Bhobhokazi Day 1….sooo rich.

Today was a great day…..again! It was so good to be back at Bhobhokazi and when we drove up we were thrilled to see the new shade structure up…..AND to see how big it is! What a difference it makes on the carepoint….it is going to be so great.

The team had a really significant time connecting relationally to the kids today. It was a different day from our days at Enaleni….but so good.

The construction crew worked hard all day shovelling dirt. We basically had to correct a slope before they can pour the floor for the structure….and the difference in elevation from one side to the other is a whomping 3′! That means there was and is a lot of dirt to shovel. It was a great hard working crew again. Nice job! Shout out to Leslie who worked so hard with the boys today.

There were three home visits with members of our team who sponsor a child at the carepoint getting a chance to visit them at their homes and meet their caregivers. They were really remarkable visits….you will likely hear of some of them in the team blogs.

Church….and family/friends and others…..so great to be journeying with you all. Thanks for all the support and encouragement via comments and skype conversations and emails / etc. We all feel really connected to home while out here.

Jon

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Sure love reading all the comments from every team member’s families. We stay up late at night taking in all the encouragements, prayers and fun anecdotes. I find I have to stay up later than most, counseling a few team members who don’t hear anything from home. So if there is anybody out there that hasn’t sent a comment to the blog could you please do so, so that I can get some sleep. ☺
P.S. Julie S. I will look forward to having coffee with you when I get home and I am well rested once again!

Seriously though, we are having an amazing time. Some of the highlights have been: hearing the sweet laughter of the children and watching them respond to God’s Story; spending some time with Sheila who is feeling a little better these days; seeing Pastor Peter and Precious excitement upon receiving the sound system … it just doesn’t get better than that; sharing with the women at the Women’s Biblestudy; seeing the improvement at Bhobhokozi. It is becoming the beloved carepoint it deserves to be; working with terrific group of people who are pouring their heart and souls into this venture.

Love to you all! Please keep praying for us!

Carolyn

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Awesome day at Bhobhokazi. The gogo’s received 150 new bowls to be able to feed all the children at the same time. They were so excited. The children were very happy to be making crafts, singing songs and just cuddling on a lap. Met my sponsor child and his family today. What an amazing experience. I absolutely love this boy. He was shy but smiled a mile wide when I pulled out the picture of him that I carry and showed him. He spoke English fairly well so we were able to talk about his school and home and I had a chance to tell him how much he means to me and he welcomed my hugs. My home visit with the family really was an eye opening experience and when I prayed over the family and blessed them with the care package of food, my heart has never felt like it’s been in the right place like today, God has showed himself in a big way everyday on this mission and I am so blessed to be part of it.

Kim

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Great day at Bhobhokazi. Shoveling gravel and sand most of the day was hard work but we had many hands doing the work including the construction Swazi team. Great news was it was under the canopy in the shade. I had a chance to connect with some of the Swazi workers and connected thanks to Rick. He has a natural ability to connect with them and include us as well. First thing in the morning I was putting on my Steel toed boots and a young child just sat down in my lap and wouldn’t let go. I pointed to my boot that I was trying to tie and he jumped down and sat on my boot. I was so touched. I pointed to my other boot which he switched to and then I was able to tie my boot. I picked him up and sat for awhile just enjoying each others company Priceless

Perry

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Sheila & Eric
Today was a super day! Got to Bhobhokazi and was pleasantly surprised at the care point. The addition of the shelter was awesome. It gave the care point a different look…it will eventually be a place where there will be a couple classrooms for preschoolers I think? However I finally met Longuile our sponsor child. She is cute as a button! I got a little giddy even and she must of thought who is this crazy man from Canada! When I told her that I was her special friend Canada she said…I am seven years old…it was so funny. Kelly and I got to visit her homestead and we met some of her family…two sisters and two cousins. They were very shy but we managed to have a good conversation through our D-Team interpreter. We left them some groceries and a bag of maise and they were very grateful. I got a chance to pray for them before we left…it was so good. Anyways…love you guys and miss you a lot.
Chris (dad for you Eric!!) ☺

