A Couple Reflections to Share

Bryan P – Wood, Wheels and Worth.
The other day was an interesting one to say the least. It started with day two of our picnic table build. I was given the task of completing a cut list to finish the remaining two tables. I was also assigned an apprentice who was in charge of the square and pencil. He was very serious about his task. As I measured each piece he would quickly come over and place the speed square on the plank and mark the line. Sometimes the square was not lined up so the line was not at 90 degrees to the plank. (time for a training talk) In case you snuck a peek at the pictures first I was holding his hands as we pushed the skillsaw down the line. I loved the look on his face as he looked up at me after the cut. We pushed hard to finish our cuts and soon we were done. It would have gone faster if the “board carrier” had been doing his job but he was busy listening to Harry (our project leader) tell stories of his adventure as a building skill trainer in Africa.

I went over to talk with Harry and we agreed that we could have finished all three tables in one day if we set our minds to it. But then we would have completely missed the point. We may be near the end of our careers (60+) but the young boys and men we are training are just at the beginning of theirs and soak up the guidance like dry sponges. It was fun to watch young men use power drills for the first time. They managed to finish the two remaining tables just in time for our Chicken Dust lunch.

Shift plans………

wheelchair-1For the last month I have been talking to Amy (staff in Swaziland). She has been attempting to meet the needs of children with disabilities. Unfortunately there is very little help available in Swaziland. Several years ago I lost a job of 21 years and was struggling to find my place in the world. Five months later I accepted a position at St. Amant in Winnipeg. It has been a wonderful change in direction for me and little did I know it would also train me to help Amy with some of the needs she has.

Back to today. We are driving off into the back trails to visit a young girl and her grandmother. The girl is confined to wheel chair or a thin mat on the floor. Her grandmother has the job of lifting her between the two. It’s a hard job to do when the person being lifted can’t help. Our mission was to see if we could do to help. At first the grand mother said she was afraid of me but with the help of our interpreter I assured her we were here to help. As of now we have a game plan and a pile of ideas. That a good place to start. – Bryan P

Kailey – Rollercoaster Ride Of Emotions and Health
day1-11My trip started with a missing bag… again! It was stuck in Amsterdam for a few days and received it yesterday. After picking 1 of the 4 pairs of shoes Jon and Elliot picked for me, I put my own shoes on. It felt so wonderful to have a pair that actually fit.

With having to eat gluten free, it is a lot easier out here then you would think it would be. Although I had let my guard down one morning… I ate a bread and egg casserole. EISH! With the anticipation of being ill for the next 3 days we prayed hard. It is now day 3 and I have very little symptoms. WAHOO! GOD IS GOOD!

Our first day at Enalani was bittersweet. I found our special friend Lethu, and connected with other friends as well. I couldn’t help but feel like someone was missing. Actually 2. My parents special friend Thobehlile, who ended up showing at the princess party today. I was great to see her and catch up with her. The second person that was missing was very dear to my heart. A boy who was one of my best friends, special to many people, sincere, kind, and a goof ball in so many ways. He had passed away before last years trip. I didn’t receive the same closure the last swaziteam had. It was a very hard day with many reminders of his absence.

The first day at Bhobokazi was Great. I found our other special friend Nonhle. She had a huge smile on her face once she realized we were here. It was a great moment when my sister’s special friend Philiswa came to find me. Every kid has grown so much in the last 2 years. It was nice to see how healthy they were looking. But I couldn’t help but feel that there was someone missing once again. Another friend was missing. She has just had a baby and has stopped coming to the carepoint. I talked to 2 of the siblings and am hoping she will come on our last day.

Both princess parties were so wonderful! I got to do what I do best… decorate cupcakes. I got to walk the beautiful girls through how to decorate cupcakes. It was so great seeing how creative they can be with the limited supplies they were given. They had so much fun, enjoyed being pampered and having all the attention on them. They were reminded that they truly are all Beautiful Princesses in Gods Kingdom!

It has been so great to be here with my husband (Jaret), seeing him with the kids has been so fun. I am pretty sure he has fallen in love with Swaziland. So much so that he even said he wouldn’t mind moving here. – Kailey

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16 thoughts on “A Couple Reflections to Share

  1. A bonus blog! Love it! And what would a bonus blog post be with our a bonus comment from your best friend Zach haha!

    Bryan! I love seeing you back in your element on the ground in our dear Enaleni and Bhobokazi! Glad to see that you’re reconnecting with all your dear friends and passing on some skills to them! No doubt those picnic tables will be well loved!

    Kailey! So glad to see that you are back in your second home! And with Jaret, getting to share that special place with him. I can only imagine the difficulty and visiting Enaleni and not seeing S’petho. But the love and affection we have for him lives on and we can only love more, play harder and goof off as he would have wanted for us to do. Praying for you as you process and adjust.

    Love you team!

    Zach

  2. Hey team – and Jaret and Kailey! So wonderful to read these updates each day – we are so excited when we see a new one has been posted. You are continually in our thought and prayers. It’s great to see you sharing God’s love a world away from home. (Although I’m not sure about that last line of Jaret wanting to move there!) 🙂 Take care and enjoy week 2! Love, Mom and Dad Enns

  3. I ove the idea of a princess party. The girls beamed like beacons with their new look and the love showed. What pretty dresses. And the cupcakes looked yummy. It was great to see the little guy learning the power tools. Next time you come he will be older and want to learn more. Now i see why jos loves to return to this mission and it was great that my sister brenda was able to come with him. God bless you all and have a great day

  4. Bryan, thanks again for sharing! I love your heart for the people of Swaziland, and it’s always so encouraging to see (or read about) how God is using you as his hands and feet there.

