Bhobokazi….a truly significant day

Well….today was one of those days that had all sorts of reasons why it could have been a down and difficult day…but that turned out to be exactly the kind of day it was supposed to be! Let me explain….

We began our day sitting down at breakfast and then getting ready to board the bus….our team hosts, Mark & Allison drove up….and they came out with somber looks on their faces. I asked what was going on and they told me that last night (Sunday night) the Bhobokazi area was hit by a large storm. It must have been very very windy and strong….because the shade structure we had built at Bhobo had been damaged. They weren’t sure the extent of the damage….but they knew it was a reasonable amount.

So….we pulled together as a team….and filled everyone in on what was happening…and Carolyn & I tried to process with everyone that these occurrences are a part of the ordinary life that people experience here. We as a team bound together and determined even before we boarded the bus or saw the extent of the damage that we would forge ahead together and that whatever we faced, God had a plan for the day. The team responded incredibly.

We arrived at Bhobokazi for the day….and the structure we had seen last week and were so excited about looked like this…..

It was disheartening. Here is this carepoint we have been working with for a bit over a year….a carepoint that previously had been known as the neglected carepoint….and we were so excited to finally see progress being made….and it just seemed to disappear. We quickly discovered that we would not be able to do any work on the structure that day nor be able to send a build team to Enaleni….so we picked up 48 bottles of coke (in the glass) from the store across the street (that needed our business) and sat down to meet.

We talked through as a team the emotions we were feeling….and it was really significant. There was together a resolve and a recognition that this carepoint meant so much more to us than a simple building that had been built on site…..the point for us was that a building can come and go in a flash….but the relationships we are building there and have built so far mean so much more. The building will get fixed and put back up….but we decided then and there that Bhobokazi needed to know that no matter what we faced….we were committed to them. So we decided to spend the day investing into that.

A team of people arrived shortly after to dismantle the entire structure and remove it from the site in order to fix the broken parts and to prepare the materials to be used again to build it.

We took the opportunity to clear the grounds at Bhobo of any small stumps growing from the ground and to try and make the grounds a bit more level and evened out…and safe.

Then….we had an idea….the kitchen was still simply a concrete building…so we sent Chris and Bryan into town with Jumbo to buy some paint. Then….we put a crew together and they decided to tackle painting the kitchen. What a vision they had….check out what a simple concrete unpainted building was transformed into in a matter of hours….

So great! We had a really great day of continuing to build the relationships with the children and to make them feel connected. We also had the privilege of handing out the care packages for all of the Bhobhokazi kids today. What a great time distributing your love and care!!

Four of our team members also had the chance to take the four go-gos who do the cooking everyday, as volunteers, to do something special with them….they took them shopping for a new outfit into town!! So great….I’m sure you will hear more about that experience.

Anyway….what started as a day that could have gone bad…..turned into the perfect day for us as a team….and then we ended it up by going to Pastor Peter & Precious’ house for supper….that’s right….all 25+ of us were fed and hosted at their house for an incredibly delicious meal! What a great time connected with them and their family!

Anyway….I’ll let a few more experiences come out in our team blogs….thanks for reading the long post….and as always we’ll end with some pictures to let you see our day in colour.

Goodnight….after a long…but great day!
Jon

***********************

To Sheila, Eric and the rest of the gang:

Well we arrived at Bhobhokazi today prepared to put in a full day of construction around the new shelter and do programs for the children. What we came to was something quite different and not what we expected. A wind storm came through the area and the structure collapsed overnight. We were disheartened to say the least. So the plans that we had in place got derailed a bit. The team took it in stride though and we had a chance to pray together and ask God to teach us what His plan was in all of this. We were very thankful that it did not happen when children were under it which, would have been much more tragic.  So we plug on and continue to trust that God will show us His plan for this care point.

The church service at Enaleni yesterday was very interesting. There is so much freedom in their worship and there is definitely a lot of movement during church. They were so excited with the new sound system and put it to good use. The whole team was warmly welcomed. Jon preached a great message and Wayne and I had a chance to say a few words as well. It was very surreal standing on the platform and looking out at the Swazi audience we have heard about so often. The team got a chance to sing an African son with the children on the platform and I think the enjoyed it a lot. They sure enjoyed the KFC lunch as well. Lots of smiling faces.