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“Today is my favorite day…” a song that the pre-schoolers sang for us yesterday but is a true description of the day for me. Bhobhokazi was a newer care-point for me as I was one of the ‘first four’ Riverwooders to come here to Swaziland in search of a care-point. My words for the landscape at Bhobhokazi: small, tilted, small, rocky, hot, messy, small, busy, lots of animals, and small! My experience at Bhobhokazi: restful, busy, hot, fulfilling, endearing, rich,..it was amazing! We set up some canopies and brought over two picnic tables for the kids there. Until then, there was not much shade for us VBS’ers nor any place to sit. Because I’ve been so busy with the music and program, I haven’t had a lot of quality time with the kids. Today I found a little sweet-heart named Samkelo who reminded me of my little Aidan back at home. He wore the same shirt as my son does and had those cute little eyes that took me back home. He sat on my lap for a bit of the morning, played my drum during our singing time, then fell contently asleep in my arms. Very precious moment that I will cherish. Can’t wait to see him again on Monday.
To Troy and Andrea, I found your sponsor boy and got some pics of him for you. What a little spark he is! His English was fairly good and he had some other close friends around him. I told him that I knew you and that Austin and Annika were thinking of him and that you all were praying for him.
To my family, thank you for your prayers and support. This second visit to Swaziland has been completely different but so necessary. I only wish that you all could experience this! Very life changing!
To my friends and students at Springfield Heights School, I have shared so much about you all with the kids here. They loved your video about your school in Canada and sure sang well for their Bambelela song. Can’t wait to share what I’ve seen with you all when I get back.
Make sure you write on the Blog as we really need your encouragement and news from home. We laugh and cry together and they all mean so much!! Cheers for now!

Kelly C (or Mrs. Jon) (or Mme. Courtney)

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How can I . . . look into the eyes of, hold the hand of, and take a picture of a barefooted child, whose clothes are dirty or full of holes, whose belly may only be adequately fed once that day, who lives too far to access medical care for the HIV that travels through his body, whose voiced prayer (in a barely audible whisper, when asked) is to grow to be an adult, but who finds joy in a deflated soccer ball, who sings with enthusiasm, who smiles a smile that is both enriching and humbling, and whose face reflects the person of Christ . . . and say, by the actions of my life, that I am more important than him, that my need for (rich, delicious, and healthy) food, easily accessible medical care, and justice outweighs his?

In just three days at the care points, this question has swirled around, both in my mind and my heart. All I can say is that God is in this place and He invites me to meet Him through all His people so that we can all be satisfied. Life, for me and the children of Swaziland, should never be the same.

Wayne

 

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Wow what an amazing experience we are all having so far here! I couldn’t have asked for a more special African birthday ☺. Today was filled with little post it notes of encouragement and love from my team/swazi family, and such a great day at Bhobhokazi! Things have changed SO much from the last time I saw Bhobohkazi two years ago when we first started working with the carepoint. I can’t believe how much progress has been done, and how much more there is to come! Being able to just sit and spend time with the kids, hold them and just love on them was exactly where I wanted to be (even in the 30 plus heat!) I got a surprise today from the kids at the carepoint, they sang Happy Birthday to me, so very sweet! Being able to teach the kids about brushing their teeth was awesome and giving each kid their own toothbrush and toothpaste, very rewarding. I can’t wait for what God has in store for us for the rest of our time here, it will be incredible for sure!

Rachel

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54 thoughts on “Bhobhokazi Day 1….sooo rich.

  1. Once again, I’m reading the blog and loving the pics. Makes me smile and cry at the same time. The beauty of the children and the joy in them is so striking. The reaction of the sound system being given again took my breath away-as someone said in the blog-we here would probably not even notice the addition. My heart jumps with joy to see what you guys are doing there. Take care, stay safe and God Bless.

