What a remarkable day!

We have had an extraordinary day as a team….it started with a few hiccups….but really nothing major. The team it to the carepoint only a few minutes late and were greeted by all of the children so warmly. Our hearts were instantly overflowing.

Also….great news. We found the bag! It is on a flight from Johannesburg to Manzini (where we are) tomorrow morning. Hooooray. Very relieved.

The team did so awesome today. The majority of the day was spent connecting with the kids. We accomplished a bit of work…but we were short on the rocks necessary to start pouring the foundation for the kitchen….so we got a load of rocks and we sorted a bunch of the lumber that is on site for the playground being built….

There is a team of 9 that is going at 6:30AM tomorrow to start pouring the foundation of the kitchen and to take advantage of the cooler morning mixing concrete.

The time with the kids was so precious today….we’ve got a few team members blogging about it below….so I’ll let you read.

Also another highlight of the day was heading to Mark & Allison’s house (our team hosts from Hope Chest) for supper. We were invited into the prayer meeting that Hope Chest has every week with their staff. It was such an amazing experience as we had a chance to pray and worship together….very impacting.

Well…right now it is about 12:30 AM…skyping has finished for the night….everyone has gone off to bed for the most part….and I’m signing off. Tomorrow I will be heading into town to buy some new sound equipment for the church at Enaleni. How great is that!!! Good night from Swaziland. Team blog entries below and pictures as well.

Hey guys of the Franczyk clan and friends…well the first day is done and what a day it was. Arriving at Enalani was amazing! The children were all waiting and anxious to meet us. Some were quit shy at first but it didn’t take long for them to warm up to us and many wanted to be picked up.
Hey Matt thanks for the Pepto word to the wise I think the African tripe did a number on my stomach…definitely not like the Polish version…serves me right for eating a full bowl of it…dumb.
I was picked to dance in one of our songs today so I did a version of the moon walk (more like a moron walk) but the kids loved it and 2 boys asked me to do it again before we left. Sheila you would of crawled under a rock!
I also went on a home visit which in one word was humbling.
Amanda I met Cnobili (spelling??) today and I said her name every time I walked by her (complete with the click) and she would respond…”Mr. Franczyk” …correct pronunciation. It was hilarious!
Miss all you guys…luv ya.

Hey guys! Our first day at Enaleni was so successful. After a hot and bumpy (but very scenic) drive, we were greeted with so much love and excitement. I can’t wait to go back to hear more of those little giggles. Those kids sure can beat us in a dance off! I’m still learning the names of the kids, most of them say their names so fast I miss them! I love that these kids are fascinated by the same things as the Kidzone kids in Winnipeg… my bracelets and piercings. I had a hard time watching kids get visibly upset when we left. A little girl I really bonded with went into the bathroom with a few other girls and all came out crying. It touched me to know that us being here really means so much to them. I tagged along on Rachel’s home visit which was a surreal experience. Mom, I’m sorry to say I haven’t been that adventurous with my food choices so don’t expect any oxtail when I get back. I love you lots, give dad a big hug. I’m drinking lots of water and wearing sunscreen so don’t worry.

Wow, have so much to write. Let me start with what the thinks was crazy. 4:00am up to go running in Swaziland. Mark one of our hosts is an avid runner. I thought hey what a great way to start the day. I am sure we ran 8km uphill the whole way in 1hr10mins. What an awesome experience. Once we got to Enaleni the work crew found out we were not able to build today as there was a delay in materials. I was not disappointed as I was free to enjoy a hobby of mine, photography. I took 250 pictures. I can’t wait to show everyone. I also got to hold the cutest 5month baby in Swaziland. Not only did I hold this beautiful little baby boy, but hold him as he fell asleep in my arms. From the beginning my day 4:00am till now 11:00pm I am still processing all that happened. The kidzone project from last year is a huge hit here in Swaziland. The parachute that the kids in kidzone purchased for Enaleni was used for hours today. The kids love to pose for pictures and then run over to you to see the picture on the camera. To the point in which they point at themselves and friends and laugh. I could go on for hours. Than you to all who are praying. Oh good news, Going to Enaleni to build the Kitchen as all the supplies showed up at 4:00pm today.
Cathy, Reuben, Zach & Luke still waitng for you to blog.
Love you all
Mike Hillman

