Bhobokazi Day 2 – Cupcakes & Carpentry

Another day at Bhobokazi … and another opportunity to love on a bunch of kids who are so dear to the hearts of many at Riverwood.  I am so proud of the team and the way they seek to use any and every opportunity to interact with a child or teenager – playing ball games, painting nails – (both girls and boys … I don’t know if I should tell you all this but Jon even had his toe nails painted on one foot) doing puzzles, playing Uno etc, etc,  Fun! Fun! And more Fun!

A few highlights of the day: cupcake decorating “lion faces” for our theme – “Daniel in the Lion’s Den”  – the kids loved the decorating their lion faces and THEN the eating! The older teenage boys had the opportunity to build some benches for the multipurpose structure.  It was really great to see the guys on our team connect with these older boys, teaching them some carpentry skill and investing in their lives in a way that will go beyond today! Six benches were completed and we hope to use them when we go back on Monday!

Today in the busyness of all the activity, I thought back to how at a young age, my parents instilled in me a heart for orphans by sponsoring a girl from India when I was a child; fostering children in our home who had no place to call their own and finally adopting a child so that she would have a chance to be a part of a forever family! And today, because of that investment by my parents, the inspiration and challenge continues as I now have the privilege of being a part of leading this team to give their lives away for the sake of children in Swaziland whose lives would look very different if YOU Riverwood had not stepped in. For those families who are sponsoring you are not only having an effect here in this tiny country in Africa but you are affecting the lives of your own children by saying “yes” to kids in a far away place.


Team Blogs

Today was a great day.

When we first got off the bus the kids came running to me, and they remembered who I was. First thing I did was painted the kids nails, and then me and a few girls got the skipping ropes out, and man were they good! There was this one little girl who came in, she was wearing a beautiful red velvet dress on. I was a team leader for the pre-school games, we played a game similar to London bridge, but one group didn’t really participate as much as the other group. We had the most awesome little people skit, where one person is in the front with no arms and someone is behind them being their arms, and were feeding the person in front. After that we sang a few songs, I had never heard such great singing before, they did all the actions well, and sang loudly. We had a cupcake station where they made lion heads, couldn’t believe they could actually eat them. They got to hear a story about Daniel In the Lions Den, and learned that they could talk to God anytime.

I ended my day at the care point with playing football, I had never seen such intense playing till now, my team had won!

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings. – Kim

Sawubona all!
Well another day is done and I have spent some time reflecting on the day. Being here in Swaziland has truly been an amazing experience. Many times, prior to my arrival here, I have had many say what an adventure this would be for me. I have also heard about how much I would learn; the kids would impact me more than I impact them. I came in with doubts that this would be true and hope that it wouldn’t be all I remembered. These encouragements and words should not be minimized, but I do believe God impacts both the Swazi’s and us in his own way. In addition, this is an adventure and we are going to learn. However, we are ultimately here to do what God has called us to be: the image of Christ, and to make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Today God showed me that that is exactly why we are here and it’s exactly what we are doing.

As I listened to the kids at Bhobokazi sing “Jesus Messiah” and start singing a song that the kids knew, but we didn’t, I realized that if our church hadn’t said Yes five years ago, if Children’s Hope Chest didn’t say Yes to God about the need here in Swaziland, and if Jumbo and Kriek hadn’t said Yes – these children wouldn’t be singing these songs. In addition, many of them wouldn’t know Christ as their personal savior, they wouldn’t have a safe place to go, may not get their one meal a day, and have a place to be kids in a world, where, they may be the primary caregiver to their siblings and others. Many people had to say yes to God and because we did the lives of these children are forever changed. I see hope for Swaziland in these Kids. They are the next generation as I am in our own society in Canada. This investment of showing them the love of Christ will make a difference. They will be able to say Yes to God, maybe join the fight against AIDS and learn how to protect themselves, and maybe, most likely, get themselves and others out of poverty. Riverwood, we are making a difference halfway across the world and lets praise God for that. Family and friends who are supporting us, you too are making a difference. As I was talking to Elliot today (our amazing bus driver) I asked him if Swazi’s have found it annoying to have white people come in to their country. He said, “Not at all, we ALL love having you here, your making a difference.”