    Kailey, I’m so glad your bag did finally arrive and that you haven’t been terribly sick from that casserole. I’ve been thinking about you a lot this week and have enjoyed seeing pictures of you and Jaret with your special friends. I’m sorry to hear about the friends that are missing, and am praying that God will comfort you as you are reminded so strongly of S’petho.

    Jordan, I just want to use this extra post as an extra opportunity to say hello! I thought I’d have a harder time while you were gone, feeling really left out and missing my friends. But those feelings, while present, have been mostly buried under the overwhelming joy that I feel on your behalf and how proud I am of the excellent work that you are doing. The bonus pictures and FaceTime sure help too.
    I asked Russ last night if he wanted to say anything to you, and he said “Yeah”. Excitedly, I asked him what it was, and he replied: “I want to ask him for some money”.
    🤦🏻‍♀️ Soooo… he doesn’t get it yet, but we still have time.

    Love you!

  5. To Mommy, Joshee, and the team,

    Every day sounds like so much fun,(especially the part about decorating cupcakes). I think about you all everyday and now that you are doing such a great job!!! I love you Mommy and Joe my bro. Cant wait to see you. And I love you very very much.

    Love Gracie;)

  6. With each blog and each new story, so much pride and thankfulness wells up as i think of all of you! We were watching the over offering video in church today which Jon and Carolyn filmed out there, and the thought that was going through my mind was how incredible it is that this is not just a one off trip that you are all taking, but you are continuing to build relationships with our friends there! To all of you who this is your second, third or eighth time going, thank you for building such an amazing connection between Enaleni, Bhobokazi and Riverwood. Your consistency and passion is amazing! And to those of you that it is your first time, thank you for boldly taking the risk and continuing to show our friends how important they are to us! I am continually praying for you all! Keep the stories coming!

  7. Awesome job all around Team Swazi 2017. You are a God send indeed. See children’s eyes beaming with wonder awe and delight is worth every moment. Love it when a plan comes together. Be well.

  8. I am so glad to read each day how you are doing. Today I’m challenged and encouraged by what I’ve read.

    I often get distracted by what’s going on and grabbing my immediate attention here. It’s also frighteningly easy to spend an entire day online with nothing to show for it. That was the case a few days this week.

    Every time I get off the computer for a day, or even MOST of a day, I feel revived, alive and productive.

    Looking at the schedule you are keeping, and the vibrant activity God is doing through you. I’m challenged here at home to be IRL (In Real Life) more than URL. . . life, REAL life is happening all around me. I want to be available, and willing to be an active participant in God’s work.

    Sitting on the sidelines no longer satisfies.

  9. Thank you all for sharing your time, laughter and hard work with these precious kids. You are all making their time with you so special. We can see by the pictures the kids are loving the planned activities and personal times with each one of you. These times will be woven into the fabrick that is their lives, to creat lasting enrichment and memories. Continue your work knowing that so many people back here are in prayer for your success in caring for God’s children. Also know that prayer support is being sent for your well being while you are there and your return trip home.
    May God bless you all through your caring, pacience and kindnes.

  10. Hello Team!
    I have been enjoying each story and thought that you have all shared. As we pray for our special friend there, we are so grateful that our church is reflecting our Father’s heart in nurturing ongoing relationship. Thank you for pouring out His love. The beautiful thing about relationship is that it goes both ways and the stories reflect that they are also pouring into each of you.

    Jon, the pictures are always such an incredible thing to see and we so appreciate your efforts in posting those each day…the pictures alone tell such a story. Loved the guys soccer jerseys!

    Thank you for the privilege of being allowed into your journey and getting a glimpse of what you’re experiencing. We want to encourage you and let you know that you’re being thought of regularly. Praying.

    blessings,
    Rena

  11. Thanks for sharing Bryan and Kailey! I can’t wait to see what you come up with Bryan! And Kailey and Jaret- so thrilled to hear you are having a good time! Was the bread casserole at least worth it in tastiness? Too bad you didn’t accidentally cheat on a Twinkie or something lol. Anyways, don’t think too hard about moving half way around the world 🌎 😶 Praying you enjoy week two just as much!

  12. Dad! What a perfect fit for you! I have no doubt you will come up with a genius idea that will change the lives of this young girl and her grandmother.

  13. Hey all! Karl & I love reading these updates and seeing these beautiful pics!! I am reminded of what a friend said to me many years ago when speaking of being with others. As I read all your updates I remember my friend saying we need to more and more be people that say “TA DA you’re here!!…. Instead of TA DA I’m here!” ….. and that’s EXACTLY how I see you guys there!! You are pouring out the love of Christ on each one you encounter!! btw when I was trying to figure out how to spell “TA- DA” on google one of the the definitions said “to call attention to something remarkable!” …. wow that’s what each one of you is doing in Swazi! We love journeying with you all!! Continuing to pray for you every day with so much love!

  14. Dad, I’m so glad that you are finally doing what God (and myself) always knew you were meant for. I have watched your heart grow as I have shared my passion with you, of helping people with special needs over the last 17 years. I have always seen the creativity that God blessed you with, and hoped you would join me. I know the transition was hard, but I truly believe that this is your path. I hope as you learn more in your job here, you will be able to help more there. Love you, Mandy

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