…sorry going into town with Jumbo…will be back soon…

…Back again…Came back from town with paint to paint the kitchen. We all rolled up our sleeves and got it painted…with the start of a mural as well. The magees went into town with some of our ladies to buy new outfits and when they got back and literally started dancing when they saw it…it was very cute! We also handed out the gift bags and I gave Lungile hers. She was all smiles J I gave her a hug and got a picture with her…again. When the kids started to leave for home she gave Kelly a big smile and a hug. I’m sure she will love all she got.

We finished the evening with a meal at the Langas. It was crowded with all of us there but the meal was delicious. Amanda…I met a pastor who said he knew you and Matt…he said to say hi…Pastor Lucas…I think?? I also met Tandika  at church. She told me she was your good friend…so I got a picture with her…surprise surprise.

Well that’s it for now…Love you all and miss you a lot

Chris

***********************

It’s been a while since I have posted something. There have been some very busy days and a lot to process. Saturday was a treat to see. All the boys showing up in everything from busses to backs of trucks. It was amazing to watch an impossible number of boys of all sizes climb out just when we figured there were no more another ten would get out. There was so much anticipation in the air. One of the first things we did was to hand out a treat of cookies and fruit. I was impressed how they know that they need to line up if they want to get the treat. I saw two little boys who looked to be about two years old looking lost. I tried to take them both over to a shady area to eat their food. One eagerly took my figure but the other one shied away.  I took the eager one and the other followed at a distance. I sat down on the ground and the new friend plunked down in my lap. He pushed his banana into my hand and looked up with pleading eyes. I pealed it and he bent forward and took a big bight. If I waited too long to lift the fruit up he would just push his head back into my chest. In between bights he would work on his cookies. My shy friend was watching all this and still holding on to his banana. I motioned to him to come over and he scooted over and held his prized possession up to me. I almost laughed because as soon as he had the pealed banana back he scooted right back to where he had been. When the snack was done we headed over to a large shade tree to hear from our soccer pro. As I was standing listening to the very powerful story of his life and escape from poverty my little friend fell fast asleep on my shoulder. I can’t imagine how these little children can trust a total stranger enough to sleep in their arms.  As I listened to the talk I heard challenges for them to stay strong, to believe in dreams, to do well in school and never let anyone put them down. He told the boys that an education could open up the world for them. That the next teacher or lawyer or political leader could be right there in their midst.

I took my little sleeping guy up to a big tree and laid him on a soccer bag to continue his nap. As I did he woke and looked at me and I rubbed his back till he fell asleep again.

As I sat and watched the different groups of boys learning new soccer skills from the Pro I realized that they looked like every other boy I knew. The new yellow jerseys, thier excited smiles, the new soccer balls, that they were no different from the boys back home. Except that these boys had nothing to distract them. Under they new shirts were ragged shorts. Shirts that were scrubbed clean but threadbare on the edges. Pants that were barely hanging together.  They were so thankful for everything we were doing and didn’t want to leave at the end of the day. I wish kids back home would have to live like this for a while and learn that everything life brings them is a gift and not a right.

Enough for today. I have to hit the pillow now as there is much to be done tomorrow. I will share more later. Love to all my friends and family who are following and even those who aren’t posting anything.

Bryan

*****************

Two thoughts have solidified for me over the last few days:

First, our days at the care points have provided me with the most integrated/balanced ‘proclamation of the gospel’ experience of my life.  Everywhere in Swaziland you commonly see groups of people walking along the sides of the roads – for me this is a picture of the gospel.  ‘Speaking out the gospel’ walks side by side with sitting and being with those in need, listening without judgment, reaching out with a warm handshake or hug, inviting the Spirit of Christ to meet needs, filling hungry bellies, clothing the vulnerable, and building where there is need.   When the gospel ‘walks as a group’, there is a strength and beauty that reflects the Heart of God.

