We made it!

IMG_4459Our travels have brought us safe and sound to Swaziland.  After taking bets coming off the airplane about how many of our bags would actually make it through all the connections we were grateful that they all got there!  All 2300 lbs of them.  We had a 5 hour journey from the airport to our guesthouse and have now settled in….had supper….orientation with the field staff and have sorted through all the bags to be ready for tomorrow.  The team is pretty tired and as I type this blog everyone else has officially hit the sack.  We hope for a good night of rest and to hit the ground running in the morning.

It has been so great to be back…to see many on the team experience this for the first time….but all I can say is I can’t wait to be on the ground tomorrow at Bhobhokazi!  Looking forward to a fantastic day.  We can’t wait to share about our day tomorrow!

I’ll leave you with a couple of posts from our team members:


For Jason & I, we spent almost a month in Mumbai before we would meet up with the team. For us, just seeing people from home was such a blessing after being away for so long.  Sunday evening Kailey and Bryan arrived early. We were SO excited to see them when we picked them up at the airport and just hugged them. We had made arrangements for them to stay at the same place as us so we had dinner together and enjoyed the evening together.

Finally we are here is Swaziland. After a nice meal and a group meeting we unpacked the team bags and now some people have wandered off to bed, some are packing activities for tomorrow, and some playing guitar. This is so cool to be here and experience this. We are excited and hopeful. We are also Thankful because we know that God will use this team from Riverwood to encourage all those children at the care points. But this is different for us. We have always been on very small missions teams or just the Jason and I. Now we are in a group of 24 so this will be a different experience. We are very thankful for Jon and Carolyn who are leading the group because we can now take a break from the planning and leading & just enjoy and minister.

Thanks again to all of you who read these blogs. We ask that you pray for us as a group, for protection, safety and for God to continue to use us as He sees fit. – Char


Here we are, finally. Char and Jason arrived from India, Kailey and I arrived last night after the direct flight from Atlanta and the rest of the team via Frankfurt. It was a great reunion to when our team could count from 1- 24 none stop.  It was even more official when I saw Steve coming down the escalator. BUT, it was really real when we went out and met Elliot and Sandile coming with the busses trailers in toe.  As we drove closer to Swaziland and crossed over the boarder I became even more excited to see the rest of the staff and rooms at Asante Guest House. It’s starting to feel like a second home.

The duffel bags are getting re-packed for tomorrow and a construction crew has been assembled but at this point we don’t know what we will be doing. After all, this is Africa. That’s all for tonight from me – Bryan

27 thoughts on “We made it!

  1. Great to hear that you all made it safe and sound 🙂 I wish you all the very best in this experience and we are all cheering for you!

  2. Yay!!! Been thinking about you and praying for you all day!! Many blessings all as you “hit the ground running” tomorrow!! Much love from us to you all! Many prayers always!

  3. To the newbies…soak it in and don’t be shy. When you are with the kids, if you can, get on your knees and play (you can pray too). You’ll be astonished at how much they love you and you love them. To all the non-newbies…….we are so glad that you are there and that this doesn’t get old for you. It’s all new again. All the best to all of you. God be with you.

  4. SOOOOOO excited for all of you!!! I can’t wait for James & I to be on the team someday! Praying for you all! Please give a big hug & hello to Elliott, and the D-Team girls!! (Ncobile, Hlobsile, Cynthia and Deli)!!
    Blessings!!! 🙂

  5. The offspring and I are so looking forward to following along with you all. We refreshed the link all afternoon to see when you got there. We’re all praying for the team (and especially you babe) a ton… This is where I might get sappy so I’m going to stop. Later all.

  6. Murray and Andrew – praying for you both! Hug tight those little children from all of Riverwooders! I just know you will both savour your time not only on a mission trip together but a father/son bonding time. Have a fantastic time and am looking forward to following the blog and seeing all the adventures.

  7. Happy you all made it. You look so happy Bonnie. We are praying and cheering for good things for you. Love Mother Marj and Dad.

  8. So glad to hear that you all arrived safely. I hope you’re able to rest well to be prepared for what’s in store tomorrow. Praying for you.