  2. I can’t wait to get home after work everyday and see what the team has been up to…Thanks for letting me use your computer Steph!! I’m really enjoying all the updates and the pictures make everything come to life. Keep up the good work Steph. Oh, Mel is going to stay in your room for the weekend..and before you freak out, you’ll be happy to know it will be clean when you get home because if I don’t clean it we run the risk of never finding Melanie again….lol.

    Love you…mom xoxo

  3. I’m almost in tears reading your posts on Bhobhokazi!! Our special friend, Mcolisi Dlamini is from Bhobhokazi and we have been watching all of the pictures so closely to see if we can catch of glimpse of him………….our arms are aching to give him hugs and tell him how much he is loved!! If any of you see him please do so on our behalf!!! We are so happy that the children of this area are receiving the love of God and shelter and food and some day perhaps Bhobhokazi will have a church like Enelani and who knows………..you guys are amazing and our prayers and with you daily! Bryan, Cheryl and I had a little cry for you on Sunday at church and the group will be thinking about you and praying for you Sunday evening. God bless all of you.

    Pam & Vic

  4. Good evening team. Another wonderful day I see you have had. I too sit here with tears streaming down my face. I feel so attached to Pastor Peter and Precious and my special friend, Nosipho and my son’s special friend, Nokulunga. I look at their pictures everyday and when i pray for them, I know they are in God’s care, just look and see what He has done for them. Yet having said that, I look at our lives here and I feel somewhat ashamed. The big highlight for me is tomorrow I’m having budget blinds come and give me an estimate for different window coverings because I don’t like the ones I have. Now how crazy excessive is that? But I will still do it and love the new ones until I “need” something else. Life sure isn’t fair is it? But these children have more joy in their short lives than I have in my lifetime. Hmmm,………………Wayne, what’s wrong with me?
    anyway it’s a joy to see the incredible pictures, Bren are lots of these yours? They all tell a wonderful story.
    It was Ward`s birthday today and I made one of his two favourite meals……..pancakes, yuck. But he loved them.
    Bren, I`m looking forward to your blog, want to hear what you `ve been up too.
    Love you lots and miss you
    see you when you get home.
    love cheryl

  5. Hi Bryan,Read all about your day at Bhobhokazi, though I didn’t see a personal comment by you. Good thing you had some shade from the sun. Looked at all the pictures — cute kids!I’m happy for you being able to be out there, doing something enjoyable & so rewarding.It looks like some hard work, so praying for strength for you all while working in extreme heat. My love & prayers, Mom

  6. Hello KIM
    I just read about the day that you have had , it looks like your prayers have been answer by meeting your boy and his family. Take lots of pictures , all my love.

  7. Ok Rache,it took me a bit to figure out how to post on here-I’m sure this will come as no surprise to you though-lol!We have been following along with the blog and then got busy with spring break stuff and then I realised we had missed a few days!And with the time difference I’m guessing your b-day is over-BUT NOT HERE!
    SO happy,happy,happy birthday(said in that funny philipino lady’s voice-remember that message on my machine?)We miss you!Ella says”Tell her to have fun on her birthday in africa-whatever they do there!”
    I’m sure your visit with your sponsor child was amazing-can’t wait to hear the stories!And I’m sure the toothbrushes were well received.I find myself getting emotional reading the blog and can hardly imagine the emotions you must go through.We are definitely taking our kids on a mission trip when they are older.Keep having fun!
    Love ya…miss 29!

  8. Shelley!! Soooo excited to see that you were able to connect with our Sibahle, please give her as many hugs as you can for us!! Tell her we miss her and pray for her all the time!! So happy to see the photo of you and the other little one. can you find out if this is her sister??
    Keep up the great work everyone, wish I could be there again this year with you all!! Blessings.
    Natalie

  9. Hi Wayne and Anna,
    Zach and I read through today’s updates and looked through the photos several times – what incredible days you are both having in Swaziland!! Anna, my favourite is the one of the little boy asleep on your shoulder – I am looking forward to hearing about all the children you have gotten to know. Wayne, from all the photos I can see you’re putting your heart into this trip, plus a whole lot of sweat too!

    Although this is my first ‘official comment’, know that you both are in my heart and prayers. Zach says Hi too. We’re having a good week off together.

