Final Day at Bhobokazi

Well….our final day at Bhobokazi has come and gone!  We really can’t believe it.  Today felt like a gift…..truly.  This day could have turned out so different….it began raining last night around supper and rained mostly through the night but by morning it had stopped.  It was cool and overcast the the forecast was calling for a good chance of rain…..but it didn’t.  Rain this morning would have meant that the kids stayed away from the carepoint being a bit cooler now.

Our day began as we were driving up to the carepoint.  The bus stopped to see a friendly (or not really) creature some boys had found on the road…..we were told this was highly venomous and was from the viper family.  I did my best to make it look alive….but (un)fortunately this one had been killed already.

We arrived at Bhobokazi and soon after the kids started walking in.  Again….today was such a gift….connecting with the kids….handing out care packages….celebrating the children’s program with a slideshow presentation of their week (them in the pictures) and just having one more opportunity to tell them how much we love them and how much God loves them! The day was filled with laughter, tears, and many many hugs.  We certainly leave today feeling that Bhobokazi is no longer the “forgotten carepoint” and that there is a new and significant connection formed.  What a privilege to have witnessed this transformation….it feels like this year we see it come to fruition.

We also got to help out laying some more bricks of the walls at the Bhobokazi structure.  This is going to be so great for them.  We also heard some very encouraging information…..while nothing official has taken place yet, one of the Gogo’s that works at the carepoint has apparently made some significant progress with some of the local leaders to add some additional land to the carepoint.  This would be huge!!  There are still many details that would need to fall into place, but it sounded like this was a significant step.  Please pray that this would come to be….I can already envision a soccer field being put in there!  There are so many older boys at Bhobokazi….this would be unbelievable for them.

The end of the day was amazing.  We got the chance to hand out all of the care packages you all put together for the children….they were so excited and I can only imagine the joy it brought to them as they opened them at home.  We also distributed the blankets and umbrellas with all of the care packages.  Such practical help.  I love it.  Here’s Amy sporting the umbrella and blanket many of you helped us give away….

We also gave our gift bags to the Gogo’s who spend everyday cooking there.  We gave them brand new running shoes, a jacket and socks for the upcoming winter season.  They were over the moon….seriously….good old hoopin and hollerin and dancing when we gave it to them….Bonnie even joined in with them 🙂  We celebrated them and encouraged them as deeply as we could.  They truly are the heros.

Finally, we had a chance to pray over Thokozani, a 20 year old boy who has been attending Bhobokazi for the past 10 years.  He has been selected for the Leadership Academy they are running here and is heading off for 8 months of training on Sunday.  After this training he will be returning to work full time at the Bhobokazi carepoint investing into the children.  Thokozani is amazing.  He is remarkable.  We can see SO clearly in him a gift of leadership, a soft heart, and a pastoral gifting.  He is going to be a difference maker at Bhobokazi.

This evening we gathered together to share supper with all of the AIM / Hope Chest staff that run everything on the ground here in Swaziland.  Each Tuesday they meet together for “small group” and so tonight we joined in and made it a “large small group” 🙂  We worshipped with them, I had a chance to share a devotional, and then we prayed over them.  It was a very meaningful time.

One and half more days at Enaleni….then we are done!  Can’t believe it.  Tomorrow we distribute the care packages and finish off our children’s program.  I am also meeting with Jumbo and Precious about a pre-school that is hoping to begin at the Enaleni carepoint.  So much to be excited about!! I will leave you with the team posts and of course a few more photos.
Jon

TEAM POSTS:

Greetings from Make Magpie (Aka Brenda) Once again I am blessed to be part of an amazing team. I have enjoyed reconnecting with our Swazi family. It brings such joy to my heart to see the growth in the kids along with the joy that shines from their faces. I experienced a bittersweet time on Sunday as I learned that my special friend is now living with the wonderful Make/teacher Nancy. Nancy shared with me how the grandma of my special friend asked her if he could live with her!!!! Scel’mphilo (my special friend) was doing poorly in school and no longer wanted to go to school and he had begun to steal. Nancy agreed to take him in and he is doing well under her guidance and abundant love. Nancy has now taken in 3 children besides her own child. I am so thankful for her love and compassion as she loves these kids with the love of Christ. She is living her faith! She is an amazing woman and I am privileged to know her. There will be many more stories when I ( if) return. Just joking kids!! Thanks to all of you who have been following along, praying for us and blogging.
See you soon. Love Brenda

