I am writing as we are driving down the highway away from the Enaleni road turnoff. We have just finished saying our goodbyes, giving piles of hugs, sharing tears and last smiles. It is truly a mix of emotions as we reflect on time well spent, on God’s provisions for us as a team, on the new relationships formed and on the old ones deepened. We couldn’t have written a better script for this team. They have served well, invested much, risked, and opened their hearts up more than we could have asked for. They have been incredible representatives for Riverwood and I am proud of every one of them.
I am utterly amazed at what God can do through what starts from a single follower of Christ hearing what they thought was a call from God and saying yes. From the founder of Children’s Hope Chest, to Jumbo & Kriek, to our beloved lead pastor who responded to what God impressed on his heart to follow the call to respond to the HIV / Aids crisis that has ravaged so much of a world most of us will never comprehend. I can’t help but feel the mix of emotions of hope, grief, & a resolve to press on.
Be proud of your Swaziteam 2013. It has been an honour to lead alongside Carolyn an incredible group full of humility, joy & a commitment to pursuing God. We sure are proud to be a part of what you give and invest. Truly this has not been 22 individuals on their own journey….but it has been and continues to be a journey we take as a community of followers pursuing a God who cares enough to use us as his Kingdom creators…..what a privilege to be a part of seeing Jesus in person this has been.
We are not done yet here on our journey….but we have now said goodbye to our beloved children, gogo’s, d-team, pastors and student leaders that have become such a part of us. We drive down the road towards our final moments as a team before boarding the plane back home. We are excited to finish off together tonight with a safari & team wind up experience staying overnight in the middle of nowhere, with no electricity, cell phone coverage, or walls on our homes. It will be a great way for us to debrief, to laugh, and to drink in a few last moments of Swaziland together.
Thanks for journeying with us. We will post a few thoughts yet of team members and their experiences as we travel home….we’ll keep you updated on our travels….
For now it is off to sleep amongst the rhinos & giraffes….and to take a well deserved and much needed deep breath. Hopefully we all make it out 🙂