  10. Hi guys,
    I cried again today when I read about the bowls and to think we throw so much away here and then I saw the pictures of you Bryan carring the bowls and I saw the looks on those wonderful ladies faces when they saw those bowls I cried all over again.
    Can’t wait to get home eveyday and read what is happening. Bryan I am heading to John and Janets for Friday and Saturday but am coming home Saturday night I want to be with my riverwood family on Sunday. And yes I will drive careful.
    Love you much

  11. Mike, it looks like you are having an amazing time. I am happy that you were able to go on this trip. I look forward to reading about your day and looking at the pictures, but I especially look forward to reading your personal comments. The kids are full of such joy. Keep up the great work. Love you

  12. Happy birthday Rachael! Looks like you guys are all having a great time! Keep up the good work. Hi to Perry and Haley also, we are praying for you all!

  13. Sending you our love and prayers. We can’t wait to check the news from Swaziland each day. We are with you in spirit and being impacted by your experiences. Thanks you so much for sending pictures as they mean so much. A special greeting to Precious and the biblestudy from the women at Riverwood study. As One.. Jim and cheryl

  14. Hey Steph!!
    you look awesome in that hat! i’m diggin it!!
    love and miss you!!
    from your most favorite person in the whole world!!
    Eles 🙂

  15. Hi team! Wayne, what a raw and heartfelt post. It’s beautiful to see how you are obviously being changed through this experience. I’m sure there are other team members who are experiencing the same thing. It’s exciting to know that our eyes are being opened more and more and to think of the changes that will come from that. Well team, get your rest, and keep encouraged and humble!
    P.S. Jon, that is not a flattering picture of you devouring that poor animal 🙂 ha ha!

  16. Well I have to say that I’m happy to see that I’m not the only crybaby at Riverwood. I defy anyone to read Wayne’s post out loud to their child without having the voice crack. Truth is, I had to have Kali read it to me. Sandra, love the pic with you and the litle child. You must have some sort of sleeping gas on your shoulder cause they don’t seem to stay awake long in your arms!
    Thanks for trakking us down tonight! I’ve decided that I am never going anywhere without my laptop for fear of missing a call again.
    Peechapoocha says mmmwha! With a side of nuggles!
    (from me too…)
    Much love. G & K

  17. Ohh to see those smiling faces makes me smile from ear to ear. The pig noses made me laugh out loud as well as Jon eating the donut!
    What it means to see a friend smiling what joy it can bring us. Seeing my friend Deli in one of the pictures, who I just saw a month and a half ago stirs a longing to come back as well as all the others.
    Jon and whoever your photo helper is this year you guys are doing a phenomenal job of captivating us here at home so kudos to you guys.
    The sound system was great I didn’t cry but I sure smiled a lot because I knew exactly how they were going to react, Even though it was a rich experience when I last went I’m stoked to go next year with the team. You guys make it look like so much fun!!!
    Wayne take care of yourself you looked a little beat the other day! But the pictures today show a not so done fellow as yesterday!
    Kelly and Chris nice picture of you guys, you too Ron!

    And to all those not getting comments from home I felt the same way for a while last year so this ones for you… God sees you, God hears you and God is speaking to you everyday! Not in a blog but right where you are in Swaziland. He loves what your doing in his name… and so do I and so does Riverwood! God Bless!

  18. To you all; Thank you again for the pics and the words and sentiments describing your day. I have an image in my mind’s eye of what it must be like for you all there, trying to image the 30 degree heat, the sun, the smells and sounds. I am thankful for this blog site so that I can be involved in a very distant and small way, but none the less, not only are you all touching the lives of these dear ones in Swaziland but also us loved ones back home. Thank you for sharing and thank you for caring. Your group is on my mind and in my heart as I go about my day, my routine at work and at home. I think your day is anything but routine. God bless you all. I pray for your renewed strength each day as you continue your journey in Swaziland.
    To precious Amy, We miss you and I don’t know if I can say enough how proud Dad & I are of you. We hope that you are doing ok, thank you for the email. We are happy for you to have taken on this experience, it will be with you always. Rest well, stay healthy, you are with us always in our hearts and prayers. We love you++.
    ps Have fun XOXO

