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.
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!
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.
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
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!!) ☺
“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)
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.
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!