Enaleni….the day of 42 plans

Well….first of all….today was a great day!  Our last full day at Enaleni (we have a half day there in the morning tomorrow) and we did our best to take every moment in.  It was certainly an interesting day as far as our plans went….we made plans on how to best run our day last night….then this morning we changed our plans….then a few minutes after that they changed again….then the power went out and we had to change them again…then it came back on and we changed them again….then it went back out and we……well you get the idea.

We had planned on showing the Jesus film for kids in Siswati today as a movie time.  We darkened the windows with garbage bags, had a projector and screen setup, and then when the power went out we thought we would have to adapt.  We made some plans but left room that if the power came back on we would still show it. There were a few faith filled Canadians that said it was going to happen, but I wasn’t one of them.  Somehow a power outage in Swaziland felt beyond God’s control 🙂

But just a few minutes after 2PM when we would need to start the movie, sure enough the power came back….and it stayed.

We sang our hearts out with the kids today and sang every song we could think of.  I have personally enjoyed something I have never really experienced previously on these trips….I have been more directly involved in the kids program because I am the only team member that can play a guitar….so I have been leading the worship & singing. I have really enjoyed interacting with the kids on this level.  I take great joy in making a bit of a fool of myself to invite the kids to do the same 🙂

What a joy it was to hand out the care packages today as well!  We feel so privileged to hand them out because for each one it represents a special relationship that they have been able to experience that is so incredibly meaningful to them.  The joy as they received their bag and their brand new shoes was easy to see!

Today was also significant for those who headed out on the work crew this morning to help finish up some of the building we were doing at a homestead near the carepoint.  How fun it has been to interact, get to know, and to really connect with some of those who are in the community but not yet a part of Enaleni church.

We spent the evening tonight after supper debriefing sharing a highlight from the trip, a low, and something God has been showing us.  It was humbling to hear as one by one each person spoke about how many high points they have had….how strongly God has revealed himself to them, and also how much heartache we have encountered.  One of the things God has been revealing to me in my own experience is how present he is with the broken hearted….those that have experienced so much difficulty and struggle.  When we encounter these stories I feel as though we are encountering God himself….and it leads me further to believe that God calls us to walk in relationship with the broken and with the helpless.  To not only meet the needs, but to know the needs because we know the person.  To feel like their needs are in a sense our own…..

Tomorrow will be a tough goodbye and a wrap up to our experience….but for so many of us it represents a new work that God has begun here in our lives.  Follow along the journey tomorrow at:  www.facebook.com/enaleni

Until tomorrow,

Team posts:

Today I had a home visit with my special friend Ntando and his family; while we were there they wanted to give us a chicken as a gift, Ntando and his sister ran around their house chasing down a chicken to give us and when they finally caught it they were informed that it was the wrong chicken so they ran down another chicken to give us. We couldn’t take the chicken as a gift for obvious reasons. Then after we finished up the home visit we walked back to the care point where pastor Peter’s son, Mteko, or “Given”, informed me that he had a gift for me, he pulled out a bag and told me to open it, in the bag there was a ball of tissue paper, and in that ball of tissue paper there was a small hand crafted drum made of wood and a piece of what appears to be goat skin.

Today was by far the best day of the trip; even though it marks the end of the trip, which in itself is heart wrenching, it was still the most amazing day yet, for me anyway. – Ben

This trip has been amazing!  Erik and I have been able to spend time with our “Swazi daughters” at Enaleni and Bhobokazi.  The experiences have been very rich.  I bonded with both girls and they are so sweet and have grown a lot in the last 2 yrs.

Going shopping with the Bhobokazi Makes and Gogo’s yesterday was such a fun experience.


I got very sick yesterday and had to stay in the hotel today.  I heard everyone singing Happy Birthday to Kailey this morning and I started to cry because I couldn’t be there.  When housekeeping came to change the bedding she was very sweet and tried to make me feel better.  It is a very humbling experience when your husband has to clean the sheets for you because you had an accident.

I hope I am well enough tomorrow to say goodbye to the children and go on the Safari.  Please pray for me. – Yvonne

9 thoughts on “Enaleni….the day of 42 plans

  1. Praying for you all as you share your goodbyes! Yvonne, I pray healing, strength & peace for your day! Missed you last night Cheryl ~ all the girls say hello! Safe travels Swazi team!

  2. Hi everyone,
    Bren, Kier and Gus are here now, just came to visit. Her and Ward are involved in their I-phones, sitting on the couch.
    I also prayed for Yvonne to get well, as well as for safe travel and for the goodbyes.

    talk to you Friday Bren

    Love Cheryl

  3. Hello all, Yvonne I have prayed for healing for you and hope you are feeling better when you read this. The pictures of the kids are amazing, each one telling a story through their faces. Praying for a wonderful Safari experience and safe and healthy travel home. Be Blessed. Sarah the girls are doing well. I know they miss you. Bailie is wearing her thunder shirt as it was raining yesterday and today we have yup you guessed it SNOW! Well it’s white but more like a sloppy mess. I am sure it will be gone by the time you all get back. Take care. Luv Mum aka Connie

  4. Wow, you guys are amazing! Thank you for putting all your heart and soul into serving and loving on the people of Swaziland! Yvonne – I am so sorry that you aren’t feeling well, praying that tomorrow will be a better day and you can really enjoy the last day at Enaleni. I’m glad that Erik could be there for you when you needed him the most 🙂
    I have so enjoyed reading the blog and loved pouring over the wonderful pictures, got to see one of my special friends smiling in a pic…that made my day! Bryan and Cheryl – I am so happy that your special friend turned up and you got to spend some time with him…I’m praying for him! Brenda – Love seeing your smiling face in so many pictures….miss you Make Magpie…..can you braid my hair haha!! Soak up every last moment you are in Swaziland you all…safe travels home!