Secondly, a life of gratitude, service, and worship is a life worth living.

Wayne

************************

The last day and a half has been one of intense emotion. Many of us began to get a true sense of life in rural Swaziland- the lack of food, the lack of shelter, a sense of powerlessness to change your life station, etc. This awareness shed light on the materialism that surrounds us in North America and, inevitably, feelings of guilt developed. As we sifted through these emotions, I was reminded of a challenge Pastor Todd posted awhile back. He encouraged us to love and serve despite the risk of having our hearts broken. It seemed the quintessential moment for the message of that challenge.

A couple of years ago a song entitled Risk was released. As I listened to it last evening, the words encouraged me and I woke up motivated to press forward. Then we arrived at Bhobhokazi this morning. Instantly, we felt disheartened by the destruction. However, as we took time to debrief we were reminded that we are in a relationship with this care point, which means we don’t give up when obstacles arise. We “pull up our socks” and get back to work.

The discouragement that comes along with the challenges here can sometimes seem overwhelming. But as we press through these discouraging times, God’s faithfulness is revealed. God loves Bhobhokazi with an unrelenting passion and his plans for it are good. In the future, I am sure we will see Bhobhokazi rise from the dust and be a light in  this community. That is definitely worth the risk.

I’d rather stand on the edge of a cliff and hang my toes over a bit, and then jumped when they dared me, even if it scared me and I get hurt. I’d rather build my wings on the way down, do my best not to fall to the ground and then laugh at my mistakes cause they’re only lessons I’ve learned. I guess I could just play it safe and forget about love, hope and faith, with my eyes on the shoreline keeping my tied and staying home. But I’ll never discover new lands by keeping my feet on the sand. No, I’d rather set sail and get carried away by the stormI’d rather burn with desire deep in my soul and love like a fire that’s out of control. Laugh, dance, fall, chance and kiss. I’d rather live my whole life with a sense of abandon, squeeze every drop out no matter what happens and not wonder what I’ve missed. I’d rather risk.”

Kelly F

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

31 thoughts on “Bhobokazi….a truly significant day

  1. WOW!!!!!!!WHAT A TEAM!!! And you had smiles on your faces the whole time. What strong commitment, dedication and love. The kitchen looks beautiful. Good choice of color and art work.
    Thanks for not being shy Lanyse. I am guessing that the little boy you are with is Melusi??? He is soooo cute that I could easily change my mind if it was all up to me. Hope you gave him lots of hugs and smiles. If you see him again can you ask if he got my letter?
    I am so excited………I wish I was there.
    Have fun on your safari tomorrow, you all deserve this time together to reflect, experience and enjoy.

  2. Hi team,
    My eyes filled with tears today as I read your blog. God has been speaking to me in a powerful way over the last few days. The message has been about taking care of the poor. And reading your experiencing at the same time shows me what this can look like in real life.
    I thought I posted a comment on Saturdays blog but don’t see it there so I guess it didn’t work. If it did I am sorry about the repeat of what I am about to say.
    I love seeing the pictures of the kids I learned to love last year. I see many familiar faces and remember their smiles. My heart breaks every time I hear of another one of these dear ones being sick.
    Thank you for posting the picture of my special friend Zhodwa on Saturday. That is the first info I have had from her in a year. It’s great that she is still looking well and her smile is still just as brilliant.I know it is impossible to include all the special friends so I consider myself blessed.
    Kelly F, Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I know the heart you have for God and for his work among those who have so much less then we do here in Canada. God used your words to encourage me today.
    Shelley and Sandra it’s great to see pictures of you out there and to see you smiling and laughing. I was blessed by the way you cared for me last year and the friendship you offered and I know the team is blessed to you there again this year. And I know with your servant hearts God is using you to minister to all those whom you meet.
    Please know that all of you are in my thoughts and prayers. And specially you leaders, Jon, Carolyn and Brenda. You took such good care of us last year. I will continue to pray for you as you lead another team to serve in our church in Africa.

