Day 5…Enaleni's BIG DAY & the BIG CONTEST

Hey Church…

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!

* The service was followed by a whole-Enaleni-Church and Riverwood-SwaziTeam group photo.

* 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.

* After church we hit the market for an hour…got caught in a torrential downpour…dropped by our compound for a quick (hot) shower…and went out for dinner at a fantastic restaurant.

* 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!


It’s a new name-that-giraffe OR name-that-elephant contest and win them when we come home.

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).

– Todd

26 thoughts on “Day 5…Enaleni's BIG DAY & the BIG CONTEST

  1. What a day you had…..we loved sharing a bit about it at church today and we all prayed for you. Can’t wait to hear about the visit to BhobhokazTodd….I can’t believe you’ve got another giraffe! Well…I can actually….I’ve been waiting for it to surface.I vote the name of the elephant to be Ambata. This is a Swahili name that means “embrace, connect, and join”. I feel this represents well what has happened in this past week. It feels like the relationship that we began at Enaleni has taken form. It feels like not only have we embraced, connected and joined them by helping….but on a much deeper and more meaningful level, they have extended those things to us. It has been a beautiful picture to watch and hear of our carepoint embracing us….becoming connected to us…and joining us as family.I will refrain from participating in naming the giraffe as I’m still recovering from too much of that giraffe from last year :-)Blessings on you all from Winnipeg.Jon Courtney

  2. Hey Team,WOW – I can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like as you arrive at Enaleni for another day of surprises for our kids. I love the pictures they help us capture a glimpse of how things are going and what you are up to.Love the African dresses outfits.Can hardly wait to hear all the stories when you come home. Give Thobelile a big hug for us.Can you imagine what that orchard will look like 3 or even 5 years from now? Imagine the fruit and how it will feed and nourish the kids and go-go’s. That just sends shivers down my spine. I just love the idea of a garden that will grow and sustain our care-point.Keep smiling, keep up the good work and know you’ve got many people back here cheering you on and praying for you.Hey Brenda – how’s the food situation? Hope you’ve managed to find something to eat. Been thinking about you.Wish we were there.

  3. Hi Ken & Tanya – We are really enjoying keeping up with your adventures. We are sure you will come back changed people and can't wait to hear in more detail about all of your experiences. Loved the foot washing story and that you were able to meet your sponsor child.We had a speaker in church this morning talking about missions, so you were on our minds!We wish you and the team many more blessings for the remainder of your time and a safe trip back.Jesse and Chantal say hi and hope you are having fun, and they also say that they hope the kids are getting what they need. (They enjoyed hearing about the kids having hot dogs for the first time!)Love you lots! Rob, Marla, Chantal & Jesse

  4. Love your new outfits! You are the best looking white Swazi’s I’ve ever seen!!! You must wear them to Riverwood sometime. In all seriousness – what a wonderful gift from the church at Enaleni to you – I love the relationship that is happening between our church and theirs. I was so excited to hear that Ncumsile and her mom were in church today and sounds like she has started “pyjama day” at church. What a girl! Actually, I was really hoping she would wear the new dress we sent her. But it sounds like the pyjamas won out. Well tomorrow sounds like another exciting day. Give lots of Riverwood love to our new friends at Bobokazi. Love to you all!

  5. I’m sure yesterday was a Sunday worship you won’t forget very easily. Our church prayed for your team today in our service as we have been sharing the updates on your ministry there. Ken you are looking a little tired which means you must really be working hard as you usually have energy to spare. So we will pray for all of you to be able to finish well, that the projects you want to complete will happen and that you will have the strength and health needed. One more thing, Grandpa wants to know if you can bring him some Swazi coins for his coin collection. He can’t remember if he asked you to do that or not. The Lord watch over you and bless you until you land back here in sunny but very (brrrrr) cold Manitoba. (-28 the night you land in Wpg.!!!)Love, Mom and Dad

  6. Hey team,We wish we could have been there to hear the singing, it must have been amazing!! Cal’s vote is that the giraffe be named Melman, from the Madagascar movie. Can’t wait to hear about Bhobhokazi.CheersCal and Tara

