Church Swazi Style!

Well….church was amazing as usual.  It is always remarkable to worship with Enaleni church.  I love seeing our newbies experience Swazi church for the first time….we are reminded both of how much rhythm we don’t have and also how connected we are even though our churches are so far apart and in different languages.  Truly a precious experience.

Church was hopping today and many of the kids were there too.  We had lots of performances from choirs, dancers, and even Carolyn got invited up to do a duet….

Church Day-1
Okay okay….she didn’t sing….but she gave a very warm greeting from our church to theirs.

We had some of our pre-school children perform for us too and it was so cute and awesome.  They did great.

I had the opportunity to preach and spoke on Moses being called to bring freedom to the Israelites.  We heard from the word about God being known as “I will be what I will be” and that when he calls us into something, we don’t always have all of the clear signs and exact steps laid out for us, but we are called to follow and trust and that God will make himself known by what he does through us.  Then he will be known not by a name but by YHWH….I will be what I will be.  It was a powerful thing to be able to say that 6 years ago we took a step of faith in joining up with Enaleni at Riverwood, and that in following God in this call he has made himself known to us in such a profound way.

We also shared lunch.  We again ordered chicken dust….for those of you who don’t know what it is, it is a local favourite!  It is called chicken dust because it is chicken that is grilled on the side of the road 🙂  Here’s our chicken dust stand in action to let you see:


What a rich morning sharing church, God’s word, laughter, joy, & great food.  I have uploaded a video so that you can hopefully experience a few of the wonderful moments we did.

Tomorrow we are back at Bhobokazi for our final day there.  Wow it goes by quick!  We are handing out care packages, giving the kids their school shoes, and getting every last minute of play time in with them.  Follow the live updates at:

Until tomorrow,

p.s. Happy birthday May!
Church Day-9

Team Updates

Hey everyone.  We are over half way done our trip and I am not too thrilled about it, but I am living in the moment and soaking up everything I can.

Today we went to church at Enaleni as you all know and saw this morning.
It was an awesome experience, just like last year. I had my flag swapped back and forth from one side to the next. Being tied on one side means you are married and the other is that you are single. I went to married to single and back to married from the time we got them to the time we went back to our seats.

Yesterday I got to go on the safari with the older kids. It was so great to hear them sing on the way there and on the way back to the Enaleni. Most of the time they were singing “over take, over take” to the bus driver. They were so excited to pass the other busses.  My purpose on the safari was to point out the animals, meanwhile one of the girls made sure that I was seeing all of them. She was so tired from the excitement that she fell asleep on my lap. It was a great day!

Friday, I went to visit my parents special friends home. The mother remembered me as soon as she saw me in the doorway. I gave her the gift I brought from my parents, and was very grateful. I found out that Thobelihle has a baby sister who is an adorable 4 month old.

Amy Roebuck, I haven’t had to find the light switch for the balcony, it’s been on every time I’ve been out there. And thank you for the comments from you and the girls at youth, it was so nice to hear from them. Hope that night went well with Joel in charge.

Mom, Thanks for posting, It’s nice to hear from you. I doubt that bailey misses me, and no worries about the dying holes. Love you lots!  I just want to say Thank You to everyone; It’s been great to hear everyone’s comments every night and Thank You for your prayers. – Kailey

P.S. We had a visitor at Enaleni on Friday morning. Moo says HI!


Today was an amazing day.  We went to church and got to see their traditional outfits, I loved them!  I love how they sing and dance whenever someone goes up on stage or comes down. They have a pre-school choir that goes up on stage and sings, and I thought they were so cute! We also served the others food at church. Some girls went up and did their traditional dance, and they did a good job. After church we went to Swazi candles, which has candles shaped as animals. Then we went to the market, and man was it crazy! If you finished paying at one store the person next door would say, “come look, or I’ll give you a Sunday deal.” But be aware you will be spending a lot, because there are so many amazing items! After the market we drove to a restaurant, the food was really good. I’d have to say my highlight of the day was being able to see how different some churches can be. – Kim

15 thoughts on “Church Swazi Style!

  1. WOW…..I love the little church. When you all talk about what its like there I can close my eyes and just imagine what it would be like to go there. I will never be able to go to africa so I have to see it through all of your eyes. Ty for bloging. It means a lot to me.

  2. Wow – looks like an amazing day of worship together. Those preschoolers were adorable. I hope you all enjoy your final day at Bhobokazi……pack in all you can. Praying for all of you.
    PS – Cheryl are you receiving my response emails?