  19. Hi Kelly and Chris,
    The pictures are amazing and very inspiring. The children are all so beautiful. All they need is a chance and they are getting that with all of you there. I look forward to reading the blog and seeing the pictures every day. There are many children here in Mexico that also just need a chance!
    The sound system video was incredible. We take so many things for granted in Canada!
    Chris and Kelly, we are praying for you and the team daily! May God continue to Bless you and the team as you make a real difference in so many lives. We are so proud of all of you!!!

  20. Hi Steph!

    I spent the whole day thinking about you… I was admitted to the hospital today and things are definitely not the same here without you. (Baxter misses you… but not more than I do.) The nurses are all so nice up here in the ward. I start everything tomorrow morning.. bright and early 6 am. Wish me luck!

    Anyways… I hope you have a great day out there!!

    The pictures look incredible by the way. So beautiful.

    Ps. I agree with Eles.. that hat does look good on you 😉

  21. Just to much to say! Kelly the picture of you with the pick is priceless as your swing to decapitate Rick or Mikes head off! And Wayne looks like he’s going to thoughly enjoy putting the pick in Ricks head! haha makes me laugh! Great to see the picnic tables Jon and Anna you look beautiful in your sun hat holding that child!
    Shelley the little girl your holding looks like she’s trying to show off some brand new lipstick as she puckers up her lips but most likely she was about to burst with laughter! Monica and Leslie keep smiling it’s contageous!

  22. Chris and Kelly,

    Was the picture of you and Kel our sponsor child. She was very cute. Sounds like you must have had a busy day.I hope you took pictures of the kids and the care points so we can see more of everything when you get home. Keep up the good work that you are all doing.

    Love Sheila/mum

  23. Just got to see your journey so far and wow you are all so amazing. thank you for sharing your days, your emotions and your hearts with us. Love to see the pictures with you and the children–and the video of Peter and Precious getting the sound equipment was incredibly touching–Love and blessings to all of you–the Lord is in your midst and it shows. much love to Jon and Kelly from Mom–Sue

  24. I cannot read or look at the pictures only once. The first time is for the tears….the second time is to see and enjoy the happiness in the children’s faces and the happiness and sadness in your eyes. I never though it would be so hard from this end. Jon when you said that we would experience through you guys you weren’t kidding. This is very hard……….why do we have all that we do and others have so little…………yet they don’t complain…..they look happy….and are so appreciative for what would be the simple things in our lives………Life is NOT FAIR.
    Lanyse, you are making a difference in the lives of so many people. Believe me when I say it is not just the ones that are there……..remember our talk…..about the kids in the suitcase……I don’t know if I can stick to it………if one fits go for it..I won’t tell if you don’t. Take care and have a great day tomorrow. Hope you get to meet Melusi before you leave.

  25. Hey Dad (baha, Bob Loblaw)!!! (and Kelly… and Mr. Franczyk… and Anna Siemens… and Swazi team:),

    So good to read all of the updates. I have to say that my favourite so far has been watching the video of the sound equipment surprise… Precious’ reaction was fantastic, she had ME tearing up!

    Dad, thanks for sharing with us the amounts you all have been sweating… that’s great. Not gonna lie though, I sort of wish it were that warm here. It was kind of cold today, and I was also able to see both rain and snow at different points(though neither for long thankfully). We had dinner at the Cavey’s tonight- then we went and picked Josh up from work and had quality time with some gelati. For the rest of the team, this is QUITE a rare occasion as there are so many of us (well, six, ha ha), so it was sort of a big deal (I’m sure the Franczyk’s are laughing…).

    Anyways, I’ll probably be at the uni tomorrow while you’re on skype- that would have been cool, but hopefully we get another chance!