Hey everyone, The Party day was lots of fun and the kids loved it. Church was amazing, and their singing is beautiful. I wasn’t sure how it would be at Bohbokazi and it was amazing. Small compared to Enaleni, but lots of progress. Like at the other care point I wasn’t sure what to do when I got there but I Helped move bricks and hung out with the kids. When we started to do our program, I began To connect with a girl named Tandzile. I taught her how to draw a star and was stuck by my side the rest of the day. Today was our last day at Bohbokazi and got to spend all day with her. She isn’t profiled but if she continues to come than they will profile her, and there is a chance that I would become her special friend. It was had to see them leave today not knowing when or if I will see them again.
Thanks for all the comments and concerns. Yes I am eating fine!!! I have been eating really well, to the point where I haven’t had much of the food that I brought. And the reminder about the cows- the going rate is around 15 but for the King’s Daughters it is 30. And Mom, Say hi for me to everyone and and I loved the comments from you and dad, Auntie Laurie, Jodi and Tyler.
Love You guys! Kailey.
Hi guys!! I’ve been struggling to find something to blog about for the last little while. After a lot of thought, I think I’ve finally had enough time to take some of what I’ve seen and experienced and transfer it into words… Before today, I haven’t been emotional over much… Maybe it’s because I’ve become desensitized through the means of movies, games and media that I’ve experienced (Thanks to the nature of this generation) or maybe it’s just because these things take a while for them to hit you. It’s probably a mixture of both, but I’ve seemed to hit a slight break through today, and to be honest, it was when I least expected it. I thought that while hearing a tragic story about a family or a child’s past would cause an emotional moment to sturr up inside of me, like it did for quite a few of the Swazi Team members here… But it wasn’t… That break through moment happened for me today while at Bhobokazi. I was standing outside, playing with a few kids until something caught my eye. I turned my head to notice a puppy wondering around the carepoint. The poor thing was skin and bones and you could tell he was malnourished and was most possibly starving. Bones were sticking out that shouldn’t… He seemed to be in pain when he sat upon his haunches. I can’t recall what exact breed of dog it was, but it was some sort of a larger hound. I saw some of the older dogs earlier and I’m pretty sure they were related. They were also skinny, but not to the point where this puppy was… Anyways, continuing on. (I tend to ramble a lot.) Seeing that puppy honestly broke my heart. I have an extreme soft spot for animals. I honestly think that God has called me to do something with animals in my life.
I saw that puppy playing with Ryan and following him around for a few minutes. The puppy was stretching out his front limbs, as if he was trying to tag Ryan in a playful manner… I practically died of cuteness. Buahaha. You could tell from that dog’s body language that he just wanted to be loved and played with, despite his seemingly desperate situation. It honestly reminded me of the kids. Despite such the hard lifestyles that most of them have to deal with and live through every day, all they really want to do is be loved and played with.
I’ve been praying the last couple of days for God to show me something, and to help me break through my stiff wall of desensitization… I guess you could call it that. It’s late and my vocabulary is limited. Haha. But yes, God used my soft spot for animals to loosen up my emotions a bit. I noticed that for the rest of the day, I could connect with the kids even more so than before. I felt even more emotionally attached to the place and the situation around me. It was nice, and it made me feel more human. I’m really grateful for that.
There are a few more things I want to talk about, but I think I’m going to save that for tomorrow’s blog. It’s getting late, and I’m just going to continue to ramble if I don’t close it now.
P.S. Am I the only one who find the random chickens fascinating and cute and that I want to pet them? No…? Yes? I think the Bhobokazi kids think I’m weird ‘cuz when a chicken passes by I stretch out my arms and yell “CHICKEN” and tell them that I think chickens are cool… They just look at me blankly… I can’t help that I like birds, ‘kay? I’ve got a parrot at home. He is my baby and I love and miss him to bits… Sometimes my family thinks the parrot is from hell or something but I assure them not. Oh yeah, and don’t worry family, I miss you guys too… It’s just that you know… I have a soft spot for animals and all. 🙂 Thanks for reading! I’m looking forward to our last few days in this beautiful country and with these beautiful people.
Stephanie Corbett

18 thoughts on “Final Day at Bhobokazi

  1. touched. wow. words aren’t enough! soak in the moments – and thanks for the pictures….. love all the pics of the gogos and makes, and the bricklaying (and of course the kids) blessings and prayers! strength and endurance of heart to you all

  2. Mom (Brenda) your post about Nancy and your special friend gave me chills. Thank God there are amazing people like that all over the world. I love you, see you soon.

