Party Day!

Wow! What a day! Party days are always a highlight and today was no different. Our carnival themed day was a pile of fun with bean bag and ring tosses, potato sack races, face painting (that didn’t quite work ) , three super bouncers, parachute games and of course the … quads. Now remember the kids aren’t even used to riding a bike and here we were putting them on a motorized vehicle, expecting them to steer, accelerate and brake (not good for the mother’s heart in me, but Jon was in his glory!) Actually it was well controlled, only one minor accident. Only kids, 12 and older were allowed to drive, and the team members at that station, said that when the instructor gave the kids a helmet to put on, they had expressions of hesitation and maybe a bit of worry but after the experience, when they removed their helmet they were grinning ear to ear! For lunch, the “chicken dust”, both of which the kids and our team have come to love was served and everyone ate to their heart and stomach’s content. The time went fast and before long it was time for them to go home. Every child left with a candy bag and another big treat …. a head of cabbage … not the typical item for a “loot bag” but something much needed for their home. The great thing about the cabbages is that they were grown at another care point and shared with our kids. The loot bag they ended up carrying home today was quite the load for the little ones, but they carried them with pride and joy! We are all heading to bed early tonight (or at least some of us are) and are looking forward to church tomorrow!

Love to you all!

Carolyn

TEAM POSTS
Finally it happened, I met my boy Tony! We missed each other when I was at Bhobokazi and I was really disappointed. So today at the party and Enaleni I was looking for him and I walked up to someone that I thought was him and low and behold it was. I introduced myself to him and I was so excited. He is a tall boy (even taller than me) and even though he was 16 years old and with some of his friends I gave him a hug I cannot tell you how happy that made me feel. The people here say that they are so happy we are here and what a blessing we are to them. I told them that I am more blessed and that how I wished I could do more. Riverwood you have no idea what an impact you are having here in Swaziland, lives are being touched and changed and I thank you for standing by us. I appreciate your prayers and when you see the faces of those precious children just know that you have had a part in blessing and loving those children.
Your sister in Christ Carolin

 

Hello family and friends. I finally decided to try blogging. As you see, I didn’t get left in London – they finally found me in the cabbage patch in Enaleni!! It’s taken me a while to process how I felt after desiring to come to Swaziland for so long. As I stepped off the bus at Enaleni for the first time, I was overwhelmed with emotion. It felt as if I had come home. As I explored, it all seemed so familiar as I had read all the previous blogs and could imagine this care point coming alive. It was marvelous to see all the children arriving bit by bit. Their smiles just light up the world! I felt so privileged to be able to help dig the trench for irrigating the garden so that these young ones could have fresh vegetables. Guys, you would have laughed to see me attempt to use the pneumatic shovel – I couldn’t quite manage to get it out of the ground!! So – Gerald – guess who gets to use the jackhammer this year!! When we arrived in Bobakazi, I was surprised to see how small it was in size but held so much. The gogo’s there were so friendly and the kids were suprisingly open and talkative. I have thoroughly enjoyed the time I’ve spent with the kids and am looking forward to more of the same. Our carnival today was a blast and I had my first taste of chicken dust and I think it was pap – I thought it was funny tasting potatoes. Tomorrow I will experience my first Swazi church service, and from what I’ve seen and heard already, I am going to enjoy. Deb, you would enjoy the trusting way these little ones hold up their arms to be lifted and held. The older ones enjoy hugs also and they are so beautiful. I guess John will have to check my suitcase so I don’t bring a sibling home for you all. Love you lots!!
May/Mom

 

Had an awesome party day today! The kids are amazing and so beautiful. We are in awe of Mrs. Todd to put so much into the fun-packed hours we all enjoyed so much. Eating chicken dust, “pap” (corn maize), and salad with my hands was a treat. Enjoying the opportunity to participate in this.
Monica

The past week has gone by so incredibly fast, it has been an exuberating blur! Three continents in two days of full travel, visiting two different dedicated care points, a new culture and language to digest, playing with children of literally all ages (from a completely different culture), meeting my “Special Friend” (Sponsor child), visiting his family on a home visit, a carnival today, and of course the “chicken dust”, as just a start to some of the major things I have experienced. NO way to write about everything this team has experienced on this trip, so please by all means you will have to talk to one of the individuals on this trip when we get back.

The one thing that has had the most significance and repercussion on my outlook, has been meeting my special friend, and the Home Visit to meet his family and discover more about his family, culture, religion, and ultimately his life. I learnt a great deal about a great deal of things. I definitely had an internal battle with the knowledge i had to digest, and ultimately the things that I cannot help with, or change. Current circumstances, and things that have occurred that can only be dealt with through prayer and trusting in God.