    We’re praying for you all!

    love, Rachel

  26. hello to all the team! hip hip horray for each of you! HBD to Rachel. saw it was your B-day here on Facebook!!!
    Chris and Dave, I needed a bus driver for friday night…and both of you are gone. BOOO….haha…but I got a bus and a driver from elsewhere and it’s all ok for our Epic event. I am pulling a “JON” and doing a destination unknown….can’t tell you where we are taking them but hope it will be memorable.

    Such great posts….today a few of us staff gathered round Todd’s desk and watched the video of the sound system…it was like the 12 days of give-a-ways that Ellen or Oprah does…just the excitement and THANKFULNESS shown. WOW. I can see it means more than I will ever know. what a super duper moment.

    I am sure each of you have been having moments to remember and that will be life changing…and Wayne….why you gotta be do deep!!! haha…great post. gives a glimpse into things for sure. I just pray that you will not go into some back spasm episode like Zach did on our trip…just Say’n!!!

    Haley, beautiful hair…no really, you look like a cool surfer chick for reals. Same to Carolyn!!! HI CAROLYN! SHOUTS OUT TO YOU. Kidzone misses you. And if they don’t EPIC misses you!!! do you miss me playing my bass so loud through the wall??? I have been cranking the tunes all week….:)

    Bunny, you look content hugging the kids.

    Jon, I think the missing luggage had VIA COFFEE IN IT….mmmm?? was that the precious stuff?!!!!???mmmm????

    oh yeh, good news…. the merge is now all set up for a little bit of awesome coffee!!! We were buzzing all day as Ben was practicing making coffees. yikes.

    blessings to all.

    hydrate or die.

    praying for you all.

    PS the leafs won tonight Jon. just thought you might like to know….but wait..you have internet so…i guess you might already know that.

  27. OK so there are crybabies everywhere! I’m in St Louis, following your journey and don’t know any of you except Amy. When I read that little boy’s prayer of wanting to get to grow up…I did cry, for him, for my children, for all the longing of their hearts. Thanks for sharing your days.
    Amy you look great, must be keeping up with the SPF. I have to say the cute pig nose picture was one of my favorites too! Abundant blessings to all.-Love, Janet

  28. Hi Amy and Riverwood team in Swaziland:
    It is truly amazing and very humbling to read these entries each day. Really points out what is core when it comes to love, compassion and the human spirit. You folks are doing amazing work! God Bless and enjoy the remaining journey. -Love Bayne

  29. LOVE the pictures…pictures really are worth 1000 words and some of those pictures definitely tell a story, although I’d like to hear your version of the story 🙂 But more than the pictures, the video of Pastor Peter and Precious getting the sound system is so incredibly touching…what a powerful image of what thankfulness looks like! That was just too awesome of a reaction…nicely done in how you presented it to them! Hope your energy levels remain high as you set out to accomplish so much. We’re so happy for the people fortunate enough to go on home visits and spend time with the child that they sponsor. This visit really goes beyond tasks and continues to foster those important relationships…fantastic! So proud of our team working in those temperatures with such enthusiasm and heart!

    Kelly C., I can only imagine what awesome music you’re putting together for the kids…what a precious gift to the children there as well as an invaluable gift to bring back to your kids at school…I would have loved to have had that kind of opportunity when I was exploring Africa through the eyes of my kids in class. Shelley, great to see the pic of you with the kids…looks like you’re reconnecting with some of the same kids from last year which is such a blessing when going back a 2nd time! Jon, your heart for this is amazing…incredible job in capturing the team’s journey with pics!

    To the whole team…you are being lifted up in prayer and thought about. Continue to cherish each day as I’m sure the time will feel like it’s over so quickly!

    blessings
    love,
    Rod, Rena & Jayden

  30. Shelley; hows the heat? bet you wish there was a big cool snow bank too cool off in lol.
    moms having a hard time getting a message through,we send one everyday but still haven’t seen it in the blog. We’ll get it yet. hope everyones having a good time. love mon/arnie/grizz