  3. 30 cows!! Not one less!! You ARE the King’s daughter – you are worth at least 30 – Tyler said make sure they’re all milking cows too! 😉 Oh T – I wonder if you have found your calling. I wonder what is going through your mind and your heart. You look so incredibly happy. The joy you continue to show in the pictures – is so exciting to see. I wonder how long it will take till you go on your next mission trip and whether or not it will be for a longer time. Love the Tom’s shoe picture – is that yours T?

    It’s so exciting to see everyone’s faces light up. There’s the odd sad looking child – but they are few and far between. I even noticed a bit of a chubby one – how cool is that?? I love the head coverings of the gogo’s – i love the simplicity and the sheer gratefulness of the ordinary that we take so for granted. I love the pictures of the gogo’s making their pot of food – it looks straight out of a movie – they are so beautiful.

    The cement work looks awesome – love the Jet’s hat Ryan. Soon their shelter will be one that provides even more warmth and protection. Way to go team!!

    Nice to see Ms Monkey made a showing – she looks very cozy in her pink Swazi shirt.

    So glad your day turned out great – glad the snake was dead – and glad you’re eating well Kailey – we’ve been praying for that. Praying for the team as you wind things up – enjoy your day at Enaleni.

    Cheering you on. xoxoxo mom

  4. loved seein all the children with their care packages. kailey your picture with chimpo is amazing. glad to hear you are eating well. Daneille hope you are well to. praying for all of you. May loved the picture of you with those little kids. Brenda missed you on sunday morning for prayer meeting. Carolyn come home safely. have a great rest of the trip.

  5. SWAZI TEAM 2012…. I just want to thank all of you for taking me on this journey, I have laughed with you, cried with you, and cheered you on in all of your blogging. It stirs my heart to a point that perhaps next year I will be sharing my adventures, stories and gods works with others by attending the carepoints, I am praying to see if this may be where god leads me, It feels as tho my heart is there already. I am cheering you on, all the change you have made in each care point and the blessings you have shared with the kids and families just makes me smile… I loved this journey and will pray for your strength and your safe and restful return to your families, may God bless you all and keep you safe on your travels. Hold onto these ” Remember Moments” and remember that this is only a farewell until next time, never a goodbye! Hugs to all the team members, cannot wait to hear personal stories upon your return. YAAA TEAM!!!
    Nadine

  6. Hey Doogie. Judging by all the beautiful pictures, you and all the other team members are developing great relationships with all the kids there. The way that beautiful little girl is looking into your eyes, I can understand how those children would just melt your heart. I have to admit I’m a little jealous of you all. But a good kind of jealousy. It must have been very difficult for all of you to say goodbye to them all the people at Bhobokazi. All the happy looking children and adults are evidence that you are truely sharing and living the love of God. Praise
    God for the physical work and the relationship building you are all doing there. I know that the team went there to bless all the people there but I’m sure the blessings have been and are being returned manyfold. God bless all of you and keep up the great work. Enjoy your last days at Enaleni. See you soon.

  7. Hi Danielle and the rest of the team. Wow!! What great pictures once again. Thank you so much for all of them. The stories all of you have to tell and the wonderful things you have done in both carepoints. Enjoy your last day at Enaleni and also enjoy some time together as a team before you head home. 4 more sleeps!!!!

  8. i so look forward to reading your words at the end of each day. thanks for sharing your hearts with us here. what an amazing connection you have made at Bhobokazi. will continue to cover you in prayer for these last days there and on your trip. love to all of you–Jon love from your Mom. hope you are all having a great rest tonight. Sue

  9. It is great to see so many smiles. Bryan it was great to chat with you today, it made me smile too. Please remember my gnu. New or used. 🙂 Take care brother. Praying for you and the team. Larry

  10. Kailey
    You are beautiful and brave. You have a strong mind. Like I said, you are a thirty cow wife. Enjoy making the memories that will last forever. May you know this: That the Lord your God is with you. He is a mighty warrior who saves, he takes great delight in you; he will quiet you with his love, he rejoices over you with singing.
    Safe trip home. Love you, xoxo
    Love Jodi and Tyler
    P.S. great to see more pictures of you!

