Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Needs......

It is real easy to concentrate on the “what” of what we do versus the “why”. The why is infinitely more important. The why is why we are here in the first place. It’s easy to get lost in the details of the what. The why is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ, to give a generation hope where there is none. The what is a vehicle to do this. How can we share the gospel without meeting the physical needs of the children we hope to reach? The CarePoints provide the opportunity for these kids to see the love of Jesus in action: meals, pre-school, literacy, health, …...

It has been an eye-opener trying to get a handle on Swazi construction. Very reactionary. Trying to do real scheduling is proving to be almost impossible. Work depends upon volunteers from each community to contribute labor, actually finding the material to build the structures, and coordinating the builders and deliveries. Supplies, tools, and building material are stored at each site where “secure” storage can be found. This can be in someone’s homestead, store, or in some cases out in the open. Each community is tasked with providing security. Thievery is a constant problem. A chain link fence was even stolen after it had been installed to encircle the CarePoint at Ngwane Park to provide some security at the area. Construction at two of the CarePoints in Manzini was halted after critical material was stolen.

Teresa has started working with a volunteer nurse who visits the Kakhoza CarePoint once a week. She is also starting to help with an orphanage here in Mbabane that takes in abandoned babies from the government hospital. Today she is helping take the babies to have them tested for HIV, later teaching a class on puberty to the female camp councilors for the girls from the CarePoints at the upcoming youth camp (ages 12-16).

We have come across several special projects that we would like to tackle, but that would require special funding.

  • Right now, all the CarePoints are cooking over open fires. A volunteer lady at the Zakhele CarePoint actually caught on fire and had to be taken to the RFM hospital in Manzini for burns to her leg and thigh last week. We have also seen times where the wind was blowing so strong and continuously that the heat was literally blown out from under the cooking pots. Smoke under the cooking area is also a major problem. While cooking with wood probably can’t be eliminated, we have seen proper wood “stoves” for cooking that are constructed out of brick and mortar. The cooking pots are actually embedded in the stove and a proper chimney moves most of the smoke above the roof of the cooking area. The stove contains the fire and also helps conserve fire wood by burning more efficiently. There are a total of nine CarePoints that Children’s Cup is either responsible for or have a part in as the chief implementer of the program. We would like to be able to construct a wood “stove” at each site.
  • While the CarePoint structures provide rooms for pre-school and storage, the children who come daily to be fed have no place to sit and eat when it is raining. We would also like to be able to facilitate building a covered area next to each CarePoint that will provide some shelter form the elements.

If anyone is interested in helping with these projects, please let us know and we can work out the logistics (these would also be excellent projects for short term mission projects!).

All the kids are in school, adjusting well. We have not found the soccer playing opportunities that great yet, but are still looking. Have our cars and have been promised a very nice house to rent that will be available mid-December. We are settling in.

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