  3. Hi Again – Like you we went to church this morning; St. Clements Anglican in Selkirk. Our Parish is twinned to St. Paul’s Maddu, Central Buganada Diocese, in Uganda. Our minister is an archdeacon from Uganda. We have many african members who followed archdeacon Maweejje and they often play there african drums and music during our services. I love the beat, gets the feet tapping and the hands clapping. A little different from the normally staid and formalized Anglican serviices.

    As I am hearing impaired, functionally deaf in most settings, (which Cassie will attest to); I generally take time to read and reflect on a passage from the Bible while the preacher is preaching. This morning I happended to read St. Luke 10
    wherein Jesus sends 70 of his disciples out into the world to do his work. This got me to thinking about you guys. Do you realize that 2000 years later, here you are modern day disciples of Jesus, out in the world doing his work. That’s really quite a legacy you have, and are following. Well done.

    Todays pics where a little easier for me. Although I really liked the pics of you guys and the local people all decked out in the colorful, traditional Africa dress; my hands down personal favorite was the “chicken dust stand” with the vegetable and fruit stand tucked in behind. Love the name, it reminded me a great deal of many small out of the way places we have visited in Mexico and cental America, where we have eaten our share of dusty chicken tacos washed down with cold cervesas.

    Time is getting short for you guys so enjoy every minute of it and stay focused on the moment. You will have a lifetime for reflection. – God bless – until tomorrow – Gramma & Grampa Ralph

    P.S. Don’t tell the preacher about my not paying attention to his sermon in Church, don’t want him upset with me for missing what I am sure was a very enlightened teaching!!! Must have been funny too because everyone else kept laughing?

  4. Hi, I am really enjoying the blogs, thank you so much for sharing! Although we are missing you, we can see all of the wonderful things you are doing to serve and enrich the lives of our special friends in Africa. You are truly a blessing. Know that we think of you often, and you are all in our prayers. Enjoy the rest of your time there, and thanks again for making those of us at home a part of your experience with the blogs and photos.

  5. Brenda, I missed you this morning. You will be happy to know that all went well today at the 11:15.
    May we missed you at the 9:15. Happy Birthday!!! How great to celebrate in Swazi. Wishing you a year filled with blessings from above!
    Love reading the blogs! Hearing about the church service makes me miss church back in Uganda.
    Praying for all of you that you will continue to be filled with the Joy of the Lord as you minister and love on the people in Swazi.

  6. Hello to our Swazi Team! I just got back from a powerful women’s retreat and I wanted to let you all know that you have all been in our prayers! I haven’t had a chance to catch up on all the wonderful work you have been doing in Swazi but I wanted to just send my love and admiration to you all for the love you are pouring out onto the children at Enalani and Bhobokazi. Cheryl- I miss you and can’t wait to hug you again!! I am praying that God will fill you each up fully so that you can pour out his love onto the children there. I pray that you all feel the love and support for everyone here at Riverwood as we cheer you on while you represent our hearts in Swazi. See you all soon Praying for your continued strength. God bless you all- KeriAnn

  7. Hi there Swazi Team!!! I loved watching the church service Cheryl I saw you in the background with your flag draped around you! I am happy for you & I can’t wait to see all the pictures you & Bryan are taking. Cheryl, Bryan, Yvonne, Eric did any of you go on the Safari? Ahhh I just remembered I read that Bryan, used the decibel meter on his phone to get a reading of how loud the children’s cheers were….I am keeping the whole team in my prayers, take care of each other 🙂

  8. Hey Team! Absolutely LOVE the way each of you has followed God’s leading in your hearts, risked, allowed yourselves to be stretched and are making a such a difference in the lives of others! As pastor of Riverwood, i have to just say, “It doesn’t get any better than that…and we are all so thrilled with the work and ministry you are doing!” As it says in Galatians 6:9…”Don’t allow yourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of others…” You guys are living this verse out right in front of us…and our prayer for you is that you will have the strength to finish the good work!

    – Todd

    PS…Carolyn, i just gotta say…i love watching you serve and lead the way you do! Know that i’m cheering you on and praying for you and the team every hour i’m awake! Love you!

