The story has already begun for me…..

Well….officially we are down to 2 sleeps remaining before we meet at the airport at 3PM on Saturday to begin another adventure back to Swaziland.  Let me tell you that there are 20 very excited Riverwooder’s that Carolyn & I have the had the privilege of journeying with over the past 5 months in preparing for this experience.  They are incredibly honoured and humbled to have this opportunity available to them and have invested so much already into opening themselves up to God for what is about to happen.  We are already proud of the team they are!

Every year at this time….just a few days left before going….I start a handwritten list.  This list is where I write down every single thought of what I still need to do, to pack, or to prepare before leaving.  Sometimes that list is overwhelming….sometimes it seems too small to feel comfortable about…like I’m missing something.  As I have been compiling this list, I have been really aware of one emotion I do feel.  I feel an overwhelming sense of pride.  Don’t worry….it isn’t about how good my list is 🙂  I am so proud to be a part of a church that rallies and supports a cause like this.  I am so proud to be a part of a community of people that are willing to part with the things that they have to make a difference in the lives of the vulnerable and needy.  And even more than that….I’m proud to be a part of a church & community willing to risk and and join along on the adventure of trying to do some very special things for the kids and community in Swaziland we have grown to be family with.

If there is a story to be told up until now, it is one of incredible support and partnership with so many of you.  The number of people that have given and supported our team members as they try and raise their funds to make their experience a reality is so inspiring.  The 220+ people  joining us on our annual Swazinight to cheer us on standing with us as we raise more than $6400 towards our projects.  The people that tracked me down saying they had to miss Swazinight but still bought a table that they wouldn’t be at.  The sense of enthusiasm I felt in the room as we shared our idea of taking the kids at our carepoint on a Safari was tangible…and then we watched as the elephants poured out of the room and onto the wall as you rallied around the idea together.  The incredibly generous people that have invested into the project as they have dug deep into their resources to give towards our carepoints.  The sponsors who have put their time and energy into making a special package for their sponsor child.  The emails, the comments, the facebook likes, the high fives & the prayers that we seem to find at every corner….they are simply inspiring to us.

We live with a real sense that as we are ready to embark on our Swazitrip adventure….we are carrying with us an entire church….and I gotta tell you it means the world to me.  To know we have a church that believes in putting their lives into helping the most vulnerable in our world….a church that understands our obligation to stand with and advocate for the orphans and the widows….a church that believes that a community in Elmwood can become family with a community 15,000 km’s away…..that is a church that inspires me.

All I can say as I continue to build my list of last minute to do’s is that I am excited to journey with each of you….to adventure and risk and invest all of ourselves to continue to be a church that pursues the idea that God’s Kingdom can be known here on earth as it is in heaven.

See you Saturday!


3 thoughts on “The story has already begun for me…..

  1. Best wishes to all of you and safe journey as you proudly represent Riverwood. You are in our hearts and prayers

  2. 1 sleep, well for some of us… Lol! I can’t believe how fast this time has gone.
    I personally want to thank all of you who have come along side to partner with me prayerfully & financially as we travel together to “love on” those in Swaziland! I have never felt so blessed as I have the last few months and can’t even imagine how the next few weeks will be.
    Thank you so much!

  3. thanks for your very moving post Jon–i am looking forward to taking the journey with all of you by your words and pictures. i send my love to all of the team as you start on your way tomorrow. Many blessings. Sue C

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