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.
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
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.
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
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