It’s pretty late here in Swaziland and it has been a tiring few days on many bumpy dirt roads, so please forgive my disjointed writing. In fact, I think my brain will be a little scrambled for the next few weeks as there is so much to take in and process here.
In Yesterday, Ncobile, one of the local AIM (Adventures in Missions) staff, took us with her to the Ekudzeni Carepoint. Up until then, we had only ever spent time at Capital’s Carepoint, Mkhombokati.
Ekudzeni happens to partner with K2, another church in Salt Lake we happen to know well since Brandon and I went there during our dating years. While we didn’t recognize any of the kids, they had the same smiling faces and shy voices that whisper, “Sawubona” (Hello).
The SLA (Swazi Leadership Academy) student who teaches at Ekudzeni asked Brandon and I to give a short talk to the older boys and girls, respectively. We’ve now learned that these spontaneous requests are pretty much expected of missionaries and one day we may even be asked to give the sermon that day at church. I think I’m going to have to get over my aversion of public speaking… And fast!
Outside we noticed a little girl sitting and playing quietly. Above, you’ll see her stunning smile. What caught our eye that made Brandon whip out the camera, however, was her “toy” of choice. If you look closely, you can see she’s playing with nail strips.
The American inside me worries, “Tetanus!” But this small little girl so carefully held the raw metal by the sides and gingerly stacked the pieces one-by-one. Children even younger than her, only recently having mastering walking, can be seen treking (who knows how far) to carepoints by themselves using unmarked dirt trails. All these kids seem to learn the practical dangers of life so soon, yet they are still kids, joyfully playing and squealing when you pick them up or give them a tickle.
Considering moving to Swaziland next year is a big decision for us, but we are looking forward to what we can learn from the culture here and how we can help these wonderful kids.
August 17, 2014 at 2:03 PM Thank you so much for taking a few minutes out of your busy, busy schedule and when you are so tired, to let us know a little of what is happening there. And to share the smile of that adorable little girl! I’m sure the children are already winning your hearts and will be pulling you back there next year. I can’t believe you’ve been there so long, this week has flown by! What a circus at Bob and Mary’s, but oh what fun it all was. SO so glad you two could be there, I loved visiting and learning about what you will be doing. Having had that time together, you have been so much in my thoughts, and oh, how I am praying for all three of you! May God hold you up in the days just ahead, and especially give you strength, Melinda, for one does get more tired when they are pregnant. Though this was probably a good time to go because the last couple months will be even more tiring. God bless each of you with His strength, His wisdom, His patience, and His joy! Love, Aunt Anne
August 31, 2014 at 4:12 PM Love being included in your blog. Captivating smile. Kinda makes the bumpy ride worth it. Sounds like you will be like the Apostle Paul “instant in season” ready to share the reason for the joy within you.