  9. The sermon at my church today reminded me of your team. Our pastor asked why are we on earth? To just live for ourselves and have as much fun as we can? No, God has a contribution He wants us to make with our life. We can achieve this most successfully working as a team with our fellow believers. What makes up a good team? T – trust, E – empathy, A – accommodation (make room for people to be themselves) and M – mission (a common purpose to work towards). May God bless you all as you work as a team.
    Monica and Ben, I had an enjoyable week at work taking my students on a field trip to the Fire Station. I was at the front of the firetruck with Kimberly’s mom when a little girl (who shall remain nameless) pressed the horn button and almost gave me a heart attack. Small world isn’t it?
    Ben based on the picture and on which side your flag is draped I’m not sure if you’re coming home with an African wife or not. I am looking forward to a manicure from my nephew though:)

  10. Hello to everyone. Whats really impacting me in the pictures, descriptions, video clips etc…is the PURE JOY that seems to be a thread in the attitudes of the Swazi people and children. Their lives are not without sadness and need but their response to it challenges me to be ‘thankful in all circumstances’ . Thanks for keeping us all updated with the blog….. Now what you’re all waiting for…our joke 🙂 ??!!?? here goes…

    There were three men on a hill with their watches.

    The first man threw his watch down the hill and it broke.

    The second man threw his watch down the hill and it broke.

    The third man threw his watch down the hill, walked all the way to the bottom, and caught it.

    The other two men were puzzled and asked the third man how he did it.

    The third man said, “Easy. My watch is 5 minutes slow!”

    uughhh, I know …we’ll try and pick it up a notch tomorrow….
    Hope today was excellent… Ben, loved the picture of you on the blog..How honorary !..
    Frost on my windshield this morning 🙂 , but tulips are poking through..they are a sweet reminder of Spring.
    xx Karen/Ken

  11. Hello Swazi Friends!

    What an awesome video! So many wonderful ways of worship that are less common to us here at home. I love how everyone gets involved with the service. What an honor for you guys to stand on stage and be given such a kind gift. Hope you can bring back some of that enthusiasm and energy with you for Swazi Sunday.

    Allison – Your time away is starting to feel very long and I miss you lots. However, every time I get to talk to you and hear the excitement you have about all your experiences, makes it all worth it. We have learned together that the sacrifices we make to love and bless others as followers of Jesus start to seem small compared to the gifts of joy and love that others give back to us. I am so proud that you are representing all the way over there in Swaziland. It is obvious that the love given to you and the rest of the team by all the wonderful people at the care points is worth so much more then what has been given up to be there. Enjoy your last hours there!

    – Jordan

  12. Wow – just to experience the sounds of worship at Enaleni church must be awesome! Way to go team! Love the pic, Mary, of you and the little one with per piece of “chicken dust”!! How long is it going to be after you get back for that ear to ear smile to fade?? Likely never! From all of the blogs of other trips and from hearing the excitement and “God” moments from this one – don’t know if it’s me or not – but this trip really seems to be over the top. Drink in every second at Enaleni today and at your last visit to Bhobkaz tomorrow and may God speed on your trip home. Of course we will continue to pray!!
    Love & Hugs………..Pam & Vic

  13. That video of Church Swazi Style is fantastic! You all must have had an amazing experience! But the video must have cut out early, because there wasn’t any footage of where Dave Park did all those high kicks and dance moves too!
    We are so in awe of your posts and photos, and look forward to seeing them all at our small group get together next weekend! We are blessed to have such a wonderful Swazi team to represent Riverwood in Africa. God is clearly at work within your souls and expressing love to those at both care points. It’s cool to see the fruits of your labour, both in newly constructed facilities and items and in the way the smiles seem to multiply every time we see a new photo and video!
    [And now news from the home front:Yes, the snow is all gone and we were out walking in shorts and t-shirts on the weekend in bright sunshine.But there’s heavy snowfall warning for Dauphin and north of Winnipeg tomorrow! What’s Manitoba! I wonder what will await you here at the end of the week!]
    God bless you all for your blessings of Swazi and of all of us here at Riverwood!
    Donna and Chris

  14. Hey T – you are a life giver and a life changer. I am so happy to hear you got to visit Thobelile’s home – meet her little sister and bring them our small gift. Can hardly wait to hear more about it – I HOPE you took pictures!! How cool that they remembered you. Your marital status seems a little up in the air – I hope this won’t deter anyone in the future. Love that you’re giving and living in the moment. We miss you and love you lots!!! Let me close with this little ditty… happy birthday to you – you live in a zoo – you smell like a monkey and you act like one too! lotsa love mom

  15. Kailey!
    Happy Belated Birthday! I can in fact confirm that Bailey does miss you! Not only does she miss you, but so do we! I just about texted you the other day to see if you were up for a trip to winners! Ha! Hope you are doing well. Looks like you are having a blast; So beautiful in the pictures! Hope you figured out which side your flag should be tied on…and remember not to settle for anything less than 30 cows. Can’t wait to hear your stories when you get home!
    xoxoxo Jodi and Ty

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