The work that is occurring here to help the children is essential; the life altering experiences, and teachings we are giving these children will last a lifetime. Please keep the prayers coming, and know that the difference we are making here is real, even if sometimes we don’t see an immediate change or alteration.
Ryan Clement 

 

 

28 thoughts on “Party Day!

  1. Wow!!! What a party!!! I am impressed with the activities and especially the quads. Good for you, all of you!! I hope that you are having a much deserved rest and have a great Sunday!!! Finally saw Danielle in a picture again, thought maybe she was kidnapped by the kids!!!

  2. Hey Everyone It looks like you guys are having a Blast!!…Say Hi to Amy Roebuck for me and May And hello to everyone else!…oh yeah tell Amy also NO comment (joke between us) :)…Great pictures love seeing the kids smiles 😀

  3. Wow, what a party! Well we all know Riverwood knows how to party! I so enjoyed seeing the smiles on the kids faces. Carolyn and Jon, you are doing a great job leading this team. Our prayers continue to follow you and hold you up. Enjoy church tomorrow. Hi again to Bonnie, Carolin and Brenda and the rest of the team.

  4. Wow! What a great time and memory you’ve all given to those kids! Wish I was there! By the time you read this, you would have all experienced peter and precious’ church service and would probably wish you could bring all that emotion and joy from the worship back to riverwood. There is something about raw, uninhibited voices singing accappella that pulls at ones heart strings and I would guess, give us a picture of how worship will be in heaven. Jon I hope your sermon goes well. Don’t forget they like it long over there:)…even with the interpreter! Thank you all for representing us there in body and spirit. Our household continues to pray for your safety, health and impact. The boys and i pray that daddy will come home soon because I don’t seem to be as fun wrestling on the bed as you, Jon!:) miss you and love you and am so proud of you, honey. Half way there!
    Kelly

  5. So thrilled team that you gave your all to make this another amazing day for the kids! Looking at the pictures and reading the blog, I can close my eyes and imagine myself In the midst of all the fun and chaos!

    I have to say that I’m so incredibly proud of all of you for not only sharing your hearts with our family in Swaziland, but also being so open and vulnerable in the words you share with us back home. A few of us have been blessed enough to have been at Enaleni and Bhobokazi but many of us will never be able to take that journey. What you share paints such a vivid picture and I personally thank you for allowing us a glimpse into your hearts as you take in new culture, poverty, illness and a crazy(in a good way) unyielding love for the Lord.

    It breaks my heart knowing your time in Swaziland is slowly winding down, so I guess want to just remind you to keep giving your all and don’t let a moment go to waste. Keep allowing yourselves to be open and vulnerable, and hug and love on those kids as much as you can.

    Praying for you all! Much love, Sandra

  6. Miss Amy – We went to your house and everything is good, except I couldn’t find the story about the boys with the hockey sweater so dad could read it to me for bedtime. – Jackie
    Shelly – Thanks for the facebook photo with “Pathy”. We love that little girl, with and without lots of crazy hair!
    Jon – Things are well here. I am working Brendan like a dog … like one of those pampered Beverly Hills dogs, but a dog nonetheless.
    To the rest of my Swazi brethren, I hope you know that you have many people back home cheering you on, praying for you (and dare I say willing to trade spots with you!). You continue to make us all proud. Keep up the energy! Soon enough you will be coming home. Give it ALL you have, so that you will have NO regrets!
    Enjoy your church service at Enaleni tomorrow. Definitely an experience to check off of the ol’ bucket list!

  7. Hey Amy Roebuck here i am in germany wanting to say that i am so happy for you and what you are doing. I wanted to wirte to on you second time round in swazi. I pray that god gives you strenght every day and fills you with his love and teaches you somthing brand new this time. I hope you were able to start some kind of soccer game or something of the sort. I hope that you have fun and laugh lots. I love you and can’t wait to hear all about it at our next sleepover awesomeness.
    Love your favourite friesen
    Taylor.

  8. It looks like a good time was had by all!!! I am so blessed to be part of a church that is willing to give of themselves not just out of their pockets even tho that is important. I hope you are all getting your rest, staying healthy and enjoying yourselves.

    Thank -you for representing our church, our city and our country so well. Praying that you have a fabulous time tomorrow in church. For those of you who have never gone to an African service before you will be blessed and get ready to dance for Jesus!

    We miss you but are so thankful you are there!

    Blessings, to you all,

    Karen

  9. Way to go on a successful party day!! The joy on the kids and all of your faces speaks volumes.
    Make Brenda – way to rock that potato sack race! 🙂
    You all have been doing an amazing job of serving the kids, makes, gogos, and their families. As mentioned in a previous post, we will never fully understand the impact that we are having, but the work that you are doing, the fun you are having, and the love you are giving is a ripple effect that never ends.
    I hope you all enjoyed the service today. I can’t remember his name, but I hope the gentleman who was helping the construction team last year was there again praising God through song and dance!
    Praying for you all – go team go!!