So how do you sum up a day like today? This being my second time, I didn’t know what to expect as far as my emotions went. All I can say is it was a day of highs and a day of lows. When we pulled into Enaleni and saw the church, it literally took my breath away. Pictures do NOT do it justice. Greeting our friends and going inside brought tears of joy to my eyes. The hugs I got from the D-team and the make (mothers) swept me off my feet (almost literally as one of the make tried to pick me up and twirl me!) and the inside of the church was so beautiful, the joy I felt was overwhelming. This joy, this feeling of hope, the love of family and getting to see that my sponsor child remembered me from last year was the highest of highs. However, during our time today, we found out that some of our children here have been quite ill, and that some are now HIV positive. This was most definitely the lowest of lows for me. These two emotions were so at odds with each other and I felt like I spent most of the day with my head spinning.

We later got an opportunity to join Jumbo and Kriek in their home group and spent some great time sharing and praying and worshipping together. What a truly amazing time – our shared experiences and our prayers seemed to help solidify some already strong bonds in our team. We’re definitely learning to lean on God and one another.

Thanks for blessing us with all the comments! We truly love to read them!

Take care and much love,

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

31 thoughts on “What a remarkable day!

  1. Leslie,
    I am so proud of you! You have such a wonderful heart. Keep up the amazing work & I am constantly praying for you.

  2. Chris, Mike, Amy & Sandra, thank you so much for your blog, describing your day, emotions & experiences. Amazing stories! You guys rock!! Thanks be to God, for you, Riverwood church & Children’s HopeChest, for making such a difference in those children’s lives. Thank you.

  3. I was a little worried for a while, thought we weren’t going to hear from you today. Fabulous pictures. Looks like the kids loved to have you there just as the earlier blogs from the team stated. You guys are so very lucky and blessed to be given this opportunity.
    Have a wonderful day tomorrow. Let the build begin!!!!!!!!!

  4. Steph,
    Looks like the team had a great day. I was wondering if we can skype? Not sure how…might need a tutorial, let me know. Take care and make sure you’re eating. Love you…mom.xoxo

  5. thank you for sharing the pictures and blog. I can’t imagine what it must be like for you guys. Hope the trip is incredible. We are praying for you guys and keeping our eyes posted for updates.
    Take Care
    Trudy and Elton

  6. Great pics, it is easy to see the joy. No doubt it is difficult dealing with some of the heartbreaking and cruel realities for these precious children…keep in mind that through you all, God is giving the strength and love that is needed. How wonderful!! You are making a difference and that is a fantastic opportunity. I hope that this great first day sets the bar for the rest of your time there.
    Hey Amy, I can get over not having the oxtail, we’ll share a chicken caesar salad when you get home:)
    XO Mom
    Good health to all and happy building.

  7. Way to go Team!!! There is this thing Jesus says… that if you do it to the lease of these, you’re doing it directly to Him. Way to be Jesus to the community, kidz and people of Enaleni… and way to worship Jesus with your hugs, sweat, energy, smiles and ministry!
    – Todd

  8. Hi dad, we are glad that things are going well. Can’t wait to see some pictures. We hope that the kitchen will work out. Dad, what are you eating? Any stomach issues yet? We are praying that all stay healthy and strong. Hope you have ajusted to the time change.
    Hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow.
    Signing off… Zach and Luke.

    PS It’s 8:30pm and Reuben has crashed for the night.

  9. Hi Guys,
    It was great to see the pictures and hear the stories. I just so want to hug those kids. Bryan can you bring one or two home I am sure we can do this all over again. I want to see some picture of you with the kids. I went out for supper with Jen and Dar and had a great time, We talked and prayed for all you guys.
    Love ya much
    I am off to visit your mom tomorrow Bryan so maybe we can have a late nigh/early morning chat on FB tomorrow night.
    Love ya much.