  7. Nice dress Doug!!! Very pretty! lol…No seriously, that picture looked amazing and what a nice keepsake from Africa. Its supper time here right now, so when I read about your KFC meal, it sure made me hungry..I would have loved to see you all chowing down that good food!Many blessings to the whole team and to all the children and workers there. Stay healthy, and safe travels home!Love: Mom Oh…and as for names for the Giraffe and elephant…Sophie for the giraffe, and Jumbo for the elephant…does that sound original enough :):)

  8. Hi everyone,I think you guys all look terrific in your African gear. What a lovely gift, and i vote for you all to wear it to church when you come home.I”ve got some namesFor the Elephant JELANI which is mighty in Swahiliand for the giraffeIMANI, which is faith in swahilihope you guys are having a great sleep and are strong and refreshed in the morning.Love CHeryl

  9. hey all, It’s truly incredible to continue to hear stories and now see a few more of the added pictures. It’s wonderful to hear of how the kids look forward to seeing you every day and how they run to you. Also, quite priceless to hear of their joy of God’s love influence through you.hmm, rather reminds me of something.harmonica – $2hacky sack – $4flight to south Africa – $1000Perfect reflections of worship – PricelessFor crazy and creative on the fly ideas of insanity to make a worship service more complete, call Todd. For everything else, call on God, giver and supporter of Everything good in life. I have an idea for a name for the Giraffe – Kuthula.In english, it means “peace” and in one way it reminds me of the peace and love that you have given to Enaleni. It’s also a peace that sees all in life and still stands above it and remains tall. It also relates very particularly to the family at Enaleni because in spite of how little they have, their hearts of worship and genuine spirit shows there is a peace in Christ.

  10. Greeting from Wpg and Robert Andrews School.I’ll be showing parts of the blog tomorrow as we take a moment to check the latrine progress and Amanda’s tan. Things look great and it’s good to hear of the progress and “moments” you are able to have with the kids. Keep hydrated!!God blesses through you!

  11. We've been praying for all of you and we see much fruit and answers to these prayers as you love the children and people in Swaziland. Please pass on our love and greetings to Pastors Peter and Precious, who we met in January.Doug, would you do us a favor and check to see how Scelmphilo is doing, one of the older boys, who we were unable to meet when we were there. He is our sponsor kid. We thank God for the changes you have brought, both to the physical environment and also in bringing hope and faith and love. The foot washing ceremony story and pictures were very moving.We are so proud to be with you in spirit in this venture.Enjoy the rest of your time and the great wildlife at Kruger. With luck, you'll get to see the Big Five! (and the wild dogs).Love and prayersDarryl & Shirley Peters

  12. I love hearing of all that has been going on. It is so amazing all that you are doing. Im praying for all of you back here, but especially for all the epic leaders. We need you back Nick Sarah and Tim, Its a Zoo here…Senior high youth is probably more like a petting zoo, but Im sure they are missing you Doug.Great job Mitch I love that you are the only one to do a Sirva and Enaleni trip. You’re the man!The giraffe should be named Karl.

  13. My heart is overflowing as a I read about your day in Enelani. Services at Riverwood are going to seem tame by comparison. I’m praying that you will be able to reach out to the children at Bhobokhazi. You will have such a short time and no chance to do much to improve their circumstances as you have been able to do at Enalani. May the Lord give you wisdom to know how to impact these children with God’s love for them. May you focus on what you can do.

  14. Hey there to the Swazi TeamYou guys are amazing. I've been following your adventures..experiences…and the pictures (which are fantastic). As I read your stories it touches my spirit soo much that I soar so high it's like I am walking along side each one of you (I'm not really but it sure feels like it). You guys are so blessed to have the privilage to pour out God's Love to these beautiful people and children of Enaleni on behalf of us back here at Riverwood and for youselvesthis will be such blessing that you will carry with you always. I'm so glad that you got to meet your sponsor kids..I can only imagine what you felt at that moment. My prayers and blessings go out to alleverday and night and whenever I think of you. The seeds you planting today will bless everyonefor a life time..the garden, the orchard, the lattrine, painting the roof of the church..etc. I really like those new digs the Church & people of Enaleni blessed you guys look so great inthe must wear them to church when you get back. I am saying extra special prayers for the team that the blessings you pour out when you visit Bhobhokazwill give the hope and love they have been waiting for and they will believe even more in God's love that he has not forgotten them and they should never lose faith as we were called by HIM to help them inwhatever they need.As for your contest..the name that popped into my head as soon as I saw that elephant was Buttswanni (have no clue what it means or if its even a real name, just thought it sounded cool)God Bless you all & have a safe trip home..can't wait to hear more stories.Debbie Pook