  11. Hey Everybody…LOVE the pics :)..It looks like you guys had an amazing day!! 😀 …Sam you were missed tonight as our table joined for alpha we love the pics of you and we also prayed for you and everyone else also looks like your having a good time with the two little girls :)…Well can’t wait to see some more posts tomorrow Hope you guys have a wonderful day tomorrow…Oh Hi Brenda , Amy Roebuck and Kailey and May… Praying for you guys 🙂

    Cassie

  12. Wow! What a day Swazi team! Blessings to you all. I know it will be hard to leave all these kids and Swazi behind. Cherish the memories and the wonderful way God used you all. Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking your friends here at Riverwood with you to Swazi.

  13. Hey all!

    Like all the rest, I love getting to hear and see a little of what is going on out there. It just makes it so hard to sit here back at home wishing I was with all of you!

    Sam, i always try to fly thru the photos first really quick to find the ones of you. I loved the one of you and the kids playing jump rope. It brings me back to the days of Dance Dance Revolution in my basement and your crazy antics!! Or the one today where i can only guess a chicken is about to attack you. 🙂 We miss you back here lots! Say hi to Numfundo for us at Enaleni if you get a chance!

    Well glad to see you guys are all having a great time, connecting with the kids, and being able to share a little love to all our dear friends over there! Keep up the good work.

    Praying for you all,
    Chris

  14. Hello…Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, sisters, brothers, cousins and friends. It’s been a great experience sharing this time with you, as we wait in anticipation of seeing our loved ones in the pictures with the children. I don’t know about you, but I go back many times and view the pictures and let them speak to me. Jon that is such a great gift you have in capturing these moments for us all.

    Stephanie I LOVE you and was so humbled by your vulnerability and the unique way you have in sharing yourself. Your bird misses you and is waiting for your return. So with gratitude I thank all of you, the bloggers and the swazi team for a great experience of sharing in the journey as it unfolds.

    P.S. Carolyn thanks for taking care of Stephanie at London. Sorry you had to miss the tour.

  15. It has been a JOY to hear from your heart by reading your words every day. It has helped to guide our prayers for you all and for the souls at the care points. I cannot believe that your time there is coming to a close! Be well and looking forward to seeing you soon.

  16. Wow! I think that sums it up.
    You all continue to be in our prayers and thanks for your hard work as part of a larger body.

    Hey Adam and LeeAnn I hope you are doing well and staying healthy. Adam did you find a new pet (monkey) to take home for the girls?
    You are both awesome! Take care.

  17. Doug: You’re friend in the pink jacket with the pigtails is truly a treasure! I love the fascination on her face as she holds yours, and her curiosity as she looks at your guitar. An intelligent beautiful gift of God. {{{{HUGS}}} for you both.

    Today my longtime prayer is answered praise the Lord!! He is faithful to answer, and I am not surprised that He did, but that He did so earlier than I had expected. I’ve been praying that He raise up a generation to change things in their own country. That this generation of youth would turn away from the practices around them, and that He would use them to change their world.

    I stand in unity with you now and pray for Thokozani – a child of God, a promise of better things to come, and an answer to prayers.

    Lord, thank you for this young man who lifts my hopes up for these communities. Would you please touch his life in sucha profound way today. Let him know Your calling, and fill him with your Holy Spirit. Please keep him safe and healthy. Please protect him from the temptations and distractions around him. May he walk daily with You, and seek Your will in his life. Please surround him with a hedge of protection, mighty guardian angels, and equip him with the full armour of God. Please teach him to pray at all times and in all circumstances, and walk boldly in the Truth of Your Word all the days of his life. Lord thank you for setting him apart to be a leader, and a servant in his community. We ask that You would bless him, and work through him to make these carepoints vibrant places of worship – safe havens for those who need it. But mostly Lord that You would use him for Your kingdom, shining Your light into everyone he comes in contact with. In the name of Jesus we ask, Amen.

  18. Bonnie I……I can’t believe we weren’t home to receive your phone call today! we’ll talk when you get back!! Safe journeys home to all. I have loved reading and seeing the pictures of what has been happening..awesome. lv, Cheryl H.

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