how fortunate we really have it. My heart goes to all. Fabulous work you are doing.

  9. I think I’ve finally figured out how to get on here, I’ve sent messages everyday, but I don’t know to where I sent them.I am also blown away but what I read. I am drawn to my computer so many times a day just to check if there is something new, and to re-read everything written. I can’t read without bawling, I am so impacted by what is going on there. Praying for you guys continually, never far from my thoughts.Mitch and Brenda, I pray that you get to meet Nosipho and her family, tell her how much we love her, tell her that there are even more people on the other side of the world that care about her, even people that didn’t get to come to where she lives. Bren, that is an awesome picture of you with that little boy, that’s one that needs to be blown up, and Mitch your picture playing with that little girl blew me away, all the pictures blow me away, Tim you are doing one incredible job of capturing what is going on.Mitch and Bren, things are good, everyone is fine, the girls are coming for dinner on Sunday, it will be very starnge without you and Mitch being here.Anyway, glad to have finally gotten through, will write again, can’t wait to see the pics of the kids getting their care packages, get some photo’s of Nosipho please.love to allCheryl

  10. I think I’ve finally figured out how to get on here, I’ve sent messages everyday, but I don’t know to where I sent them.I am also blown away but what I read. I am drawn to my computer so many times a day just to check if there is something new, and to re-read everything written. I can’t read without bawling, I am so impacted by what is going on there. Praying for you guys continually, never far from my thoughts.Mitch and Brenda, I pray that you get to meet Nosipho and her family, tell her how much we love her, tell her that there are even more people on the other side of the world that care about her, even people that didn’t get to come to where she lives. Bren, that is an awesome picture of you with that little boy, that’s one that needs to be blown up, and Mitch your picture playing with that little girl blew me away, all the pictures blow me away, Tim you are doing one incredible job of capturing what is going on.Mitch and Bren, things are good, everyone is fine, the girls are coming for dinner on Sunday, it will be very starnge without you and Mitch being here.Anyway, glad to have finally gotten through, will write again, can’t wait to see the pics of the kids getting their care packages, get some photo’s of Nosipho please.love to allCheryl

  11. Hey Team!You all look so fantastic! i’m so proud of you. You must also have a really amazing and capable leader!Anyway…hope the “Ann-bulance” is doing a good job of keeping you healthy and all your boo-boos bandaged.I pray that Doug finds some speed so he’s not the slow one…and that Nick doesn’t fall into his dark past as being a rebel leader.If i can give you a bit of a warning…watch out for the Black Mombas and Cobras…Oh ya…and the scorpions…and Stephanies witty humor hidden under that quiet (tatooed) demeanor.Hope Rachel isn’t crying too much…and Tanya isn’t eating everyone’s treats on the sly (that is one girl you gotta watch).Anyway…i think the world of you all and am so incredibly proud of you!

  12. I think I’ve finally figured out how to get on here, I’ve sent messages everyday, but I don’t know to where I sent them.I am also blown away but what I read. I am drawn to my computer so many times a day just to check if there is something new, and to re-read everything written. I can’t read without bawling, I am so impacted by what is going on there. Praying for you guys continually, never far from my thoughts.Mitch and Brenda, I pray that you get to meet Nosipho and her family, tell her how much we love her, tell her that there are even more people on the other side of the world that care about her, even people that didn’t get to come to where she lives. Bren, that is an awesome picture of you with that little boy, that’s one that needs to be blown up, and Mitch your picture playing with that little girl blew me away, all the pictures blow me away, Tim you are doing one incredible job of capturing what is going on.Mitch and Bren, things are good, everyone is fine, the girls are coming for dinner on Sunday, it will be very starnge without you and Mitch being here.Anyway, glad to have finally gotten through, will write again, can’t wait to see the pics of the kids getting their care packages, get some photo’s of Nosipho please.love to allCheryl