  31. Well Swazi team, your experiences there seem wonderfully full of love for the many kids. Thank you all for taking Riverwood to Swazi and letting them know that we love them. Ron, the kids look so happy with you. I knew you were lots of fun! Kim, glad to hear about you meeting your little guy. I’m hoping one day to go and met our girl at Enaleni. Kelly, how wonderful that you are taking your voice in song to those children. What a blessing!
    Dodie

  32. WOW, you guys look like you are working so hard. Wayne your blog really says it all, those Q have been ringing in my heart since the new year.
    Rick were you having trouble with FB? It is all sorted out if you wanted to go on it now. Someone will have to let me know if Rick is ok today. As April 1st is not his friend.
    Keep up the awesome work, Thanks for the pic of Leslie today, really miss our chit chats
    Love yous
    Rick the girls are doing the “sleep count down” now little cuties.
    Love you like a crazy.

  33. We should be arriving there tomorrow approx. 10pm. . . . . APRIL FOOLS! Wish we were though, you all are doing an amazing “job”, the pictures and stories are heart warming.
    Kristen sent email invitations to her wedding, you have to apply by April 21st to get the discount – we are declining, just too much for one week.
    Take care, we miss you but look forward to reading the blog.
    luv
    Dad and Carole

  34. looks like you guys are enjoying the experience, enjoy the weather we are shoveling 48 cm of snow right now! urgh!

  35. Thanks for sharing the video of the sound system it was awsome to see the pure joy it brought.Way to go dear in shoveling with the boys I’m proud of you the pic of your sweaty back says it all.Can’t wait to hear from you miss you lots.Go team go, praying for you daily.
    Sean&Matthew

  36. What an awesome experience for me to read about YOUR experiences! I can only imagine how wonderful it is to be interacting with those beautiful kids, or shovelling dirt, gravel, concrete…(can almost feel the heat!) knowing that all these efforts are helping to improve the lives of the people of Enaleni & Bhobokazi. Everyone looks fantastic….stay healthy and know that you are all such a blessing to everyone there! Thanks for representing Riverwood so well!

  37. Huge snow storm here last nite. A tonne of fresh snow and temps dropping to -23 with a windchill of -45. Cold supposed to last, at least, until mid April. Sigh…

    Just kidding….April Fools. Maybe. And maybe you’d all like that with the heat you’re experiencing! Ha 🙂

    What an amazing team! Thanks for all the pics…it makes it so real for us here. The video was a cry, laugh, cry, smile big experience that just had to be repeated a few times. Incredible that we could be a part of that. I can’t imagine the range of emotion you all go through, when we feel it so deeply here across the world.

    Keep up the amazing and beautiful, loving work and know you are being loved, prayed for and supported from home. We are just so proud of you. Blessings team.

    And Haley, embrace the frizz…you look fabulous! (And sorry, you get that from me and I really hate it, too) 😦 But I loved the piggy snout…what was that about? Prodigal son story maybe? At least no velvet, eh!

  38. We are so immensely privileged and blessed to live in a country like Canada with all what we have, all what we need and most what we want. People, mostly children in Swazi are at the other tip of the scale.
    Again I thank you, Team, for your drop in the bucket of those children’s lives. To me it seems like a little splash for what I read in your blogs and see on the pictures. I can’t find the right words to express what an the tremendous job you all are doing.
    Wayne, this question is one you all must be struggling with. It must be tough for all of you to deal with this rollercoaster of emotions. But remember to lean on God to do His work through you, to make a difference in so many lives.
    “Building Team(s)”, you must be shedding some pounds, I bet. Getting sore muscles yet? Again I love to watch these pictures over and over. Thank you so much for them.

    Yvonne, Senel’ siwe is just adorable. You’re right, she is petite. Hopefully, you can spend some more time with her later on. Ik hou erg veel van jou. (good luck with this one Jon ☺)
    Gottogo, lunch time is over. My love & prayer to all.

  39. The video of you guys revealing the New Sound System was amazing…..I feel so blessed to be a member of Riverwood Church. I hope everyone is having an Amazing time…… And to Haley Cassie laughed at the picture of you with the pig nose lol… She misses you as do I. Hugs to all….