  10. Hey team, the pictures of the kids are great. They all look so happy to see you! Kim, you look in your element with the kids! I knew you would. Kelly C., you have such joy on your face when you are around little children. Really, it’s a gift you have! Swazi team, we are praying for you and your ministry. Just keep loving Jesus on these kids.

  11. Hi Amy! I am following your adventure and loving it! Amazing that you are halfway around the world but still under the same moon. I am praying for you and your companions, safety in your work and joy in your hearts. I love you-Janet

  12. Kelly great to see you with Shelia and Papa Kelly it was great to read your blog! Keep on dancing!
    Sorry to say it but I’m glad the supplies didn’t arrive today, why, because I know that you were all given the oppertunity to get to Know the Swazi people. These are some amazing people you are in the company of and it would be your loss if you don’t take the time to get to know them.
    Great to see you Ron with all the kids around you. Haley that’s a really good picture of you with the two kids I’m sure it will make your friends and family smile.
    I was over joyed to hear that you guys got to go on home visits today! That was the best part of my time in Swaziland. Pictures, pictures and more pictures please I want to see them all you guys get back. Okay I admit it I can’t get enough!

    For Jon only:
    Jon I got lots of interest in the purses up in Ponton and have another couple of good leads. The wallets are all gone so make sure you get more as well as maybe the grocery bag and book bag. All that’s left is the burlap purse and the big sling.

  13. Shelley,Chris,Lanyse,Dave,Amy,Monica,Rick,Anna,
    Stephanie,Mike,Leslie,Brenda,Wayne,Haley,Rachel,Yvonne, Kim, Ron, Kelly,Bryan,Perry,Kelly,Sandra,Carolyn and Jon:

    I just wanted to make sure that there was at least one day when ALL of you were specifically/individually mentioned in the blog! You are all to be praised for what you are doing on behalf of Riverwooders. God Bless you all!!

  14. Praise God for all the awesome ministry you are doing! You will grow so much during your time in Swaziland and the people you are with are really blessed to have you with them!

    Congrats to all of you!

    Chris, I wanted to say I’m really proud of you and the students at FAMS will really benefit from hearing about this at Chapel from you when you get back. LOL enjoy the Swazi cuisine! Not exactly like Polish kubasa, but I’m sure you’ll learn to enjoy it! 🙂

    Twoj Polski brat w Chrystusie,


  15. Hey Steph!
    i miss you and based on the pictures i saw, and especially the one i saw of you, your having an amazing time! i love you baby!
    keep on keepin on!
    your most favorite person in the whole world!
    Eles 🙂

  16. Oh I love the pictures. I looked at them about 600 times. Ron, I love your picture with the boys all over you. You are definitely in your element.

    Sandra your blog brought tears to my eyes. I’m so sad to hear that some are sick with HIV. You are all doing such important work…… Love and pray on those wonderful mahges and children, especially the sick ones.

    We pray for your strength, endurance and good health along the way…… And hope your squishy busy doesn’t break down again!

    ❤ les and family.

  17. Sandra, your blog literally brought tears to my eyes (which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I am at work :P). I never thought I would get this emotional again, but after a year of feeling a lot less connected it’s definitely a crazy feeling reading about your experiences (which in turn makes me remember my experience last year even more). So sad to hear that many are being affected by illness & HIV.

    The pictures are absolutely amazing. It surprises me how many faces I recognize!

    Can’t wait to read more & see more pictures! Keep loving on those kids as much as possible!

    Jon, did you remember the magic blue pills?

  18. My heart broke hearing about how some of the children have HIV. Just following along on the blog is touching my heart so I can’t imagine what it’s like to be there connecting with the kids. Have a wonderful day everyone! Praying for you all…

  19. for all the kids out there, and you people ministering – this is SO true:
    ps 57:1….. and I cry out to God Most High….. to God who FUFILLS His purpose for me

    just know that it’s happening this very moment!


  20. Hi Chris and Kelly,
    We are following the blog from Mexico. What a great experience! The pictures are amazing! The children are so beautiful! Praise God for the opportunities that you have to make a difference for these children. We pray for your health and energy! We recognize many children from when Matt and Amanda were there last summer.
    We love you and may God continue to Bless all of you!!!