  13. I think I’ve finally figured out how to get on here, I’ve sent messages everyday, but I don’t know to where I sent them.I am also blown away but what I read. I am drawn to my computer so many times a day just to check if there is something new, and to re-read everything written. I can’t read without bawling, I am so impacted by what is going on there. Praying for you guys continually, never far from my thoughts.Mitch and Brenda, I pray that you get to meet Nosipho and her family, tell her how much we love her, tell her that there are even more people on the other side of the world that care about her, even people that didn’t get to come to where she lives. Bren, that is an awesome picture of you with that little boy, that’s one that needs to be blown up, and Mitch your picture playing with that little girl blew me away, all the pictures blow me away, Tim you are doing one incredible job of capturing what is going on.Mitch and Bren, things are good, everyone is fine, the girls are coming for dinner on Sunday, it will be very starnge without you and Mitch being here.Anyway, glad to have finally gotten through, will write again, can’t wait to see the pics of the kids getting their care packages, get some photo’s of Nosipho please.love to allCheryl

  14. I think I must have brain damage, I put my message on 3 or 4 times, thinking I was doing it wrong, Please forgive me, I won’t do this again.cheryl

  15. Heh team! You guys are doing an unbelievable job there. I can’t imagine the depth of emotion and the experiences that you are all having. So many moments that go so deep. Make no mistake, you are all leading our church into a new depth and understanding of what it means to live out the gospel! We are so inspired by the effort and energy you are giving.Many of you are probably feeling pretty spent already….I pray that you each find a incredible depth of resources to keep putting everything on the line. We know that you have invested so much. The more you invest….the more you get back. That has probably become a reality and truth in your lives.God smiles upon you all today. I hope the party went well….as I’m sure it did. I can just picture each of those children opening up their bags and feeling so loved and excited and cared for. I hope each of them has an understanding of the love and care that went into them. Way to go Brenda on organizing those….all that sewing has now paid off! Brenda…that picture of you praying with that child….remarkable…..what a moment. And I’m sure there were about 80 of those moments filled with emotion and joy that go beyond words. Our hearts here are exploding and we weren’t even there.Scottie….I bet you have always been dreaming of painting with NASA paint.We cheer you on. You will have such an awesome day again tomorrow worshipping at Enaleni and having KFC!! What a hoot that will be.Thanks for being Jesus’ hands and feet and Riverwood embodied at Enaleni. Can’t wait to hear about the visit to Bhobhokazi.Lots of love from Winnipeg.Jon

  16. It’s 7:15 in the morning in wpg, I’ve been up for a while, getting ready to start my day, you guys are well on your way in your day, and doing remarkable things, that make my life here seem……… well less important somehow. I am constantly reminded of how much excess I have, as I go to the grocery store and pick out whatever I want from hundreds of thousands of items, and pay for it with the money I have, to opening my fridge and picking something out, to turning on clean hot water for my shower, to reaching for intact shoes and intact clean clothing, to sitting relaxing in front of my One of 4 TV’s. I am grateful to the Lord for the many many many blessings He has bestowed on my and my family and realize now more than ever how very very rich I am. i am the rich man described in the bible. What am I here and not there?I am not able to go there physically and do that work, but I can stand in the gap and lift all of you to the One True God, and I am going to do that now. May God bless each of you today more than even yesterday, and may His light shine one the precious folks you are ministering to even more than yesteday, and tomorrow more than today.talk to you soon.TTFNLove Cheryl.Good morning Mitch, I love you, I miss you and Dad and I can’t wait to see you. The dogs are fine, they miss you too.

  17. Wow, the pictures and stories are absolutely fantastic, and impacting. I totally almost don’t want you guys to come home, (and not cuz i don’t like you or anything 🙂 ) but rather because i could just keep reading your blogs and hearing how you are totally the love of God to these kids. I’m also trying to imagine the smiles of the gogo’s and the pastor there because, umm, how to put it… when you bless my wife and put a smile on her face, then you also bless me, and i think that is the same there. You friends are the influx of so much love and blessing which God is multiplying in seen and unseen ways (i think of Doug’s hug with that little boy) and i know that is reaching deeply into the hearts of the others there as well.I want to say something specific to each of your stories and efforts but it would feel so “less than” compared to what God has put in your heart for the things that you are doing. Hearing (and seeing) Scotty “too Neepawa” wrestling and playing with the kids was perfect, i can only imagine what it’s like, cuz i know how much i love playfighting with my nieces and nephews.Keep posting, we keep reading! Enjoy your last few days and special KFC lunch. Take lots of pictures of the care package giveaway.anyways, i should wrap up.lots of blessings and loveRod and Renap.s. i know i mentioned this before, but if there is a possibility of getting a picture of our girl Andile Mkhatjwa, that would be perfect. thanks so much

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