It has been a few months since we sent an update. That means we need your prayers even more as we have all been exceptionally busy (overwhelmed sometimes?).
This past month ended on a very tumultuous note. A dear, sweet, Godly mother of three passed away after a very short illness. We had both worked with her while we were a part of Children’s Cup. Gugu Dlamini was one of the most vibrant, alive, joyous people we knew. She was a very dedicated mother. When we moved last year, we had given her two of our dogs. Her kids were overjoyed to have them as pets. We will miss her infectious laugh and quick smile. We know the staff at Children’s Cup will miss her tremendously as well. She was a special lady. We are in the process of setting up a memorial fund for her three daughters to help cover university tuition after they complete high shool.
This month started with Daran beginning a new term at the Lighthouse Ministry Training Institute, teaching Money Matters: God’s Answer to Poverty to the newest class. Unexpectedly, there were about six students re-attending the class from the previous terms (which means it was either very good or they are really boredJ). The glass etching is still being used as an integral part of the Life Skills Training. We are hoping to move the glass kiln to the site next month to start experimenting with slumping glass.
We welcome the addition of Ian and Jenn Stephens to work with us in Tambankulu and CHIPS (Children’s HIV Intervention Programme in Swaziland). Ian and Jenn are here serving under TEAM. They have been in Swaziland for a number of years and specifically moved to Tambankulu to assist us with CHIPS. We are thankful for their commitment and confidence in the programme.
Teresa is currently serving as the Executive Director of the Swaziland Breast Cancer Network. Please pray for her as she strives to walk the line between pushing for progress on providing cancer diagnoses and treatment here and not offending the powers that be in government (that neither move very quickly or have the same priorities) by pushing for progress on the new cervical clinic that the Network has the funds to build, but can’t seem to get permission from the government to move ahead with the construction. Equipment for diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer has been provided by WHO. Training is being funded by UNFPA, but nothing can move forward until approval is given. Women are dying every day from cervical cancer here in Swaziland, unnecessarily. It is extremely frustrating to know that many lives can be saved, but not be able to do anything about it!
All the kids are back in school beginning the second term. Gabby just finished a 4000 word paper that is a huge part of her grade for this year. She has been working hard, and is now looking at a few Universities in the states that she will apply to. We are praying that she can get a good scholarship. Danielle is also doing well in school. She plays the keyboard for church and is becoming more and more confident. Nathan is excelling academically, and he is also playing the bass and electric guitar at church. Joelle is very busy with sports and activities, as well as academics. She is playing field hockey, netball, swimming, tennis, cross country, judo, and gymnastics. She is also in the school choir and has a lovely voice. They are all getting so big, It’s hard to believe it sometimes! We are very blessed!