  3. What beautiful photos, smiling, open, friendly faces. Looking at the pics alone, one would never have guessed the start to your day with the disappointment and shock of the destruction of the shade structure. You are an amazing group however and the fact that you re-grouped and re-directed your day into something wonderful is testimony to your work and how God is working through you all. Awesome to see. Enjoy the safari.
    Dear Amy, my heart is with you as you prepare to say farewell to your new Swazi friends. From your blogs it is obvious that the relationships that you have formed have touched you deeply. You have received them with an open heart and will carry them with you even though there is a physical distance. It is not easy to say goodbye, but how wonderful the joy of the love that you have shared. I am praying for you, love you, God bless, Mom.

  4. man o man…where to start. So encouraged by your positive approaches to a challenging start of a day. Kinda makes the `when the world gives you lemons, make lemonade`line seem pretty weak. When the world knocks us down, build it up again with love instead of nails. The way you transformed the kitchen into a welcoming sign of love to the community! Way to go. I especially like that Bryan and Chris chose the paint so that they matched. Sure am glad they weren`t wearing fuscia!
    Love seeing the smiles of the children and the smiles on your faces. You guys look amazing! Better than any beauty salon could ever do. Its that beauty that no makeup or hair gel could ever improve upon…Its the real kind. Way to go team! (Did I say that already)

    Sandra, I gotta tell you, we love seeing pictures of you smiling. We always said your smile lights up a room and that your laugh is infectious but it really looks like you are enjoying yourself. You are coming back right?

    Okay…getta get the kid in bed on time this time…Love you hon. You too Sandra. xxx wink wink nudge nudge say no more!

  5. Hey everyone, wow I can’t believe that structure blew right over like that from the winds. I hope it won’t take long to re-build the shelter. Great job on the painting of the cement cook house, I’m sure Kim had a hand in that design, really makes the building look cheerful and I’m glad your day ended up better than expected. Our prayers tonight will be for a speedy fix on that shelter.

    Kelly and Jon, we miss you! Kelly I wish I could call you up and just chat like I do when you are here at home. Sheld and I got to visit the boys at Mom and Dad’s on Sunday, it was awesome. We played “Toy Story 3 Go Fish” with Conner, who somehow won every time that little rascal. We also played a game of hide and seek, Sheld with Conner, me with Aiden. We were doing really good too, at one point I put Aiden under Mom’s sewing machine table and found a spot to hide beside him (believe me when I say I was so scrunched up my neck and back didn’t forgive me that night, I’m not an easy body to hide you know). Well I thought we had found the prime spot because Sheld and Conner both walked by us, oblivious to where we were. Aiden was doing soooo good keeping quiet (with a few “shhhhhh” sounds from me, we were golden) then all of a sudden Aiden in a small wispy voice says;
    “I’m hiding wight here”,
    shhhhhh Aiden
    “hehe I’m hiding wight her Conner”,
    well of course we were found out, that little rascal gave us away. My neck was happy but my competitive self wasn’t. Oh and I had no idea Aiden could count to 20 what a smart little cookie. Well they are now at Grandma’s house for the week so we won’t get to see them. No more fun stories on the blog I guess, but Sheld and I will stay connected and watching what happens over there. All our love to you all!

    Love, Ash and Sheld

  6. Well Stellar people, you all rock… a lot!
    Way to continue to let God use you and he will through the smooth and the rough times. You and your actions will speak so much. I’ve read so many great stories through this blog and again, I am so proud that you all are representing us back here. So proud of you all.

    Alright folks… have fun
    benN

    Oh sorry, HI WAYNE!

  7. Wow! The first picture I saw today was of the fallen structure at Bhobokazi and I literally gasped out loud! I felt so sad at seeing that picture…and I’m not even there. Thankfully I read on and thought, ‘What a great team we sent out to represent Riverwood Winnipeg!’ You were all so right in saying that Bhobokazi is far more than a building structure. Way to go church!
    My heart feels a little overwhelmed at your photos and entries today. I wish I could be there too.

    Chris…I really love the picture of Kelly watching you paint! How awesome you get to share this with each other.