  10. Hi Swazi Team…Way to go what a party…you must have had a blast watching the kids. Jon-great idea about
    the quads..looks like they all did great. That chicken dust looked great…hope ya had a piece for me or at least
    gave it to one of the little ones to enjoy. May…I was only kidding when I wondered if you got left in London..
    I know wild horses couldn’t keep you back. If you do manage to sneek a couple of little ones past Jon you
    know I take one (just kidding Jon…we don’t want an international incident), but ya got to admit it’s tempting.
    How’s Bonnie doing??? Is she thinking about that marriage proposal??? Tell her she has to come back
    as we will miss her terribably & she has to really think about it. I knew she would make an awsome
    impression…but a marriage proposal who knew???? Way to go BONNIE!!!!! We LOVE YA!!!!!
    My prayers go out to each and everyone you. Can’t wait to hear about Sunday Service.

    Godis Blessing each of you a million times over & Me too!!

    Debbie Pook

  11. It has been a real joy to continue to share your journey thru reading all the blog posts and looking at all the pictures! Wow…you have all accomplished so much! It is so fun to especially see all the faces of the children at both care points. I hope you enjoy the worship service today! I am not sure what the time difference is. I loved seeing the pictures of the celebration on Saturday. It looks like everyone had a great time.
    You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I am especially thinking of you Carolyn. May God give you all the strength that you need as you and Jon continue to lead together. As I have looked thru the pictures particularly from Enaleni I have kept trying to find Noncedo’s beautiful face. Look forward to hearing more about the rest of your journey and the incredible work God is doing there!

    May God continue to bless all of you and continue to use you!
    Tammy

  12. Hey Swazi team.. loved hearing about the party day and was smiling from ear to ear at the pictures. Brian , I’m so happy you met your special friend, I remember how amazing it was when you came with me to meet mine. If you see Mayibongwe (Motsa) my boy, please take some pictures for me and give him a hug for me. Wish I could be there, especially when I heard you guys put on a carnival theme, I would have brought my clown gear and loved to have done the face painting!! Bless you all , stay well and soak up all the hugs you can get!
    Kim Knight

  13. Hi everyone!!! What a blessing to be able to see the pictures and read about what you are doing every day. Thank you to all of you for being such a blessing to everyone there including the child that we sponsor. Thank you for the email Danielle…what a surprise! So cool that you and Kailey got to meet the child we sponsor. I bet that it was a wonderful experience for you Kailey to meet the child that your parents sponsor. Will miss you Danielle and Kailey at housegroup tomorrow night….it wont be the same without you, but we are all so excited and happy that you have this opportunity. Be blessed everyone, and know that there are so many of us back home praying for you and thankful that all of you have followed God’s call that brought you there.
    Blessings,
    Charlene

  14. Oh my!! What a great day! I have prayed so much for this day I am so glad that God pouring his blessing on all the kids and all of you! Thanks so much fir giving it your all! It sure sounds like you have all bonded very well and are all working very hard it let God’s love shine through you! The pictures are great! Kim looks like you are in your element. The smile on you face just makes me smile from ear to ear! I know I am not there but you guys have captured it so well it feels like we are there with you all! Keep them coming.

  15. Danielle and Kailey we will really miss you girls at home group tommorow night. we will pray for you and all the kids that you girls meet. Carolyn and Brennda we will miss you tommorow morning at kidszone but you are doing awesome work in swaziland. May hope you are loving those little one like you do at church. The rest of the swazi team we are praying for your safety and health and your safe return to Canada.

  16. Hi Bryan, glad to hear you met your “boy’. I was at B & E’s overnight, and Bruce & I checked your progress on his computor. Anxious to hear how your church service goes today. My love & prayers, Mom

  17. Looks like an awesome party! Can’t believe you’ve been there for a week already.

    Allison, I hope you’re feeling better today. I’ve been thinking of and praying for you lots. I love and miss you so much!
    – Jordan

  18. Good morning all! Sunday morning here so you have already had your church celebration there!! can’t wait to read your comments. What a wonderful honour to do what you are doing. Bonnie, I believe you are having way too much fun!! (no such thing)!! love you guys and praying for you all the way. love Cheryl Hudzick

  19. Carolyn & Team

    PTL & Good Morning from Ashern! We are thankful for the many answers to prayers in the past week. We pray the Lord will give extra strength as you spread the love of Jesus to the children & people.

    We have been following every single day & are enjoying the updates & photo’s!!