  9. so great to hear from you and that you arrived safe and sound. May the Lord give you the most amazing 2 weeks. looking forward to hearing from you each night. I send my love to all of you and to my wonderful son Jon. The kids and I had a great day. Sue

  10. Oh how exciting it must be to finally be there and to greet those precious children. Hug them tight and love them so much for they so need it and want it, I cannot wait to see the pictures tomorrow. Bonnie I have a question for you have you brushed your teeth today? I know that your day would not be complete if you did not brush them 3or4 times a day, you know you have to keep your dentist happy LOL! Praying for you all!

  11. Greetings to all of you! Praying for you as you venture into the field tomorrow to do God’s work with the communities and their precious children. Blessings to each of you! Looking forward to hearing from more of you!!! (PS Hi Christal and Sylvia!)

  12. Way to go team, you made it through the travelling and your first day! Soooo wish I was with you!

    Right now as you are sitting in the room in a big circle, drinking coffee, eating dairy milk mint chocolate bars, & should be exhausted, reading these posts, I hope you are feeling very blessed to be there! I can’t wait to see the pictures from your first day at Bhobokazi! I know how much I appreciate listening to the posts from back home.

    Carolyn, Jon & anyone else that has been sick, I hope you are feeling better.

    Just know that you are being prayed for and hoping you all have a goodnight sleep!
    Thx! Mary

  13. Praying for all of you! Excited to follow along and hear about your experiences! Special hi to Sylvia, thinking of you everyday and wishing you an amazing time on this incredible journey!

  14. So glad to hear you have all made it safely! Alli, Jordan & baby Penner I am praying for you! I seriously love these blog updates and can’t wait for the pics to come! Thinking of you all!

  15. Praying deep rest, encouragment for exhausted emotions and bodies, and health healing and protection for all of you! party hard with the kids eh? allow yourselves to elave a bit of your hearts and selves out there- thanks for being willing to do this as you are ministering deeply and connecting our church to that community!

  16. Glad to see you all made it. Looking forward to watching your journey. Hey Bon, never mind the teeth – what about the hair? (Lol) Luv u – take care and see you soon!

  17. Great to hear you arrived safely. Of course, I knew this as I watched you travel to Swaziland from Jo’burg thanks to Google Earth. It was easy to identify your van with Mandrew’s feet sticking out the window. Was that Murman driving?
    Anyway be blessed everyone and love to my “bestie”.
    Remember…”Live well, laugh often, love much”.
    These are truly life words!

  18. Cheering you on, and specifically praying for God to completely fill you up and equip you daily. that He would be the water to your souls, and that you would be His hands and feet.

    I’m really excited, and so looking forward to hearing the new team members’ reaction to church on Sunday. I wish I were there with you!

    Carly, Taryn was so encouraged by your message. We are praying for you, and celebrating this journey. Way to go! I pray that you and Ncumsile become heart friends. {{{HUG}}}

  19. Wow, Great pictures!
    Love the new play area! The colours really brighten it up. Now, if you can do something with the thistles under, that would be awesome!
    So Deb, how is it going? Having fun yet?
    Agnes, did you meet your special friend yet? She is a real cutie and I loved spending time with her last year. Please give her an extra hug from me (not that she would remember me lol).
    Bryan & Cheryl, I hope your ‘happy toes’ made it there! lol! and I hope they are still happy!
    To all of you… Take it all in! What an incredible experience for both the newbies and the returns.
    Continued prayers for safety, good health and good weather.
    Please give Sandi & Elliott a hug from me and tell Elliott that I am sorry that I am not there to be his co-pilot (shot-gun) this year so I will have to make up for it next year!
    thanks, mary

  20. Wonderful Pictures , Bonnie, Iam so excited for you to be with all of children and all the love and hugs that you give to them , cant wait to see pictures when you get home , I will continue to pray for great weather and good health for you and all of the team , Blessings to you ,

  21. Happy Birthday Kale! I didn’t want to post yesterday cause with the time change i thought you would be sleeping! ..
    Seeing the other side of TOMS would be amazing!! im sure you enjoyed seeing the “other half” of all your shoes. ha, cause you have aaalllllloooooottt of those! I hope the princess party goes prettly perfect! & hope they enjoy all the fun smelling lotion!
    hope i didn’t spell to much wrong in this memo!
    p.s i wanna see more picture of you in Africa, on your world changing trip! so start photo bombing!
    miss you, have a epic trip.. ride a elephant for me!
    with love Kris (cocoabeans, woop)

  22. Glad to hear that you all made it safely! We’ve been thinking and praying for you guys! Looking forward to seeing pictures and hearing stories of your time in Swaziland.

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