Heh world. Carolyn here….It was an amazing first day and a day of “firsts” for our team: from being offered a chicken to take home; to a disagreement between a mom & a vet regarding how to care for the wound of a child and whether alcohol in an open wound is a good idea; to leading the team on my own … no idea what happened to Jon…haven’t seen him all day … well….actually Jon left early to pick up some equipment for building the swings on the playground and it ended up taking all day with 14 stops to track down what was needed! This is sometimes the way in Swaziland….
We spent the day at Bhobokazi today. One brave woman on our team left early with ALL the guys to start on the work project for Bhobokazi – painting the playground and repairing windows in the structure. The rest of the team arrived later to begin a fun filled day of building relationships with the kids. From play-dough creations to painting pictures; card games to puzzles, parachute activities to soccer games – fun was had by child & teen alike. Lots of love was given & friendships built! It was SO great to meet our new Bhobokazi kids who were just sponsored a few weeks ago. I still stand in awe how 43 kids for our 2 CarePoints were sponsored within one weekend. We have one amazing church! Along with the fun and games, our team enjoyed the experience of singing with some of the best singers around. The children’s voices – overpowering us by far – singing in unison never ceases to amaze me! Our Bible Lesson today was about how God doesn’t look at someone’s outward appearance but at the heart – choosing the youngest of Jesse’s son’s – David to be King of Israel. As I reflect on that story, I think of how these kids – like the young David are at first overlooked, but that God sees something different. He sees the hearts of these children and He will do great thing in their lives. Riverwood, God is using you to play a part in the story of their lives. Thank-you!
We will leave you with of our team’s reflections and of course the photos of the day. Click on any of the circles below to see the full images 🙂 Off to sleep here!
It has only happened to me twice before to me in my life, the first was in Mexico as we crossed over the border and saw Casa Hogar for the first time. The second sitting on my surfboard just off the coast of England. And third was looking out on the landscape with many excited and loud kids behind me in Bobo. That feeling of surreal content. A big wow welled up inside of me and escaped from my lips. “I’m actually here”
Now it may not been the same wow that I had with my feet dangling in the ocean watching the sunset over the cliffs on top if my board but it was the same as the one I felt seeing Casa Hogar for the first time. All these months of prep and learning the language you get caught up in the team building, and making sure you’re making all the rights clicks and tones in your words. But now you’re here, the kids in the pictures are now climbing up your arms and bringing you Play-do pigs.
I’ve been dreaming of this trip since the day it was announced. Many things in my life have kept me from it but I made a promise to myself that I would make it this time, and I’m so glad I did. The kids are full of joy and excitement and it really does wear off on you! I had a little boy by the name of Samabele hanging off my arm all day….him & I became pals by the end. I have never been so exhausted, and I work in construction! These kids will run circles around you and then ask for more.
I’m so happy for being here and I give a shout out to all who are supporting me! I’ll update soon but know that God is here and he is living in these children, the Gogo’s, and the team from Hope chest! Loves and kisses back home! – Andrew
Today I was truly blessed big time! I had the opportunity to meet my special friend, Noxolo for the first time ever. She is so beautiful in person. Noxolo was shy and I think a little unsure at first. Charlene, J and I got to visit her home and meet her Gogo (Grandmother) who cares for her and her siblings. Her Gogo was so thankful for the bag of beans and cornmeal we brought her. We hugged and cried and cried and hugged like we were lifelong friends who hadn’t seen each other for years but it was the first time we met. Amazing how the Lord brought us together for such a special moment. I will never forget her sincere gratitude and I thank God for choosing me to deliver it. It took a long time to leave because we kept wanting one last hug…ok really this is the last hug…no just one more hug then we go…I’m so excited to see them all again at the Bhobokazi Family Day we will have for them at the Carepoint on Saturday. – Leigh
Hey everyone!! I am not sure where to begin, I am not sure I can summarize all that I am feeling, and experiencing on this trip. I am finding that all my senses are being stimulated constantly I don’t want to miss a thing, I want to soak in everything.
Today, was very special for me, and just thinking about it brings up powerful emotions. I was searching for my little girl today, and suddenly someone from my team called my name and said that our little “special friend” was at the care point. I ran over and knelt down to meet precious Temantfulini Mamba. I was so excited I actually scared her. Oooops!! She is the sweetest thing, and so very shy. I spent the rest of the day trying to win her confidence, and to hold back those emotions that threatened to surface and overflow. Not only did I meet Temantfulini, but I also visited her family at their homestead. It was a great honour and privilege, and I am so grateful for that opportunity. To top it off, I also met Mom and Dad’s (Karl and Rhoda’s), little boy Njabulo Magagula. What a beautiful experience, and the only thing that could possibly have made it better is if my Benny, and our BEAUTIFUL children could have experienced it with me, but that will be for another time. I am looking forward to so much more. Goodnight, and talk to you later. Much love – Ingrid
I was really blessed today with seeing my room-mate Carolin’s boy Tony and being able to connect with him. He is doing really well in school; his favorite subjects are math and science. He is also playing on a soccer team every weekend. It is so amazing when you can come and see and experience all the differences in these precious kids lives. Their hugs are so cool and the look in their eyes when they see and recognize you will forever stay in your hearts. Yes Carolin my teeth are clean as ever and also Corinne and my hair is always done neat and tidy. I spend a whole 2 minutes doing it. Father Charlie and Mother Marj I am very impressed that you 2 young ones are so hip doing the blog thing. Thanks for all your thoughts; love; prayers and blogs. Until next time. – Bonnie