  5. Congratulations Team! You are just days away from officially completing your mission…and you did it so superbly! You are also just days away from graduating to the official ranks of ‘Swazi-Alumni’! Now, you’d think that would be a coveted position. After all, how many people can say they spent two amazing weeks in Africa? But it actually loaded with challenges. For the first three weeks, every time you see a 25 seater bus, you’ll have this uncontrollable urge to sound off ‘your number’. You’ll find yourself walking up to complete strangers, usually African-Canadian children, and wanting to hug or hold them. (Not cool and actually indictable). You’ll probably have waves of loneliness…because the kind of community you’ve experienced is so special and so intense and so rare! But the worst is yet to come. Next year! Next year, when the ‘new’ Swazi-Team begins to assemble you’re going to battle emotions you never knew you had. But that’s nothing compare to what will happen when they actually leave. You’ll look at the pictures and say: “Hey! That’s my special friend! What are you doing hugging, holding, playing skipping rope or soccer with them???” You’ll want to be happy for the team that’s there…but it will be hard, because, well, they’re ‘there’…and you’re NOT!

    So. Why am i telling you all this? For a few reasons. The first is that your mission isn’t over until you step out of the airport in Winnipeg. Drink up every minute! Revel in the deep community with your team…and keep ministering to one another! On the way home, reflect and ponder and pray …and rest…rest in the knowledge that you did well!!!!

    Then…over the next year, or years…let the tough emotions mess you up a bit…(because they will)…but more than anything…let them motivate you to pray and write your special friend, and pack another care package and cheer the next team on…because really, your Swazi-mission isn’t over until your ‘special friend’ graduates from University, healthy, with the hope of a career, and family and future. There’s a lot left for you to do!

    Have a great safari…and bring my wife back to me! i need her more than you do!

    – Todd

  6. We are thinking that you are going to have a busy couple days..lots of joy, some sadness, and more neat experiences…Ben, i am so glad to hear of your excellent day visiting at Ntando’s home. What an honor that they wanted to give you such a gift.. I would feel so humbled and honored at the same time…You have some new forever friends in Ntando and Mteko.. OK, in celebration of your safari, here’s a special knock, knock joke…

    Knock Knock
    Who’s there?
    Safari who?
    Safari so good!

    Have an awesome time..give that camera a good workout.. the Disney safari will never be the same again for you 😉
    love and a big hug to you !! share it with your mom… K/K

  7. Hi team. 1million thanks could never cut it enough to tell ya all the thankfulness that i have in my heart for all of you guys and gals. Enjoy every last moments with each other; love hard; keep lots of kleenex handy; drop off p.j. on the side of the road anywhere then go and party until there is no tomorrow. Have a super blast on the safari. Praying for ya all. Hope that everyone is healthy and well. OOPS; 1 more thing don’t forget to go and pick up p.j. wherever you left him.Pray that he is still there. LOL. Yes p.j. i do love ya with all of my heart; soul; liver; kidneys and guts. See ya all soon.

  8. Hello Swazi Friends,

    You have made me proud. I’m sure there have been many challenges and times that have been not quite “blogable”. Those are unfortunately a part of any significant journey, but you can look back now and say “we made it.” I often tell my friends and co-workers as we’re reflecting on, or planning something for our community, “if we don’t mess something up we haven’t tried hard enough.” All this to say, cherish everything that has happened, even some of the more “messy” things. These are all a part of the adventure you have been on and all are useable by the hands of our creative God. I can imagine some of the heartache you guys are feeling. One verse that has sustained me when faced with tragedy and injustice that is so far beyond my “normal” experiences is 1 Corinthians 13:13, “Three things will last forever, faith, hope, and love”. I find comfort in the promise that faith, hope, and love have the strength and endurance to outlast violence, hatred, disease, and everything else that brings destruction to the people of Swaziland and hurting people around the world. Sometimes all we can do is hold on to that promise with white knuckles.

    Allison – I can’t wait to have you home, to hear your stories and to just have you around again. It will be great! I will be praying for you as you travel home. I hope it goes well. Enjoy the Safari (or I hope you enjoyed it if that has already happened by the time you’ve read this). Love you sooo much!!!

  9. Good morning all: First let me say that all of you suffering illnesses are in our prayers. We pray that God will send His healing angles to help you recover so that you can enjoy the last few days of your journey. I see that the law concerning the best laid plans of mice and men is operative over in Swaziland as well. Loved Todd’s comment above, could not have expressed my own feelings any better if I tried.
    Of course the photos of the day were the first thing I looked at again. The pic of the little boy sitting on the 45 gallon drum reminded me of my own youth. We used to hang out just like that when were kids. Ah the lost days of youth and innocence. The little girl with the braided hair and orange flower – now who wouldn’t treasure a grand daughter like that? Speaking of grand daughters, the pic of Cassie profiled in the open door or window was pretty special for us. However Grampa’s pic of the day has to be the last shot of a mother clutching her three little ones in her ams. Seems to gather the essence of a lot, of what this trip has been all about.
    Bye for now and may God bless one and all. – Gramma & Grampa Ralph

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