Monday….

Well…monday marked our last day at Bhobhokazi.  It was again a full and significant day together.  Our hearts have had so much impact and each day we wonder where there will be room for more and yet there is.  We have experienced so much.

Yesterday was full of experiences again….in the morning we had a chance to quickly visit the local market in Manzini and do another version of speed shopping as we had only a short time there.  Many frantic shoppers came back with their arms full their personal african art and jewelry collections.

After lunch 5 of our team headed to the hospital for a visit there.  They were quite excited for the experience being that 3 of them were nurses.  They had a good visit, but were a little disappointed because they weren’t allowed to go into too many of the wards.  The problem was that they were asked what they did for a living and when they said nurses, it kinda triggered the fact that they didn’t necessarily want to show Canadian nurses what their hospital wards were truly like.  I guess they felt embarassed and wanted to hide those things from them and only show their best sides.  When the nurses asked where the abandoned baby ward was, they were told there wasn’t one….but in all reality Jumbo said he was there last week.  Nonetheless they had a meaningful time connecting with the hospital administration and giving them some medical supplies that they had brought.

The remainder of us headed back to Bhobhokazi for one last afternoon.  We weren’t sure how our experience was going to be leaving there as we have had a great time connecting but only for just a short time.  We had the privilege of playing with the kids….sharing the Easter story and getting them to make cross necklaces out of beads and wood crosses.  It was great.

We had to make a decision to not hand out the crocks (shoes) that we had brought because we didn’t have enough bigger sizes for the older ones.  Kriek said that she will make sure she picks up enough large sizes and that the shoes will be handed out to them soon.

Then we had the joy of handing out the care packages!  It was so great.  The joy on the faces of each of the children that received one was inspiring and moving.  We tried to grab pictures of each of them as it happened.  There were a few difficult moments for the team as well, because we had to witness some things that didn’t make as much sense to us in our western mindset but that make total sense for the structure that is in place for the children.  Not all of the kids that were there got a care package….in fact, some of the sponsor children we have weren’t able to get their’s given to them right then.  Basically if the children haven’t been attending their discipleship team meetings, they aren’t able to receive their gift.  They WILL receive their gifts however….but they need to attend the carepoint discipleship for 3 weeks first.  They also said they will take a picture for us of those children when they receive those gifts.  We were able to hand out about 70 percent of the Bhobhokazi packages as some of the children weren’t there that day for whatever reason.  We need to remember a few things…..life in Africa is SO different….and they don’t have the structure that we do…..secondly….many of these children don’t have parents….and Jumbo and Kriek make these decisions in order to help build boundaries and structure into their lives.  The best way we understood it was to compare Enaleni….a developed carepoint….to Bhobhokazi….which has been the neglected carepoint….

As they implement their structures with these kids….they will see it develop into the type of carepoint that Enaleni is…..anyway….we were moved as Jumbo shared his heart for these kids to learn good boundaries….to grow up learning about God…and we KNOW that Jumbo and Kriek love them all to bits and know what is best for them!

Anyway…it truly was FUN to see the smiles on the children that received a care package.  Just amazing.

Last night when we were sharing about leaving the Bhobhokazi for the final time….people used the following descriptions…..heart-broken….emotional….sad….and many were moved to tears….

Anyway…a quick update…we miss you all…I gotta run because I don’t want to be the last one one the bus that is supposed to leave in 5 minutes and I still have to eat breakfast.  We are off to our last day at Enaleni….this will be a hard one.

Till later….

Jon

11 thoughts on “Monday….

  1. Hi guys, so encouraging to see you interact with the kids. Love love the pictures. Keep on keepin on. You are in my prayers.

  2. Hey team, I can’t imagine the emotions that you are going through. Thanks for the insight on the Bhobhokazi carepoint. Sounds like we really need to lift them up before the Lord.

    Kelly…the picture of you tending to that child is moving. How are you holding up. I imagine that as a nurse knowing the kind of health care we enjoy here at home it must be heartbreaking to see the conditions there. Hope you have a rich day with the Enaleni people as you wrap up your time there. We’re (mom and I)always thinking of you and praying for you and the team.

    Luv,
    Dad

  3. Hi team! You are doing such amazing work there in Africa. We’ve been moved to tears reading your daily blog. The pictures that you’ve posted make us feel like we are even closer on this journey with you even though we are a world apart. Natalie, who knew you’d be riding a horse in Swaziland! We hope your spirits are still high and everyone is healthy. Have a safe rest of your time there.

    Gino and Sandra – we’ll give your daughter a little birthday squeeze for you tomorrow.