    And what a sharp looking ‘King’ you guys had out there! That will have to show up in some Faith Academy Chapel Mr. Ingels! (You may have to hurry back, Lois told me at work today, she’s attempting to change light bulbs in your bathroom!)
    Our Family has been praying for you all this past week.
    May God richly bless you all.

  8. For those that read my earlier comment……..it’s not Melusi in the picture. Lindyn reminded me that I had a picture to compare. He sure was cute. I’ll have to wait till some pictures come home with Lanyse.
    Again, way to go guys and gals. You all have someone back home that is very proud of you and all you are doing.

  9. Hey team;Nothing can ever destroy a village as long as love and commitment resides there.Thanks for your love and commitment to our village.And the greatest one of these is LOVE.Have a wild fun filled adventure tomorrow on the safari and totally let loose with the animals.Live it up a little;hit a Hippo;tiger;elephant or whatever else you feel like hitting;then see what happens.Word to the wise run&/or drive as fast as you can go.Then Blog it.Here is hoping and praying that you are all being Blessed right now with a very long and solid good night’s sleep.

  10. Hey,Steph!

    It’s SO good to see you in these photos today smiling, serving, caring, playing . . .

    I was touched by something Kelly F wrote in her blog today . . . “I was reminded of a challenge Pastor Todd posted awhile back. He encouraged us to love and serve despite the risk of having our hearts broken.”

    I will continue to pray for you, Steph, as I believe you have taken that risk and are probably fearing a broken heart as your journey winds down and you have to say so long. Did you ever imagine how deep and wide your love could grow and I’m sure has grown these past days?!

    Just remembered you’re going on the safari tomorrow. Have an awesome time! I’m so excited for you! Can’t wait to hear all about it. Love you!

    Sue

  11. the pictures are so moving…the children’s faces are beautiful. God bless you all as you serve in swaziland 🙂

  12. Hi Guys
    Seeing that stucture laying on ground the first thing I thought was ” Thank you Lord that it was not in the day when the kids could have been under it!” And when I read about how you went on to make the best of the moments God gave you I was so very thankful and proud of you guys. The kitchen looks great!
    Bryan thank you for blogging it was so nice to hear from you. I would have loved to see a picture of you and that little guy. I guess when you get home, have a great day tomrrow and keep safe.

  13. Jon I know you’ve heard it a lot but you are doing an awesome job with the blog. So many pictures! I don’t know if you have a way better connection or better program or your just staying up that late but I for one truly appreciate it!

    kelly F. two posts in one year! You better stop now before you give us a heart attack from shock! Just kidding keep on pouring your heart out but please stop trying to kill you team members! haha

    The Bhobhokazi kitchen is looking beautiful! Kudos to who ever came up with the idea to do it and whoever had the visual of it! You guys truly turned lemons into lemonade today!

    Enjoy the Coke today because when you guys get back I’m signing you all up for the rice and beans challenge! Today was our first day and the hardest part was no pop and no treats! The d-team would be laughing now! Especially Musa and Xolani. Give them a hug and a handshake for me! And all the girls too of course haha. Don’t forget Behki he’s quite but still needs the love!
    You guys all look great in the pictures and I can’t wait to hear from you guys and see your pictures!
    Who bought the most stuff at the market? I heard there were a few of you going crazy!
    God bless you all and don’t forget to hug the people next to you!

  14. Team, I’m so amazed by and so proud of you; knocked down, but got up on your feet again, stronger than before. God is showing himself in a remarkable way. This day turned out to be more than okay. Great job Team!! It has been said before; Riverwood could not have wished for better reps.
    These pictures are so much fun to watch: the smiles, the laughter, the dancing, playing and above all the hardworking team. I can’t wait to hear the stories behind the pictures.
    By the time you read this, you probably came back from your overnight safari. I hope you had a great time, enjoying God’s wonders and nature. Be blessed.