  21. Oh wow pictures look amazing guys. It is soooo exciting that you all are out there. There is so much joy on those kids faces and yours. Kelly and Jon, we miss you here. Conner and Aiden are doing good, yesterday they went for a long walk to the dollar store and bought $30.00 dollars worth of stuff, Lorril will be taking them to Giant Tiger today for another walk. They are having fun but of course they think of you guys often. It is so nice to check in on the team with this blog. Its nice to know what needs prayer and fantastic to see the faces of everyone. Love you!

    Ash and Sheld

  22. Sorry had to send a second one, got to talk to Loge and wanted to leave you with this…“Hey Jon you’ll be glad to know solid diaper content three days in a row” Kids slept another 13 hours in a row, and just finished making gummy worms (worms didn’t work out so well but kids liked ‘em). Conner says he loves you and misses you too. ..Aiden says went for a walk and treats…man guys Loge is feeding your kids too much sugar…lol just kidding, only a little bit every day. Kelly I heard that you talked with the kids the other night and their attention span was a bit short, that might be hard for you guys when I know you miss them so much but know that they are having so much fun and are being taken care of well, everyday for them is exciting and different and they do miss you and love you dearly, they pray for you every night. When I called them on the phone to talk it’s like one word answers and then “okay by” and there gone to play and have more fun.

    Love, Ash

  23. Wow! The stories and pics are amazing and goosebumpy. Haley, I love the picture of you…it’s just so you! And I could ‘hear’ your joy in your email last nite….thanks for sending it. Ron, your pic surrounded by the kids is beautiful and I think one of the boys in the pic is ours….I think.

    Now back a couple of days…Shelley, your first meal sounded like a Fear Factor challenge but way to go on that! And Kelly, I’m sorry you were so sick. 18 hour flight has to be brutal enough without that added to it. And did anyone EVER find Brenda? She is way too valuable to misplace! 🙂

    Way to go team…for pouring your love out with total abandon. May our great God continually supply and meet all your needs. Wishing you all joy, peace, energy, sleep, strength and health in all the joyful and hard stuff. Hi to Haley,Carolyn, Jon, Kim, Brenda, Ron, Wayne, Yvonne and all you fabulous peeps! :]

  24. Truly heartwarming, What a great day for you guys. “In your majesty ride out to victory defending truth, humility , and justice. Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds.” Psalm 45:4
    Thinking and praying for all of you.
    I love you Rick.

  25. So your mom stopped in and told us you’re not coming back and we need to fill your position. What will we do without you here although we are very proud of you.

    OH yah, APRIL FOOLS to you (thank your mom for this one she got me with an April fools joke just like this!)

    We just want you to know that we will follow the blog and bring all of “your children” in to look at the photos of you and read to them what you are doing.

    We all miss you and can’t wait to see how your trip goes! Be safe and love the children your with now like you love the one’s back here in Winnipeg!
    Your Created4me Family XOXO

  26. Hey we are headed out with the family for an afternoon of Glow Bowling and then pizza at nonna’s. Just wanted to say that K and I had a great day today just hanging out! Hope you did the same! Love you!

    Much love…G & K

  27. Wayne! I hope your enjoying yourself out there, making a difference and all the rest. Church just isn’t the same walking into Jubilee place and you not being there at the doors ready to greet me. Le sigh, no worries. When you guys get back we’ll go out to an african food place and you can tell Marilyn and I how it’s nowhere near authentic 🙂

  28. Hi Chris and Kelly,

    Well this is the third time writing tonight and have know idea where the other messages went… The video was awesome to watch and see their reaction to the sound system. What a difference it will make at their services. The pics of the kids are so cute and of the jobs that are being done. Kelly the dogs are good and Michelle said they say bark bark to you. Chris has for the dancing you did your right I would have tried to find a rock to hid behind but if the kids liked it thats all that matters. God bless all of you and keep up the the good work.

    Love Sheila/mum

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s