Clothed with joy!

blogsat-41

Wow! What a day! We had an amazing time celebrating our Enaleni kids at the CarePoint Birthday Party! Music filled the air, smiles were seen on every face and laughter was heard around each corner as children jumped on the Jumping Castle, played musical chairs, decorated birthday cupcakes, painted picture frames, and played soccer. There were so many highlights today! Seeing the joy on the kid’s faces, waiting to blow out their birthday candle as our team sang “Happy Birthday” to them was such a delight! The performance by the “African Harmony” choir – made up of kids from a variety of the HopeChest CarePoints was phenomenal; their voices and harmony – outstanding! blogsat-25So many cheers rang out from the audience after each song that the leader of the choir declared that Enaleni should be voted – “The Best Audience of 2016!” After lunch the party atmosphere went up a notch when the kids started dancing to the music! (music louder than most of us are used to – definitely surpassing the appropriate decimeter levels!) It was so good to see them having fun especially after such recent heartache with the loss of one of their friends – S’petho! Psalm 30:11 says “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy”. This verse was illustrated for us today as we watched the kids dance, sing and embrace the joy at their CarePoint that has been marked by such sadness lately! God is comforting these children and we are grateful to witness this comfort, and the renewal of hope and joy in them! One teenager shared today how much he misses S’petho; that every time he looks at the empty desk behind him in the classroom he feels “sad and sore inside”. But in the pain he has found hope! blogsat-50He went on to tell me that on the day of S’petho’s burial he chose to be “born again”; that “God is now his father” and “God will be the one who will direct his life now”.  THANK YOU GOD! There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a life changed by Christ!
As the children left the CarePoint today clothed in their new t-shirts, carrying their Canadian umbrellas or wearing their Canadian hats, I couldn’t help but think about Psalm 30:11 again – “You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy”

Our hope and prayer is that along with this new item of clothing, a new joy would also come into each of their lives! As we lay our heads on our pillows tonight, grateful for another incredible day with the kids we have come to love so very much! – Carolyn

Team blogs & photo

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Oh what a splendid day. What an experience with our kids at the Enaleni Carepoint.  Celebrating their birthdays! There are many memories from today that I could write about but I am going to choose the most humbling of them all.

At about 11:30 a.m. I had been invited to sit with the Bomake (the Grandmothers of the CarePoint) for a good 30 minutes in their place of work and servant hood.  We got to talk about the differences of life here in Swaziland, and life back home in Winnipeg.

They were very, very interested in me being recently married back in August. They had lots of questions about my lovely wife Laura and our wedding.  We also had quite a laugh when I attempted to knit… I eventually got the hang of it.

I felt so encouraged by them; they were genuinely interested in what I had to say and who I am.  I respect these women far beyond my words can allow. They give all they have everyday and still find more ways to give with the power, grace, and love God bestows upon them. They are true and righteous examples of great faith in our modern world. – David

blogsat-31Today was a full day. Full of joy, celebration, activities and heat. I was overjoyed being able to share the day with my “Special Friend ” decorating a birthday cupcake and singing her happy birthday. It’s been five years since I last was here and she has grown into a lovely young lady full of hope. Her face lit up and a big smile when recognized me as did mine. It was a long exhausting day keeping up with the kids and I loved every minute of it. – Perry

5 thoughts on “Clothed with joy!

  1. Hi Team,
    Looks like you had an amazing day celebrating the Carepoint today. Those kids look so happy. Keep the pictures coming I pour over everyone of them. It is hard not to see “shootme” in any of them.i am dti struggling with that. But the smiles are soo wonderful to see. I can’t believe how big and grown up Busi looks. She really does looks happy.
    Thank you for doing this for our kids. I am so glad you are all there. Keep soaking every minute in.
    I have been praying for strength for you all. Enjoy church tomorrow. While I will not be dancing in the isles at Riverwood I will be dancing in my mind with you all in Swaziland.
    Till later
    Cheryl P
    PS Bryan make sure you put sun screen on! Love and miss you.

  2. Wow – the joy on those faces jumps right off your pictures and into our hearts on this side of the globe! Thank you Team, for being our arms of love, hands of service and voices of comfort.

  3. Hey Team! As i’m writing this, about to go to sleep, you’re in your last couple of hours of sleep before another very special day: Church Day!!! You need to know that i’m living vicariously through each of your stories and photos! Thanks for not only living the experience…but sharing it with each of us! When your ‘video-from-Swaziland’ hit the screen tonight we laughed…and cried! (OK! Maybe i was the only one crying. NO! Not some ugly cry…but i did have to wipe away the tears!) They were tears of utter joy and of being overwhelmed as the curtain was being pulled back for a short 3 1/2 minutes to reveal the powerful work God is doing through you! (OK! i’ll be honest…i was getting pretty choked up seeing my favourite person in the entire world on the screen! (NO JON!…i wasn’t referring to you! 🙂

    Tonight at church, Mark continued our ‘Art of Relationship’ series with Proverbs 11:25. i’ll paraphrase it: “Be generous and bless others, and you’ll be blessed right back! Water (refresh) other people’s lives and you’ll be watered (refreshed and made awesome)!” i can’t help but think each of you on SwaziTeam 2017 is in for a pile of blessing and refreshing. God is making you awesome because of your generosity!

    So…as you get ready for another few days at the Carepoints…love extravagantly! Play hard! Hug lots of kids! Point everyone you meet to Jesus! Watch one another’s backs! And keep passing on our love to all our Swazi friends!

    Cheering you on!

    – t

  4. Hey Team,
    I love the joy on the kids faces in all of the pictures…thank you for loving them and celebrating them all day long! Praying lots of prayers for energy for you all!

    David, I’m so proud of how you are opening your heart day in and day out and giving your all with the kids and staff at the care points! I love you lots! xoxo

    Laura

  5. I love love love the beautiful faces…. all are so precious in His sight!! Your faces and theirs!! We missed you this week-end but felt you were with us as we got to see you from Swazi! We are praying everyday for you as you give give give!! I love the care you’ve put into the birthday party celebrations (the cupcakes look so yummy and the table decorations look amazing!!)

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