Heh church & followers! We have made it through our first day on the ground….in fact we did far more than make it! We thrived on it. What a perfect beginning to our trip….a day of rich connections….of holding kids….of meeting new faces and being remembered by old ones….of seeing our team absolutely drink in the moments they were given. We laughed, sang, danced and ran with the kids today….I am reminded of how much of a gift these experiences are for us….we feel honoured to be Riverwood embodied into the 22 of us and we certainly can see the impact that our church has had on these kids…..
So….I have stories to tell….but for today I would like to let some of our team members tell theirs. They have many. Grab a coffee….enjoy and of course enjoy the pictures 🙂 Here’s one of my favs from the day
See you tomorrow at Enlanei….follow the live facebook updates at http://www.facebook.com/enaleni
We’ll the ground around 2:30AM your time.
STORIES FROM THE TEAM:
Hello everybody! Thanks for all the comments thus far, very encouraging and brought lots of laughs.
I am a Newbie here in Swaziland and so I was very excited this morning to head out to Bhobokozi and meet the D-team, the children, the gogo’s, and see the care point in general. There was nervousness this morning before the buses came to drive us to bhobokozi but that slowly began to disappear as I met some of the Gogo’s and the children started to arrive. Coming on this trip I have been excited to see God’s work here in Swaziland but because of the cultural differences and language barriers I was nervous about being able to build relationships. However, it’s clear that that nervousness was quite pointless. God has clearly brought me here to show his love to these Children and Swazi’s. He has also brought me here to show me more of who he is. Since God has lead the way he will break any barriers so that myself and my team will be able to do his will! We have a powerful God who is I am.
Let me finish with a story of how God did this. When all the kids arrived I decided to take a risk: Grab a skipping rope and teach the kids how to skip. First it started out a little rough, until we doubled up and got some kids to jump. The kids didn’t seem to know what they were doing and didn’t know when to jump…until an older girl came over with a friend and took both ends of the rope. Little did we know they were super fast at skipping and had tons of different games to play. I had been schooled. The two highlights of this experience were having the kids laugh at me as I tried to skip, which I did quite successfully towards the end (skipping in a skirt is quite difficult) and having a little boy come and grab my hand as he tried to enter the jumping rope along with the other kids. His laughs were adorable and his smile warmed my heart J.
Thanks everyone for your prayers and reading our blogs. Have a blessed week.
Hi from one of the rookies. First day. What a mix of emotions. From joy to chaos. Playing catch with a ten year old boy and he pastes you full on in the face with a rubber ball. The look of “ooooohhh” on his face changing to relief and then laughing as I start laughing. Instant bonding. I am also amazed watching the group bond and pitch in to help each other wherever there is a need without really thinking about it.
Being distracted with something and then feeling a pat on your leg. You look down and there’s a little one asking you to join the dance and play. Who’s ministering to whom here? Only day one? Yikes.
Anyways, hi family and thank you for letting me be here. Remember to make sure at least half the snow is gone from the yard, eh? Lol. Take care. Jos.
Bryan & Cheryl
Bryan: This is such a wonderful thing to be able to be in Swaziland. What makes it even better is that I am able to share this with Cheryl. She has graciously put up with my many stories and even more pictures from my first two trips. Now she gets to experience a trip for herself.
Cheryl: Hi Everyone the trip has been amazing so far. Right from the get go in Winnipeg when I got to talk with Pinball Clemens. He talked to us a bit about his charity in Africa and prayed for us as a team. I didn’t sleep much on the flight to Germany but I stayed at the hotel and slept, which was amazing. The Asante /centre is amazing! Our first day at Bhobokazi was soooo good. Lots of kids to lay loving on. I painted lots of fingernails and toenails. I was a little disappointed that our Special Friend wasn’t there but had a very rewarding day anywhere.
Bryan: I spent today playing with so many kids. It was so exciting that many kids remembered me from last year. Some even remembered my name. This just confirms the impact our trips have on the lives of the children here. It was also very heartbreaking to have to explain to some kids that their special friends were not able to come but they sent their love with us to share with them.
We are looking forward to an exciting day tomorrow at Enalani. So many more kids to love care for.
I will also be starting my day with a work project. A small group of us will be working on a house in the community. Apparently the wall need to be finished and then the roof of straw will be replaced with a metal roof.
We appreciate your prayers and encouragements. Thanks to all who have posted.
Hey Everyone. My first day started off with an extra boost of energy. I went to go move the plug adapter from one wall to another so I could blow-dry my hair. As I unplugged it the cover came off and got quite a bit off a shock! I am ok, it only hurt for a bit, but Amy I think I owe you a new one when I get back!
When we got to Bhobokazi this morning and it was kind of strange that no one was there. The Gogo’s and Make’s started showing up and shortly after so did the kids. The familiar faces seemed to recognize me, which was so cool! We finished lunch (in the fully finished and painted structure) and went to hang out with the kids. I got a Huge hug from one of the older girls I connected with last year. It was unbelievable! I was looking for Tanzile, the girl that I would love to have as a special friend, I saw her in the corner of my eye. She seemed to not remember me until the day was almost over. It was a great feeling to know she remembered me after all.
Had a great night at Jumbo and Kreik’s, reminding everyone that God is “I Am”. And how He is everything we need.
I’m excited to go to Enalani tomorrow and see the kids that I have connected with there. And see what it brings!.
Mom, I have been eating just fine. They are trying very hard to make things gluten-free for Brenda and I. Love you guys!
Thanks for all the prayers and comments that are being sent our way, much appreciated by everyone!
Wow, what a great day! I was so excited to be in Swaziland again and visit Bhobokazi. One of the girls that I connected with last year came and sat beside me right away and grabbed my hand. Her name is Nontobeko. Brad and Jen, if you are reading this, yes she is your girl! I have pictures if you track me down when we get back. Her English is very good, and we had a nice chat. She was asking me if I would be going on the Safari on Saturday – she is really looking forward to it!
I had my own mini safari today with all the chickens, goats and cows wandering in and around the care point. I even saw two lizards. Hurray!
So far I’m feeling fantastic, healthy, and super pumped to visit Enaleni tomorrow and look for my special friend. Thanks to all of you who are following along and commenting on this blog. Your messages are so encouraging to us at the end of the day.
Ok, it’s midnight so I’ve gotta run! Hope to check in again before this trip is done.
Ryan – I hugged Spong’nkosi for you. He ran away. X-P I found him again later on and we took some pictures.
Amy – I decided I don’t really want to drink that grapetizer after all. Appletizer is just so much better. Don’t worry though. I have it, and it’s coming back home with me for you.
Great first day of CarePoint visits. Loved spending time with the kids today. Got to do a home visit with my sponsor child and learned some things about her that I didn’t know. This team is really starting to gel like I knew they would. Please keep your posts coming as we anxiously look forward to reading them each evening. Til next time. Dave
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