  15. The pictures on the blog today are incredible! Everytime I check out the blog, I am humbled by all the work that the team has been doing, humbled be the love shown to the team for all the work that is being done! I can only imagine Pastor Peter’s confusion when he saw the adaptor and then his shock and wonder when he saw his new laptop! Even though you are thousands of miles away, we at Riverwood are being blessed!I wish that I could have been a part of the foot washing,Croc giving and prayer over the child ceremony! God is surely smiling down at the Riverwood team!My big question of the day is this: Where did you get the KFC from to feed everyone? Is there a local KFC not far from Enaleni? And is it similar to our KFC?The names that I suggest for the Giraffe would be: Amani Utupe (grant us peace, give us courage) The name I suggest for the elephant would be: Siyahamba ( We are marching in the light of God)I know these sound like unusual names, but they are from two pieces of music that I have in the library that I work in. They are the very first sheets of music that I shelved when I started here in December. I am constantly drawn to these two pieces of music!If you should see Ken’s and my sponsored child, Tembusho, please give her a hug from us. My prayer for the team is that you enjoy your work in the last few days you are in Swaziland and that God richly blesses each and everyone of you. My prayer for the two carepoints is that God will grant you peace and give you courage.Blessings to each and everyone of you from a cold Winnipeg!Judith

  16. Hey everyone! I love these updates. They are fantastic!Sarah and Nick – Me and Brendan figured with all of your updates, We would give you some of our own….Go to these sites to see your puppies!!Rufio Traitor: Rufio Misses Nick: Traitor: Misses Sarah: will send these to your hotmail too. Enjoy 😉 And the traitor videos MAY have been staged… LOVE you! Come home safe!Jen and Bren

  17. Hey team!Your obvious impact there has left me speechless!I’m loving the pics too. Especially the Riverwood+Enaleni one at the top of this post. Finding the Canadians was just like “Where’s Waldo!”

  18. Hey RachieWe are really enjoying your trip along with you through these blogs;the kids like the pictures!Very cool to talk to you the other day but our idea to have the kids listen on another line wasn’t such a great one…I had a hard time hearing you!Keep having the time of your life-I’m sure it will be hard to come home…atleast the weather will be a bit warmer than when you left!Love Tara

  19. I have so enjoyed following the blog. I look forward to seeing more pics at church on your return. I was amazed when I saw those huge animals in the wild that:1. the elephant has 100,000 muscles in his trunk alone. Imagine a hug by that mammal!2. the giraffe has the same number of vertebra in their neck as we do. Glad God chose the giraffe to have the longer style!I would enter the names of the animals that the children call them.( Their language) Many have never seen these animals because they never get a chance to go “on safari”. See you on Sunday.

  20. Hi!I’m guessing names for the elephant and giraffe. For the elephant: “Funky Toes ” and the giraffe: “Eiffel Tower”. (Sherise’s Mom)

  21. Hi Sherise and the rest of you on her team!It’s been wonderful reading all the blog entries as well as seeing all the beautiful pictures! It makes me want to go to Africa someday as well. Just reading how touched the African children were when they received their gifts and how all your interactions with the children, touched their hearts and will have touched their lives forever, is just so AWESOME!! God bless each and everyone of you for reaching out to those who have alot less than we do here in Canada!!May God continue to guide and protect you as you soon will be saying your farewells to Africa and the ones you have grown to love deeply. May God protect you and give you all health as you prepare to travel back to each of your loved ones back home.

  22. My name for the giraffe is S.T.A.G.G.G. which stand for STAND TALL AND GIVE GOD GLORY.I can’t wait to be there next year! Our family is already devising our game plan as to how to make it possible for four of us to go! It will happen and it will happen because I know it is God’s will for us and our church “Riverwood” to keep coming back. Some people dream of taking lavious vacations, we dream of taking our vacation time to do mission work with our church! I can’t wait to do at Bhobhokaz what everyone has already done for Enaleni! Love and prayers from Scott Ballentyne

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