    Lots of Love,
    Wayne and Tammy

  4. Well Team…by the time you read this you will have wrapped up your time with our precious friends and ministry partners at both Bhobhokazi and Enaleni… and your hearts are feeling a bizarre mix of sadness and joy… hope and dispair… exhaustion and zeal to do more! i hope you also feel the tension between ‘history’ and ‘future’.

    SwaziTeam 2010… you have made history! You have been an integral part of God’s weaving of His grace, hope and love into two entire communities in Africa! Imagine if each of you hadn’t said “Yes” to God’s nudging a few months ago… all that happened to enhance the lives of 100’s of kids and adults… would never have happened. It would have just stayed locked up inside of you (…and in a larger sense…’us’) back here in Winnipeg. But you did say ‘Yes”… and God changed people’s lives because of it.

    But i hope you also feel the hope and wonder of ‘future’. You have paved the way for a better future. You have powerfully strengthened the bonds between our church and these two Carepoints. You have sacrificed and given and risked so much… and the result of all that is that you have laid a ‘road to Swaziland’ that many more Riverwooder’s will follow after you! You have raised the standard! You have set the pace!… and you have changed what the future will look like for your sponsor kid… the Bhobhokazi community… the church and ministry at Enaleni… and 100’s of kids lives.

    My prayer is that when you lay your head on your pillow tonight you might hear a whisper from heaven… “Well done my good and faithful servant! Well done!”

    Have a great day-off/safari tomorrow and a super-safe (and sleep filled) trip home.

    – T

    PS… try not to get in too much trouble on the way home 🙂

  5. Hey Doogie…I recognized your green striped shorts in that one picture, that was the only way I knew it was you (unless you borrowed them out to someone else there, haha)
    The picture of (I think it was Kelly) tending to that little child was so moving. Nothing grips the heart more than seeing sick children, especially in those conditions. How comforted that child must have felt!! Saying goodbye is going to be so difficult, and yet we hope that all of your spirits will be so lifted regardless.
    All these pictures sure make us feel like we’re right there as well. Wow, what a journey! Have a very safe trip home…we hope the trip seems to fly by (haha…”fly by”..I made a joke 🙂

    Love: Mom and Dad

  6. Hello SwaziTeam 2010,

    All your blog posts, pictures, stories, etc. have been AMAZING to read. As a 2009 team member I just want to say that you all are doing such a fantastic job. It sounds like you are having the time of your lives and I am so jealous that I am not there to share it with you and especially to see all the kids again!

    Last year I think the hardest part for me was seeing that not all the kids got care packages. But at the same time, I understood that Kriek & Jumbo care for the kids SO much and really do have their best interests at heart. Tell Kriek & Jumbo that I send them a big hello. I still am amazed at how they do everything that they do!

    As your time is winding down there….sad I know, but sniff, sniff, alas it’s true, I just want to challenge you to step out of your comfort zone one last time. If you’ve gotten comfortable doing the same thing there every day, try one more thing that you haven’t done yet. You won’t regret it and you’ll leave Swaziland feeling that much fuller.

    Prayers and lots of blessings to you all!
    Tanya

  7. Hey Team,

    Just wanted to let you know your stories are amazing. You have brought me to tears many times.
    As Erik mentioned before, we pray for all of you and Swaziland everyday.
    I pray God will give you the strength you need to leave. I can only imagine how hard it will be to say good-bye to everyone there, especially the children. They will be a part of your lives forever.

    Take care and God’s blessings!
    Yvonne

  8. Hi Swazi Team,
    It is so exciting reading about all your experiences out there. I have ALWAYS wanted to go to Africa and reading about your trip even makes me want to go MORE! I am so proud of all of you and the way you are representing Riverwood. Way to go! Safe travels home -we can’t wait to see you all and hear even more about your trip! You are all in our thoughts and prayers. May God continue to give you strength and energy for the remainder of your trip.
    God bless you,
    Michelle
    P.S. Carolyn – we are having Todd & the girls over for supper tonight to give him some relief! I’m sure he’ll be glad to have you back 🙂

  9. Hey Team:
    Once again I’m moved to tears after reading the blogs.
    I think Pastor Todd’s message today said it best….
    “My prayer is that when you lay your head on your pillow tonight you might hear a whisper from heaven… “Well done my good and faithful servant! Well done!””
    God Bless you all.
    Val Gelhorn

  10. Hi to each and everyone of you. The pictures and your stories are too awsome
    to put into words. Have a great last day and know my prayers are with each
    and everyone of you..You have definely made history here that will be with not only you but every heart you touched while you were there.

    God Bless You All and have a safe trip home see ya when you get back.

    Debbie

  11. All I can say is “Awesome”. I cried through reading Jon’s blog. God is great! I’m so incredibly proud of this team and all the work you are doing. As Scott says, “Finish well”. We will pray for you all on the travelling home and just can’t wait to hear your testimonies! Love from Riverwood.

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