Well….today was too awesome for words. So we’ll blog again tomorrow….
Seriously today was overwhelming. We just finished debriefing as a team (as this is being written) and our sharing was so full of emotion and our hearts are so full. It was extraordinary day for a group of extraordinary nobodies.
Our day began when we set foot off the bus and onto Enaleni. We were so thrilled to finally be there. We were instantly met by Pastor Peter and his wife Precious and the D-Team members. It was so great to see them!! We were also very excited to see the church beginnings! We have been so excited to build on the dream that was born last year with Todd & Pastor Peter. When we stepped onto the ground it was like we could see the reality of it for the first time. Don’t get me wrong….the carepoint looks pretty messy. However….we can see through the mess and see the vision of the church…..and it is BIG! We were so thrilled to get to work.
There were a few kids at the carepoint already that we began to greet and what an experience for the team. Just to begin to connect with them was so precious and such a moment so many were waiting for. The kids opened up to us quickly and before we knew it we had them laughing and playing.
We got to work pretty quickly and began laying bricks on the church. Others took some time to see around the carepoint, play with the kids and get the kids ministry program ready. We had an awesome day working and doing the program with the kids. We seriously cannot express into words the emotions that we felt today. Our hearts felt like they were instantly connected with everyone at Enaleni. We were moved by the progress that we see in the kids and in their growth and joy. Many were brought to tears by the welcome that they received by our kids at Enaleni.
We worked very hard today and really made some progress. We were able to lay all of the “below grade” bricks on the foundation and started to see some of the walls coming out of the ground. Tomorrow will be exciting as we see the church begin to more shape. We will basically be working on building the walls of the church this week. It is an incredible privilege to be a part of this project. Pastor Peter has such and incredible vision and he was ‘giddy’ all day as he saw things taking shape.
The day with the kids was something that none of us will forget. The program part went great and the kids had so much fun. The connecting we had with the kids was so rich. We had a few of us that had the privilege of meeting our sponsor child today. It was more than we anticipated. I personally met up with our little 6 year old boy named Lukhetfo and it was so meaningful. He remembered me from the two years ago that my wife and I were there, he had our picture that we had sent him and he remembered my wife Kelly. I showed him pictures of our two boys. I felt like he was another one of my boys today. We played….spun around….he laughed, smiled….it was so rich.
Lesley also met hers, Brenda met up with both hers Mitch’s.
We are really tired tonight as we have still just overcome the jet lag and we really put it all out there today. I can’t say enough of how proud we are of our team. They have been amazing. They have worked so hard without complaint and put everything on the line. They let there emotions move freely and unreservedly in forming the connections with the children. We are overwhelmed with the profoundness of our relationship with Enaleni and the children there and what that means to us. It is truly as if our church is connected to theirs.
We feel like even after one day we have experienced all that we came here to find. We are so excited to see what God is going to do in these next days. What a day it has been. I wish I could express it more but I’m at a loss for words….and pretty tired. I will try and tell the rest of our stories through some photos. We will post them at the end of this post. As well, below is some personal blogs posts from members of our team. Thanks again for all the comments….today we read through 26 of them and it brought us to tears. We feel so much like you are here with us. We look forward to reading them every evening!
Jon & Carolyn & the Team
Wow, just WOW! today was beyond words, what an amazing country, the landscape with the mountains and the vegetation makes for breathtaking scenery and photos. The positivity of the people of the care point is awesome, they have so little but their smiles and laughter is greater then anything I have experienced back at home, it sounds crazy but I am different in a good way then yesterday.
What an awesome first day on the ground!!! The people, the country, all a little overwhelming. I am so glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and came to Swaziland. This is something that everyone should experience at least once in their life. More as the week goes on.
Amazing!! Today, I met my sponsor child. I saw her in a crowd of kids and recognized her almost immediately. It was overwhelming. We hugged and cried and spoke with the help of a translator. She was shy at first, but warmed up very quickly. I got many hugs and smiles. After meeting her, it was time to go into the church and sing. To my surprise, my sponsor child was leading the songs that the children were singing. Her voice was absolutely beautiful, what a gift! Despite the circumstances, the kids were so joyous and thankful. I also found out that she is now going to school and is doing fantastic. Simply amazing. We had a day of hard work and connecting with everyone at Enelani, and with each other. I’m exhausted. I can’t cry anymore (I think), and I can’t wait to go back tomorrow. (I miss you my girls, Ashley and Jessica! I miss you Chris!! I’ll be home soon!)
Scott Ballentyne’s Blob
If I had to go home today after only one day in Enaleni it would have been worth the 3 flights here, even the last one being 18 hours on a packed plane with stewardesses disciplining me on numerous occasions to sit down because the seat belt light was on for hours and hours. I never slept for a second for the whole experience but I would do it all again to spend one more day in Enaleni. I really honestly thought that our whole combined flight time was 18 hours not just one flight!
Breanne’s Blogtastic blog
From the moment I stepped on the bus to go to Enaleni I was nervous. When we stepped off that bus and onto Enaleni soil, that nevousness was gone. We met some of the D-team, Pastor Peter and his wife Precious, and also a few kids (and also a bunch of other people). The moment i saw those kids, my heart broke. I know already that it is going to be so hard to leave this beautiful place and all those awesome smiling kids. It’s been one day and I can already feel God working inside me and changing the way I see things.
One thing that really stuck out to me today – we were doing VBS for the older kids in the afternoon and the whole group of them stood up and sang a song for us. Instantly I got tears in my eyes. It was so amazing and beautiful. Loved to find out that the girl leading the song was Lesley’s sponsor child.
All in all, today was awesome and a roller coaster of emotion. I have never been so overwhelmed in my entire life (I actually have tears in my eyes while I’m writing this). I can’t wait to go back and see all those kids tomorrow!
Did anyone mention how amazing this team is?
PHOTOS FROM THE DAY