Day 5 at Enaleni filled our soul’s to overflowing! Here’s a bit of a run down on our day:
* On the bus by 10 am (Hooray! We got to sleep in a bit!)
* Arriving at Enaleni (the church) this Sunday…we were greeted by a very bustling place.
* Sunday School was just ending and church was about to begin.
* The service started with some AMAZING singing and dancing in an absolutely over-stuffed church. (There must have been more than 150 people in there).
* Church featured a girl’s choir, an adult choir, various spontaneous worship moments, a “Pastor Peter’s Team” vs “Precious’ Team’ offering (Pastor Peter’s side won!), Scott and Amanda both giving testimonies, Pastor Todd preaching a message on grace…and the service was wrapped up with an amazing moment of the Enaleni Church presenting each of our team members with traditional Swazi printed-wrap. One of the church leaders, the children’s ministry director, gave Riverwood church an incredibly moving tribute and thank you!
* Then the KFC arrived! Wow! 450 pieces of chicken, buns, drinks, pap and gravy and salad. We counted more than 130 kids at church…plus about 70 adults! Everybody ate their fill and loved the meal.
* We’ve just wrapped up our hour long debrief for the day…and now we’re sitting around making funny animal noises and watching Amanda sing “Jesus Loves the Little Children” with her mouth absolutely closed. (These people are really tired).
* Two jam-packed days left!
Anyway…here are a few of the heart-beat moments from our team:
Two years ago God spoke to me and opened my heart to the people of Africa. He told me that He wanted me to show them His love the same way He had loved me. Today as we all worshipped together I saw this come true. As we worshipped together I felt God’s love emanating from each and every person, whether African or Canadian. It’s hard to describe the overwhelming emotions I felt building inside of me. I’ve never really known what it meant to be humbled before the Lord until today. To show His love to the people of Enaleni and to receive it back has been such a gift in my life and I thank God for leading me by the hand down the most precious path my life has ever taken.
We went to church in Enaleni today. It was so awesome! They sang about Jesus being their hope and to “never, never give up”. As I listened to their beautiful singing, it just struck me…we sing about the same thing! But, do we really know what that means? It’s easy to sing about these things when we have so much, but these people have absolutely nothing!!! They have truly shown me that Jesus is the hope of the world!
I love driving into the carepoint and watching how excited the kids are to see that we’re back again. Today, as I got out of the van, I noticed lots and lots of bright, shiny crocs. Anytime you pointed at their shoes, the kids burst into big smiles.
At church, I was expecting around 150 people in total. We walked in and there was over 130 kids alone crowded into the front corners of the church. As we sang and danced in the aisle, the kids looked up at us with big, bright eyes and many reached out their hands to touch us. At one point in the church service, a bright, red object that one of the kids was holding caught my eye – it was a harmonica. I smiled to myself as I realized it was a gift from the care packages we gave out yesterday. After the service, I waslked around and felt so happy to see Ncumcile wearing her new pyjamas, our sponsor child, S’nethemba, wearing his new t-shirt and hockey ball cap, another red harmonica and another child wearing a new pair of sunglasses. I imagined how excited they must have been to open up their care package at home last night and it filled my heart with joy.
Today during church I was surprised and amazed at how much the kids enjoyed and wanted to watch the worship. I looked out the window during the service and saw Tim holding up a little boy (who is ALWAYS smiling) and helping him to look through the window. The kid was trying so hard to see into the church but couldn’t quite make it; the best part about it was watching Tim trying to take pictures with a clapping, smiling kid in his arms.
“Your Love at Work”
Picture this: it’s another Sunday morning church service, and the congregation pulls themselves to their feet for another worship tune. As the leader belts out a tune, the adults in the room slowly join in, eyes roaming the room as they rev up their hearts and voices. But what’s that strange sound? A cellphone ringtone? Perhaps a loud sneeze or an off-key croon? No! It’s a tiny four year old, cheeks puffed out to near explosion, wailing away on a tiny red harmonica in time to the beat – much to the delight of all his friends as well as my heart.
I just wanted to let you know that your care packages definitely made an impact here at Enaleni – from the plastic harmonicas that will make music for many days to come, to the brightly patterned (and completely unnecessary in this heat) socks that clashed with neon crocs and “Sunday best”. We were blessed to see your love at work today, as we celebrated God’s love with the people here at Enaleni. Way to go everyone!
AND NOW FOR THE LAUNCH OF OUR BIG CONTEST!
Rules: Post a blog comment, say “Hi” to the team…and submit your name suggestion for the giraffe OR the elephant (ONE NAME PER COMMENT-POST!) Our team will judge the best name and when we get home, we’ll present the winner with the giraffe or elephant at the Feb. 28/Mar 01 services. (Be sure to include your FIRST AND LAST NAME please).