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23May

You Could Use a Hug…

“What’s the story?” 

This question has been running through my mind non-stop since we returned home. I have so many stories from our time in Swaziland. So many amazing things to share. I have already written two blog posts that will never see the light of day, because God has impressed on my heart to ask the question, “What’s the story?”

Not all stories must be told and others, well, they cannot be held back. They overflow like a fire hose filling a Dixie cup. Keeping them contained is just not possible. They must be told, because they must be heard, because God is in them and he is revealed in them and he is glorified in them. 

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22May

Me and My Shadow

The most important part of our trip is not planting in the garden, painting a home or digging the foundation for a new home, but the relationships that we make. Last year I had a shadow that constantly looked to me for a little attention whether it was playing with a ball or just wanting to be held. I know that the other boys teased him for wanting my attention as the teasing of children is understandable in any language, but he persisted in wanting my attention and I was more than pleased to be with him.

This year my shadow was a few inches taller and a year older. The first day I saw him I waved not knowing what his response would be. Would he run over and pick up were we left off a year ago or would he even remember me. He saw me wave, but being a young boy at that age where playing and being with your friends is the most important thing in the world, he turned away and continued playing with his friends. The next day I felt a little tug on my arm and my shadow was there with a group of friends. He gave me a wave as he and his friends ran off to play and I smiled and waved back.

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17May

We Give and Take Away: Day Four

First, we gave. On the hottest day yet, the whole team trotted down the dusty, dirt road to Mage Shongwe’s homestead. Four of her children are Mkhombokati regulars. They live in a round home made of mud and sticks with a thatched roof that is sinking in on itself. Because of the generosity of the Capital community, she is getting a new home and today it was time to sort the precious cinder blocks that will become beautiful, solid walls. Our job was simple — move them to where they were needed to go. Read More »

17May

Sunsets in Swazi

May 16, 2014Today was our last “work day” at the care point and the reality that our trip is on the downhill side of things started to set in. I knew it would be life changing, but I had no idea the impact these kids would have on me… and hopefully… me on them.Every morning, I have looked forward to greeting the bomake, who make fun of my broken Siswati. However, each bomake is filled with so much love, I am slowly learning how to greet someone in Siswati and they fill my heart for the kids every morning. I have enjoyed walking around the care point and standing in awe of the beauty and peace of this place. The views are absolutely amazing and this is truly God’s country. Read More »

16May

Another Busy Day

Team Update for May 16, 2014

Today was another fun-filled day! Lots of work and lots of happy faces at Mkombokati.  We started out the day with a talk about the sports ministry at the carepoint.  Wonderful work is going there and we all had a chance to buy t-shirts to help fund raise for a satellite dish and large screen television to older teens to the carepoint to watch the games. This project met its financial demand and we may even get to see it installed before we leave!

The big focus of our physical projects today was helping move 200 cinder blocks around the foundation trench for Make Shongwe’s new house.  We passed the blocks down the line one at a time until we finished.  Then, several of us helped fill some large tanks of water for mixing the foundation concrete by hauling five-gallon buckets one at a time from the water source. It was a heavy job, but it got done…in pretty hot weather.  it was about 85 today–10 degrees hotter than the previous few days.

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15May

To This One, It Matters

May 15, 2014

When we first arrived at Mkhombokati I began to wonder whether our work here is helpful. There are so many people living in poverty here, and the children came to play and get food from the bomake before us. Over the next couple of days I was reminded of a story a friend of mine told me once about a man who, walking along the seashore at low tide one evening, began to throw starfish dying on the shore back into the sea. Read More »

14May

Full Circle

May 13, 2014
Hello from Swaziland. Today was our first day at the care point and it was great to see so many familiar faces, kids and staff members. It was also great to see the bomake again. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the care point, the bomake are a group of five ladies that cook a meal for the kids each day.
At the end of each day, a few team members try to leave the care point and go on a home visit. This isan amazing opportunity for a group of 3-4 team members and a Swazi staff member go to the homes of some of the kids. These visits help team members see where the kids live as well as whom they live with. During this time we are able to talk and pray with the family and gain a better understanding of what the kids do on a normal day. Last year I was lucky enough to go on a home visit to Make Shongwe’s house. It was great to be able to talk to her and pray over her family.

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