  15. praying fro every one of you….. wow- my words fail me…. Joan and kelly – praying for wisdom and comfort and God’s epace both for you and for your special friends…… nto to mention to go-go’s and d-team, and everyone out there ministering who sees this happen again and again…… Wayne – you blew me away with how you summarized things- I’v found my favorite quote re the gospel….. Kelly F. – you also really touched my heart- thanks for sharing………. It’s hard for me even to process the written blogs about all the experiences your team is having…… I cannot imagine what each of your hearts are going thru …. I am so glad that God is strengthening you as a team and being able to spread joy to Peter and Precious and so many other…. the photos- wow- 10000 words…….. hug the kids and trace some of those scars from HIV with love, k? Since I can’t, I pray that Christ will cuddles those kids with HIs gentle love and may they feel really really adopted into His care and family……..thanks for being Jesus with Skin On…. praying for you during these days as you push hard and complete your mission – which, incidentally, isn’t to plow each other 🙂

  16. What an excellent paint job! You are all hired when you come back!
    Seriously, I just want to say that I am so proud to have each one of you serving on behalf of Riverwood. The moments that you have given us as a church have been amazing. Whether is is the sound system, the parties, the church services, the pictures and all the other activities you have done, it makes us feel as if we are there with you.
    It’s been an interesting journey for me to see the kids photos this year relative to every other year. In 2008 there was such a sense of hopelessness in their expressions. In 2009 photos you could see a cautious optimism that people had returned and that things may turn the corner. Last year and this year there is such joy in the photos as they realize that we are not going away, that this is a long-term relationship that we want to have. It could also be that we have wicked awesome photographers as well! Have a great day over there and keep pressing hard to the finish!

  17. hey steph !

    every photo i see you in truly touches my heart – all of the pictures do. everyone has a constant smile on, no matter how gray the sky.

    as this incredible journey winds down for you i hope you have some time to yourself to reflect on everything that you’ve experienced this past week. it’s going to be hard to say goodbye, but i can’t wait to have you home and to hear about everything !
    tomorrow while i’m studying at school, you’ll be sleeping in that cool hut that you showed me, on your very first safari ! i absolutely cannot wait to see pictures of that. i hope you see giraffes 🙂
    live it out over there b, enjoy your last couple of days to the fullest.
    love you lots ❤
    delanie

  18. Looking great in your kingly costume Uncle Dave! I sure hope someone took some video of the performance.

    The honest testimonies of the team’s encounter with adversity today were compelling. Keep up the great work!

  19. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures and stories from your trip. I am sitting at work and my eyes filled up as I looked at those pictures that show what words can’t.

    It sounds like a life changing trip and I can’t wait to hear all about it when you all get back.

    It’s amazing to see the hands of the lord working around the world through people who let him.

    Enjoy your last couple days and I will keep you all in my prayers.

  20. The lives you are touching and changing as you grow relationships, friends and fellowship is awesome. I am so amazed that as obstacles are thrown your way, you all rise to the occasion and allow God to take over and work through you.
    On a different note: I don’t want to ALARM anyone, but Kelly has found a machete and I don’t think she is afraid to use it. Be careful and whatever you do do not make her mad. hehe “just for the giggle of it” of course, I love seeing those kinds of pictures (that way I know your funny bone is still in tacked).
    Rick still love you, and the girls are doing great, they are so big now. Abby starts university this fall and kylie is looking for grad dresses. It really feels like it`s been that LONG.

  21. Hi Bryan,so nice to read your blog,& see you in the pictures. Was hoping to see one with your little sleeping boy, although I can see it in my imagination, since I know how you love little kids. Hope you got a pic to show us. Love the way you all dealt with the disappointment with the fallen shelter – a good lessen on how to cope with the set-backs in our lives.Neat paint-job on the kitchen!!
    Keep up the good work, & God bless you all. Love, Mom

  22. Wow…what a day. We were sad to hear of what the storm had done, but glad you are all there to help and make things a bit brighter.
    Haley – your small group misses you a lot!!! We can’t wait to hear everything!

    Meghan

  23. God is so good (said with tears in my eyes)!!!! Our Heavenly Father is up there smiling at you “team” as you continue to be His hands and feet.
    Blessings to you all.