  40. I have been following the Swaziland blog daily and have felt like I am there with all of you.I have become so emotional at time with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. I am praying for all of you as a group. God bless you all for being such a blessing to all those lives you are touching and impacting.
    STEPH: You hold a special place in my heart . I especially pray for you daily. I can’t wait to connect with you when you return home. Take care,big hugs and blessings.
    Audrey K.

  41. WOW! The blog is amazing. Good work team. I thank God that you all can be there and the rest of us can follow along on this incredible journey.
    God’s grace and strength be yours in abundance!
    debk

  42. I have made reading the blog part of my afternoon coffee break at work. I’ve become emotional over many of the posts and pictures, feeling truly blessed that I am part of a church that is making a difference in this world! Swazi Team you guys are doing an amazing job! Thank you for sharing through your individual blog entries and all the photos. Be blessed!!

  43. Well it’s 3pm on Friday and I am winding down at work… I was on hold waiting for someone to answer the phone so I caught up on your journey. Monica- the picture of you with the kids made my heart sing! Your face shows how much you are falling in love with them and how much joy you are experiencing. I can hardly believe that you’ve been gone a week already, it must seem like it is flying by! I can’t wait to hug you when you get home… what time do you arrive at the airport would love to meet up with you. I know you will want to just fall down but seriously we should have a huge home coming welcome for all that you all have done in Swazi!!

    Wayne- I know that I don’t know you but WOW! Your blog post really touched my heart. Living in Canada we really take everything that we have for granted. I know that I whine about having to get up for work, my kids whine about going to school, we don’t get paid enough, we don’t make enough and hearing that a little boy just prayed to live to be an adult… heartbreaking. Thank you so much for sharing that and for making me feel so utterly blessed for EVERYTHING that I have in my life.

    Even though you guys are experiencing this and it is changing your lives… I want you all to know that through your blogs and pictures you are changing our lives too!

    Way to go on giving the Gogo’s some plates to feed the children. Bryan I LOVE the picture with you and the ladies… What a special moment. Praying for you and keeping Cheryl company during the day 🙂

    For everyone else… please know that I am praying for you each day. I may not know you all personally but I’m sending my love for your Pig noses, messy chicken mouths, naturally curly hair, sweat soaked backs, exhausted bodies, broken hearts, generosity and all 🙂
    xox

  44. Hi Amy, We will have to catch up on Sunday afternoon, but you will be on our minds and in our hearts. Have a good weekend, keep up the good work and enjoy the fellowship. Can’t wait to hear how you are doing. Much love, God bless, Mom & Dad XOXO

  45. Hi Shelley how was your day?Hope your’re all staying hydrated.You need a bit of our weather.3c right now and snow and rain mixed for Sunday.I cant believe all the work thats been done in that heat wow amazing.Videos are great, pictures are amazing.The two little ones on your knee are cute as a button as they all are.Greatful people a lot of love from them as well as all of you.Keep in touch I haven’t seen anything from you yet.I hope you get this I’m on my own.love and kisses and hugs to you all

  46. hey- I am sitting in the RRC library downtown computer area.. after writing my midterm ….. reading the past few days blogs and comments (in one sitting) so far has produced a HUGE HUGE smile across my face… and some giggles, amen’s, and wow’s…… soon I suspect i might be asked to elave, cuz i am sure that tears will come as I read today’s one….. I AM SO PROUD of the whole team….. of the gogo’s and of course Precious and Peter… it’s about time they had thier socks knocked off….. now they’d get to do that with sound! rock on…
    seriously am praying for your health, hydration, any building pressures and strains of benig out of your comfort zone…. and for God to continue to tickle your funny bones even as you walk into the devestation, that you would see hope. Alot of peopel are talking of the kids and saying “babies”…. in one sence… very correct – vulnerable, tiny…. forced to cope with stuff no one whould have to experience….
    I see future leaders, survivors who will change the tide of Swaziland and help preserve it’s richness and help it rise up out of the ashes… blessings….. have fun playing with and ministering to God’s royal children …. praying for deep calm restfull and (cool?)nights

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