    Love

    Marion aka Mom
    Claudia & Nic

  20. Thanks for sharing your experiences and wonderful pictures each day. Monica, I hope you’re finding your time enriching and fulfilling. Carolyn, it’s so neat to see you; you haven’t changed a bit since I last saw you and I’m sure that was over 30 years ago. Your family in Ashern must be so proud of you as you minister to those around you! Wishing everyone safety and health for your final week.

  21. Wonderful pictures of the children at the party. Keep up the good work.Ryan, glad you met your special friend,

  22. Carolyn & The Team

    PTL & Good Morning from Ashern! We. Are thankful for the many answers to prayers in the past week. We pray the Lord will give extra strength as you spread the love of Jesus to the children & people!

    We are enjoying the updates & photo’s and follow you every day!!

    Love from

    Marion aka Mom
    Claudia & Nic

  23. Hello team
    I imagine you are sleeping or getting ready to sleep. I am taking a break fom making supper, thought I would check out the blog. You are never very far from my thoughts. That might be b/c of the picture of Mitch holding Nosipho with Brenda on my fridge, all the pictures on my wall in the computer room etc. That might be one reason, but mainly I think it is so I can breath prayers for you continually.
    You probably went to the market and out for dinner. Hope you had a fun time together unwinding. Can’t wait to hear about your day.
    Bren, we had a very nice time when the girls and us went out to dinner, and Chad too. Lots of good conversation, it was fun.
    Church was good today, not meaning it’s not good other days. Todd might be reading this. It was a real eye opener. It hit me where it hurts (in my heart), I’ll fill you in when you get home.
    see you sooner
    Love Cheryl

  24. TD Bear – TD Bear what are they feeding you…. Hey T – just a quick note to tell you we love you and cheering you on. Looking forward to seeing you – hearing your stories and giving you a big huge hug. Love the pictures and reading all the notes from everyone. Praying for you all.

  25. Kailey!
    You are beautiful and brave. You have a strong mind. You are a thirty cow wife. Don’t ever forget it. Let your passion be your purpose and let love drive you. Hope you are having the time of your life. We love you. xoxo
    Love Jodi and Tyler
    P.S. maybe we could see some more pictures of you??

  26. First- carolyn – more info about the LEADERSHIP ACADEMY please…. and i know your special friend has involvment in another carepoint? is that one newly started, and also are there locals who are working during the year at developing these places (other than care point pastors, and gogo’s, dicipleship team and other teams from other church’s who drop by from time to time)
    I know that due to circumstances, it is amazing the emotional strength that the people over there we are befirending, how they persevere in the face of thier peers dying and them having to cary on…. what big hearts for the children they must have, and hard work just to exist)
    At the ame time, I now heaer of the new LEADSHIP ACADEMY!!!!! and am wondering about what life is like for the adults, and what involvment from the community neaer by, and locals there is at the carepoint…
    would love to know how to pray and cheer on in that reguard…. would love some pictures! I know last year there was some equipment brought in, and possible ‘economy’ stirred up with the church being built!

    MANY CHEERS TO YOU, ALL THE GO-GO’s and make’s, pastor Peter and Precious from thier leadership and servant hearts, and Jumbo and Kriek…. and everyoen else over there who is pouring out thier hearts and hands into this area

    How amazing to be able to worship in that church this year! Hmm- so Bonnie- you KNOW that you are going to have to have a LIVE video feed beamedto riverwood from that church when you get married, right? you’d better demand some cows, so you can have fresh milk 😉 tee hee

    blessings!

  27. Ry-
    Impressive to hear how these events are teaching you so much about life. I’m proud of you. The personal growth you are going to attain from a voyage like such will teach you far more than years of our typical day to day life can teach one. I also wanted to say how happy I am you had a chance to meet your sponsor child. I can only imagine how heartwarming and heartwrenching that experience was for you. When I went to Nepal I remember seeing living conditions that broke my heart and disease states that we’d never see reach such severity in Canada and how terrible I felt that it some of these things were out of my hands. It is here faith is found. I also remember being in awe of the strength and sense of community the Nepalese had and how many Canadian struggle to find that feeling, yet it seemed so natural to the Nepalese. I would guess you are having similar emotions? Keep up your hard work. Many will be thankful for it, including your self! Remember, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”- Ghandi

    I love you and I’m so proud of you for dedicating yourself to a cause like such. I can’t think of too many people who would give up their few weeks of vacation time to go help others. From the sounds of it you’re gonna be tired out when you get back 😉

  28. Hi Team
    Gotta rush, my day is just starting, I know yours is finishing. I’m sure it was gut and heartwrenching. Praying everyone is healthy and no accidents happening. Protect your toes this year Bren. Can’t wait to get home and read the blogs. Missing you Bren.
    Love Cheryl

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