Friday, September 15, 2006

One Year Anniversary

It was one year ago today that we started our journey here to Swaziland. (Of course the preparation started way before that.) It is humbling to look back and see where we started to where we are now. I don’t think anyone in our family could imagine where we are now versus when we first arrived here. Stepping into a culture that is soooo totally different from what we were used to. I would never make it out like we have “arrived” and are at home or even comfortable here. There are countless reminders every day that this is not our home. Abraham (Hebrews 11:8-10) comes to mind: a stranger in a foreign land; and like Abraham we also look to our permanent home.

I can remember going into the Spar (supermarket) or CashBuild (Swazi Home Depot) and being so intimidated by everything. Now it’s no big deal. Police roadblocks don’t bother me as much as they irritate me now.

So what have we accomplished in the past year? Teresa has been making weekly visits to the CarePoints to provide basic health care. We’ve taken responsibility for the CarePoints at Makholweni and Madonsa: meeting with the cooks, teachers, and Bible Club teachers to make sure the goals Children’s Cup has set for each area: food, health care, Bible Clubs, informal schooling, and anything else that you can think of. Trying to get each group or individual to work together to meet the needs of the children. And I’ve been the front man for Children’s Cup construction. Now trying to coordinate at two different sites all the material and workers. Doesn’t seem like much when you put it down like that. But I was driving home from Makholweni this evening and all the kids at the CarePoint and all the kids along the road that had already left were laughing, shouting and waving “Bye Bye”, “Bye malungu (white man)”, “Hello how are you”, “I’m fine, how are you”……. Smiling happy kids. Who had a good meal and learned about Jesus. That says a whole lot more than trying to describe what we’ve been “doing” and says a lot about what has been accomplished: by God’s grace only.

I look at the transition our kids have made and am so proud. They were literally thrown into a new environment: new schools, new friends, and new soccer teams. Like us: new everything. They have done exceptionally well. All are doing well in school, if not excelling at a curriculum (if I can say it) is harder than what they had in the States. They’ve started Bible studies, led other students to Christ, and been lights to their campuses. We couldn’t be more proud of them and their witness here.

So where do we go from here? While we are looking forward to visiting family and friends in December, our hearts are set on continuing the work here: to reach more kids and to be there as they grow: to see them reach maturity in Jesus: which is their (and this countries) only hope.

A special thanks to all our friends and family for you prayers and support. We couldn’t have done any of this with out you. We pray God’s richest blessings on each and everyone of you. You share in each victory and blessing here.

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