So everyone lets continually say YEBO (yes) to God, and God will use us and will ultimately be glorified. – Cassie

Bryan and Cheryl Peters
Cheryl: Today was an amazing day. It is also proof that miracles happen! Our team prayed that our special friend would be at the carepoint today and he came. Our Leadership Academy student walked (a very very very long way) to where he is now leaving to let him know that we were going to be at the carepoint today. Our Special Friend’s uncle drove him there today and then we were able to have a great time with him. We also got to take him home and visit with his uncle who lives near by.

brian cheryl

I was also in my element with the crafts today. The story today was on Daniel and the lion’s den. So we had cupcakes delivered and make lion faces in on them. The kids were so pumped they couldn’t believe that they could actually eat them!

What an amazing day, can’t wait for tomorrow. But time is going by way to fast. – Cheryl

Bryan: It was a great day indeed. Our little guy just shone as we played catch with him. I caught him stealing glances in our direction as we were singing.

The ride to his home was rough and it was a good thing we were in a 4×4. We learned that he is living in a tiny house with his aunt. His uncle who is very young lives just up the hill. A next door neighbor looks after him when his aunt is away. He is attending school but there is no carepoint close to him so we may lose touch with him. We will follow up with Hope Chest to see what will happen in the future.

Please pray as there is much unknown right now. He will be with us on Saturday for the safari and seems to be excited about it. We are trying to think positive and we also know that God is in charge. This little boy was put into our lives and we want to do everything we can to give him a good future.  We’ll keep you posted and thanks for praying. – Brian


17 thoughts on “Bhobokazi Day 2 – Cupcakes & Carpentry

  1. Heyya Swazi team!! Wow, It’s amazing to see how much these kids have grown in just a year! It’s beautiful to see how God is working amongst all of you to love and care for these kids. To those new to Swaziland, just know that you probably won’t be the same when you get back. In one way or another you will be changed… It may takes months or years to realize it, but as I sit here one year later looking back, God used Swaziland to shape my decision to go to Bible school (Graduating this Saturday!), to seek him more boldly, to mould and shape my heart and to open my eyes to see people the way God sees them. James 1:27 says: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Continue to love God, love mercy, love justice, love service, and most of all, love these kids to death!
    Hug Boubileh (Bow-Bee-leh… <— How her name sounds.) for me next time your'e in Enaleni!

    Bryan: Love to see that you're using your hands and your creative skills once again to effect our friends in Swaziland! I'm sure you must be loving it!

    God bless! Many prayers follow you!

  2. Hi Kailey,
    We are all here at EPIC talking about loving our neighbours!! So excited that you are there doing just that. Loving our “Special Friends”
    Some of the girls have a few words to say:

    hey Kailey hows it going? We miss you at Epic. I love that you are doing good stuff. Wish I could be there with you. Love Emily P.S. If you see my special friend give him an extra big hug for me, and a picture too please 🙂 (p.s. my last name is Kirouac just in case)

    Hi Kailey, Miss you, we love you, we miss your jokes & smile. Truth or Dare?…I dare you to hug everyone you see. Love Joycyln

    Hi Kailey, Hope you are having a good time. We miss you and hope you come back with lots of stories….(and candy)
    Love Karley

    Hi Kailey, I miss you, I love you. I hope you have a good time in Africa. I dare you to hug as many kids as you can. Love Mary

    Hi Kailey, Hope you are having a good time. Can’t wait for you to come back to Epic, with lots of stories and we miss you. Love Sierra

    Kailey, Knew that you would get tingles heading back to Africa, but never thought you’d get the real thing. Ouch!! Hope you are doing fine. Ben is away tonight and Joel is in charge…and as the girls are saying…we are getting tortured with water guns & games…tough stuff!! Say “hi” to all of our special friends, and have a great time on the Safari. Wish I was there to see all their smiling faces too. Great job to all the team!! With lots of love and prayers..the Grade 7 girls My-Pod.
    P.S. Say Hi to “moo” for us 😉

  3. Hi Monica and Ben,
    It’s so great to see the pictures of your smiling faces as you interact with those around you. Yesterday’s picture of both of you with the little boy is beautiful! Praying that you’ll be blessed with many happy memories that will encourage and inspire you once you return.

  4. Hello all! Been so enjoying the pictures and entries from you! Makes one rethink the importance of sending our own pics and letters to our special friends. Love that you all are jumping in with both feet!
    Katrina…your entry about Banele made me giggle as I remembered him running up to me with a picture of John and Janice asking if I knew them and if they were coming! You made his year sending their love through you right to his front door!:)
    Monica…your house is still standing but Nicole sent your cat up on the roof to look for HER cat who apparently went for a really long walk! 😉 jk
    Those cupcakes looked awesome! Probably the best lookin snack they’ve ever had.
    Keep up the great work team! Prayers for energy, connections, health, rich memories, stretching of your faith, and lots more moments to share!
    P.s. Ben…thanks for the update;)
    Jon…love you!

