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.
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