  24. Hey Team! i’ve been trying to figure out why i get so choked up and my eyes moisten when i read your stories and see the pictures. Eeither i’m having a emotional breakdown…OR you guys (on behalf of all of us)…are connecting with precious people so deeply…making such an impact…and giving away your one-and-only-lives so powerfully…it just unleashes something deep inside.

    Thanks for all you are doing! Way to push through …and the painting looks SUPERB!!!

    – Todd

  25. Hey Rache

    Looks like you guys had a productive day after a rough start-I’m sure it must have been a real downer to see that shelter blown down but-WOW-that cook house looks amazing.You definitely have some talented people there!
    Ella and I got to go shopping this morning with her birthday $-she picked out a trendy shirt and a really sweet dress.She is turning into a real Shopper!We found another bathing suit-that we think you will approve;it’s camo and polka dots!She’s also wearing the jacket you got her for Christmas for the 1st time today-it’s so nice out.She wants to tell you that she really,really misses you and she wishes she could have been at the princess party too!AND,she hopes you are having a good time at your trip!(her words and she typed this last part herself).
    Enjoy every minute you have there!

  26. Swazi team, you are an amazing group of individuals! It’s absolutely wonderful how you just let the Lord lead and you follow and do His work. Thank you from all of us at Riverwood. Kim, I love your handiwork. I’m sure everyone will enjoy it for years to come. I’m looking forward to seeing the light, tears and happiness in each of your eyes as you recount your days in Swazi spend ministering the love of Jesus.
    Dodie

  27. Hello Team,
    I’ve finally had a chance to get caught up on your blog and I am amazed and impacted by all your stories. Wow, every one of you has done an amazing job. The relationships you’ve grown and developed will not be forgotten. Sometimes plans made at the last minute turn into the best plans of all. Kinda neat how God takes a ‘normal’ day and turns it into something extraordinary. The paint job is beyond cool. It’s like a little burst of sunshine in a somewhat barren place. And the cool part is that the wind and storms can’t destroy it. Enjoy every minute of your last days there. I pray they are filled with MANY blessings!
    Take care,
    Tanya

  28. I echo all the wows and way to go’s!

    Turning the storm situation into such a beautifully positive and uplifting day just shows how you are honouring our Lord with your lives…not letting discouragement have any kind of a win, but making sure love and hope win, and in such creative ways.

    The kitchen looks great… so creative and fun, and Kim it was no surprise to see you sitting there sketching it out. Great job team. And happy for you that you got to have glass bottled cokes! 🙂

    Thanks Jon, Carolyn and team for keeping us so connected. I think all day long about this fabulous Swazi team and can’t wait to read the new blogs and see the pictures. That makes it all so real and palpable for us…thank you. Pretty soon, I guess, I’m going to have to go back to my regular life!

    Have fun on the safari. You must be dreading the goodbyes…that’ll be so hard. We’ll be praying you safely home…can’t wait to see you all and Haley can’t wait to hear every tiny detail! 🙂

  29. Hey Shelley haven’t written anything for a couple of days I had appointments etc.Sorry to see the roof came down on the shelter.But what an amazing job on the kitchen.I see you all dancing and singing with the children,love the videos and pictures.Not much time left with your team I’m sure you’ll miss them when they leave.We’ll miss the blogs and pics.I wish you were coming back with them but you have a mission to fulfill.You’re all doing amazing work.Stay safe and have fun as well.Our water is up to the shop and rain for Fri.and Sat.as well as double digets for Fri.to Mon.says Sylvia.lol Hope you all had a good time today on the Safari.Praying for you.Love you and miss lots.Mom,Arnie and Grizzy

  30. hey steph,
    Love and miss you!! i love the picture of you and the little boy! so cute!!
    i went snowboarding in the mountains today! so much fun!
    love you so much, excited to see you!
    Love,
    Eles 🙂

  31. The kitchen looks great! It’ll definetly stand out in that area! But isn’t Bhobhokazi spelled with 2 H’s? Anyway, way to go guys! See you soon!

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s