  5. Come on! It doesn’t get much better than ‘carpentry’ and ‘cupcakes’! What i wouldn’t have given to be swinging hammers and eating cupcakes with you guys!!! Love seeing all the partnership in action! Thanks so much for taking time to share the journey with us! Cheering you on tonight!
    – todd

  6. Wow has it ever been good to see all the faces and hear of the things that you have been doing. The pictures of those children just melt my heart. Yvonne and Erik it looks like you are really enjoying those kids please give one ( or all of them) a hug for me and one more thing I would like to see a picture of you skipping with them. I loved to see the older kids working on the benches they look so good. Is it me or are there a lot more younger kids at bhobokazi, it is really good to see to see that. So Jon you had your toe nails painted on one foot what about the other foot or for that matter what about your hands, I challenge you.
    Mary I am not sure who had the bigger smiles the children or you, you look like you are enjoying yourself so much. Mae you have such a great way with those kids and I am so glad to follow along here with you in winnipeg.
    I know that when you are hearing this you are probably tired and waiting for sleep but just know that God will give you the strength you need and He will surprise you in many ways as you surrender to Him. God has so many other plans that you do not even know of, so as your head hits the pillow tonight just smile and trust God for the things He is going to do in and through you. Your biggest strength is not in your ability but in what God can do through you. I cannot wait to see and hear what other awesome things God is going to do through you , you all are in my prayers.
    Love and Prayers

  7. Hi All – Great bunch of pics again – my absolute favorite was the lady in the printed dress surrounded by smoke and steam from the cookpot with her smiling face somehow all lit up. It could be entered in a photo contest. Nice to see the older boys show up and pitch in building the benches. They look like any regular group of teenage boys anywhere – nice to see. Just wondering if there are any adult men or old grey beards like me around? Keep up the good work folks, it’s wonderful to see people from such diverse cultures and backgrounds just getting along as people. Praise God all brought together because of a common faith in Jesus; and to think how many people in our society disparage religous organizations and beliefs. They should all see you guys in action. Hugs to Cassie – Love Gramma & Grampa Ralph

    P.S. Some sad news for all you Jets fans. They played there last regular season game tonight against Monreal and lost 4-2. Unfortunately that eliminates them from the playoffs. Oh well – there’s always next year – right!!

  8. Hey guys! Hi Bryan, Cheryl, Erik and Yvonne. Praying for all y’all. Love all the great pictures. Jon and Carolyn thanks so much for doing another amazing job at leading this awesome team. Can’t wait till yer next update! I can SO see how you all are giving it your all. God Bless… EVERYONE

  9. Kimberly…we are so proud of you. We look forward to the pictures of you and your team every day…absolutely wonderful. We too wait to see what tomorrow bring for you. Please tell Jos that we are good friends of Bob Fabbri. Love & hugs.

  10. Greetings from a warming up Winnipeg. Looks like we’ll bit some double digits this weekend… 🙂 Loved the pictures once again. Wondering how your day is going so far today. So, besides asking God to bless your opportunities and take care of you all, I of course have a joke for Ben.

    Q: Where is the first baseball game in the Bible?

    A. In the big inning, Eve stole first, Adam stole second.
    Cain struck out Abel, and the Prodigal Son came home. The Giants
    and the Angels were rained out.

    lol…. xxx Karen.

  11. Hey Swazi friends! Love the pictures. Looks like you’re all having a great time. Been thinking of and praying for the team lots. The pictures and stories really help me feel a part of what’s going on. I especially love hearing and seeing the young men getting involved by building those benches. I`m sure the skills they learned will be very useful for them. Allison and I are currently being blessed by the carpentry and constructions skills that a couple young men from our neighbourhood have recently learned as they tackle all sorts of dry walling, painting, and other jobs around our house. Who knows how the young men who helped build those benches will bless their community in the upcoming weeks and months, but I`m sure God will give them many opportunities to do so. Great work!

    Allison – Everything is going well, the animals are doing great. It`s awesome to see pictures of you playing with the kids and having a great time. I miss you tons, can`t wait for you to get home and tell me all about your trip.

    – Jordan

  12. Hey all!

    It’s been awesome to read all of your stories and see all the pictures you’ve been putting up! Keep it up! My absolute favorite picture was the one of the group of teens and the benches. Something about the guy holding the hammer in the middle just makes me laugh. It’s fantastic to hear about all of the positive things you guys are doing down there! …I’m also mildly jealous of the cup cakes.

