Another Fabulously Incredible Day! So far my experience in Africa hasn’t been anything like I expected. It’s been so much richer! And the country is so beautiful and it’s clean here! It blows my mind how the kids are so excited over the simple little things. The first day here there was a shy little girl and as we were walking I held out my hand to her. She didn’t let go for a very long time, just followed me around where ever I went. She is still holding back a bit but I get beautiful smile whenever I see her. So sweet! Today as I was shoveling sand one of the ladies came back and asked if I had an extra set of gloves. I didn’t know what she wanted them for but I got her some. She joined in the shoveling and we had a good conversation. It was neat to get to know her and interact with her. I love hearing their stories and having them share their dreams of what they want to do. I thank God for the privilege of being a small part of helping their dreams take flight.
The official blob of Scott Ballentyne
Thank-you Auntie Valrie, Uncle Alex and Pastor Aubri for checking out the blob. As soon as we get back from the care point each night we review all your comments and it means so much to us. Note to all those who read but don’t post comments, your family and friiends that are serving here in Swaziland laugh till they cry or just cry when they hear comments from home. So the more the better! As much as you appreciate reading the blog we love to hear from you. P.S. I GOT TO MEET OUR SPONSOR CHILD TODAY! WHOOT WHOOT!
Another day of incredible experiences. We started the day visiting the preschool Precious runs. Sixty one preschoolers greeted us with huge hugs and smiles. The school is small, and hot, but so full of love and hope! They sang for us, as we did for them. One song they sang was about standing up against abuse. It is hard to process the circumstances these kids face on a daily basis. They sang with such passion and strength. It took my breath away! Another amazing moment was visiting my sponsor child’s home. I was so lucky to have shared this experience with Amy and Ron. The family had hope, and showed so much pride in their home. The view from their home was simply paradise. It broke my heart to see their house made of sticks, rocks and mud. During the rain, there isn’t much shelter for the large family that lives there. The family was so thankful to have us there. She teared up as she spoke. Her voice was so quiet, almost a whisper. She apologized for not being able to come to the carepoint to meet us, as she was ill. Despite that, she had on her best clothes, and rolled out her best mat for us to sit on. It was a moment I think Ron, Amy and I will never forget! I am lucky to have shared that moment with two amazing team members!
Hello Riverwood from Carolyn …..
It’s so good to be back in Swaziland and see the progress that has been made at the Enaleni Carepoint. Many of the kids are now going to school and come to the carepoint in their school uniforms. It is a beautiful sight to see them walk into the carepoint in their uniforms, carrying their back packs and a piece of wood for the cooking fire. (each child is asked to bring a piece of wood for their contribution towards the meal. )They have lunch which consists of a generous portion of rice and beans … much different from 2 years ago when they only received maise. The younger children who come in the morning also receive breakfast – sour porridge; apparently it is better than it sounds. Aside from the children, everything – from the fence … to the well… to the latrine has been a joy for me to see, since none of these things existed when I was here last. I had a great conversation with Precious (Pastor Peter’s wife) the other day. We talked about our church’s connection and how even the origin of our church names have “river” associated with them …. Enaleni (named after a river close by) She spoke about their appreciation for Riverwood and the blessing that we have been to their church. But the reality is they have been a huge blessing to us …. their faith, courage and work for God in desperate circumstances is absolutely inspiring. I love the way God has brought the 2 churches together and is creating a strong, strong bond. The VBS is going well; we have loved spending time with the children – worshipping with them … singing together …. but nothing compares with their songs and their voices. We tell a story everyday, do a craft and play games. We do our program once in the morning with the younger kids and again in the afternoon with the school kids. They are delighted with everything no matter how simple or small. Their attentiveness during the story, the smile on their faces while doing a craft project or their laughter and squeals during the games is amazing! The parachute games have been a highlight. As soon as we bring it out the excitement level raises even higher … how fun! I’m so proud of our team and the love and hard work that is being poured out daily! Thank you for the prayers you pray on our behalf. It is so appreciated. Your blog comments have brought us so much joy, laughter and tears! Love; Mrs. Todd (what they call me here)
So thankful to be here Again!!! I am so privileged to have been part of the first Riverwood Swazi Team and now the second team. Once again, laughter, tears , love, and hard work. What a joy to see the beautiful kids again. It blessed my heart to have many of the kids, the D-team and the “Go-gos” remember me. I have been spending time with our sponsor girl, my daughter’s sponsor boy as well as my nephew’s sponsor girl and I have been loving every minute. Today I was blessed to have been able to spend some time chatting with the Go-gos as they were cleaning up breakfast and preparing lunch. One of them named Sheila remembered me and we had a great time chatting. She allowed me to help by washing the dishes. What a blessing to wash and chat out in Swaziland. I was touched when we were chatting about children and our age. When she heard that I was 50 she said “Oh if I had money I would have a party for you!!!!” Made me laugh. I could have and will have many more stories to share but it is 12:15 a.m. here and it is time to close up shop!!! Thanks to all for the comments and prayers….you are all apart of our journey!