    Cassie: It’s fantastic to see how much you’ve gotten to do out there, how much you’ve gotten to impact others, and how much you have been impacted. Continually seek to show God’s love to all those around you! I miss you lots, and can’t wait to see you again. I stayed at my parents house last night, and now feel significantly less sick!

    Praying for you all!


  13. Cassie thank you so much for your words they are so true. Brian and Cheryl prayers have been said for your little guy. I believe God has a hedge of protection around him and that He will watch over him. As Cassie mention the kids singing Jesus Messiah all these memories come back from last year. Plus now I am singing the song. Well the parts I can remember. I have forgotten part. Will have to youtube it and see if I can find it. Love that song. Love those kids. So beautiful to hear them sing. So great to know that God brought us to them and them to us. That we can have such an amazing impact on their lives and them on ours. They do really teach us so much. I will never forget my time in Africa. As you will never forget yours. Soak up ever moment. Let God lead you and guide you as you are there. I know amazing things have already happened and many more are yet to come. My heart is filled to overflowing with joy!

  14. Well, I am jealous. It is still cold here. I went for a walk and had to keep my hands in my pockets the whole time. It is not cold enough however to kill whatever flu bugs seem to thrive as well as dandelions here in Manitoba. It is too cold for me to even go to the mailbox in the hopes of receiving a notice for any winnings or pending deposits. Clearly, I am not a fan of the cold and since five weeks of summer camping used to be right up my alley, your pictures look like a little slice of joyful, awe-inspiring Heaven. Somehow, the warmth of the sun just makes us all feel a part of something bigger and connected.

    You are all working and playing so well together and I can’t wait to hear about all the new friends Kimberly has made. I’m sure you all must be absolutely exhausted by the end of the day with all the warmth, work and emotions but it must feel like such a good tired. I bet the excitement for the next day must just keep you all pretty pumped. I can see why leaving it behind is so difficult. Gobble up every possible moment!

    I couldn’t be more proud and pleased with your desire, Kimberly, to go to Swaziland and I’m really happy you actually made it there. God put it on my heart that this would be an awesome experience for you and it looks in the pictures like that is exactly the case. I hope you make some great friends that you can stay in touch with even when you return home. We already have about a dozen people in our family every weekend, what’s a few more added to our lives one way or another!

    Keep up the good work Kim. I’ll hold down the fort at this end. I’m preparing food for the CHP meeting and of course, it’s Friday so who knows how many people will be here as usual but I’m sure with all the people you’ll have around you at dinnertime, you’ll feel just like you are with family. We’re all watching the links closely so put yourself into as many pictures as you can. Seth and Chance took apart the wall in the garage so we can make room for them so maybe when you are all done in Swaziland you and all your new friends can come to my driveway because other than the idea, I haven’t got a clue what I am doing next but with the wall now gone I’m pretty committed! Joshua now has both a full and part-time job and is looking for a car. I hope he buys one because driving him to work at six o’clock in the morning is not working out so well for me. Because my days are now turned upsidedown, I forgot to pick Braydon up on the day the buses weren’t running. Dad and I are still too tired and chicken to fix the plumbing in the bathroom and I don’t really want to because it means I’ll have to do the next batch of tasks and I’d really just rather be out in the garden….or lately, sleeping! Hannah tried to kill me at the firestation yesterday. Those air horns pack a mighty punch when you stand at the bumper directly in front of them. I almost walked myself over to the ambulance after that. There is a public meeting going on outside dad’s office today. He wanted to stand in the window shirtless with a, “hi, mom,” message or something to get on the news. I told him to at least wear a superhero cape. He decided to go to Bulk Barn for me instead. Ah, my hero!

    Keep up the good work Swazi team and be sure to give Craig and I your Tim’s orders in time to be picked up from the airport. You all deserve one of those make-you-cry commercial receptions when you return! God bless you all and thanks for taking such good care of my daughter. You are all doing such amazing work out there.


  15. Oh wow, what a special time for you Bryan and Cheryl. So glad you got to meet your special little guy. How amazing to see the way God answers prayers. Love the picture of the two of you with him and his uncle. I can just see you enjoying your “craft time” today too Cheryl.
    Love and praying for you,

  16. I finally got a chance to look at the blog today. The pictures are all so beautiful, can’t wait to hear the stories that go with them!
    I am so glad to hear you were able to meet up with your friend and he is doing well. The cupcakes were also adorable, I’m sure the kids thought they were pretty neat.

    It was great chatting with you all the other day. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with my class. We found you guys on the map and I can’t wait to share some of the stories and photos with them when you get back.

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