In less than one week, we will be leaving for Swaziland, Africa. I have missed that country so bad over the last 2.5 years and have yearned to be back there serving the precious little children who are struggling to survive there.
Today, I've really been hit hard with pre-trip jitters and I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed by all I have left to do before I leave. But I've been talking to fellow team members tonight over the phone about the trip and the kids then I got on facebook and started looking through photos from others who have served in Swaziland and the jitters have started to flee.
I am still keenly aware of all I need to do, but seeing those beautiful faces and sharing with the Beveni members got my eyes back on what was truly important here and why I want to be there in the first place. Below is a blog post from, Mary Grace, one of the Adventures in Missions Swaziland interns. It does a good job of giving, in just a few paragraphs, a glimpse into what life is like for so many of the Swazi children and why I am compelled to go!
This week I have been continuing to work on the profiles for kids at 2 carepoints. These children are such a blessing. Updating the profiles gives a chance to ask all sorts of questions that I probably would not normally jump to. I ask the kids about their family and who takes care of them. Some have both parents; many have just one and a few do not have either. These kids live with a grandmother, aunt or older sister. We talk about their parents jobs, some work some cannot find work. Many work in the sugar cane or citrus fields or are Soldiers while many others are unemployed. I do love to hear about their families, which is usually a conversation between myself, Nombali (my ministry partner) and one of the Gogo’s at the carepoint.
I also love it when I get to ask the children about themselves. “What is your favorite color?” “What is your favorite food?” “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Last I ask them my new favorite question “If you had 1 wish what would it be?” I never know what I am going to get with this question. Sometimes the Gogo will get impatient and throw out suggestions for the kids but many times I just get a pure desire.
A few days ago after a 4-year-old boy told me his favorite food was rice, when asked what his one wish would be he immediately said “yogurt”! Many girls wish for dolls but one 5-year-old girl wished to one day have kids. The most common response has to do with either wishing to go to school or finish school.
The one response that caught me off guard the most was from a 5-year-old boy who told me he wished to grow up. How do you even begin to respond to that?
I praise the Lord because he knows every desire of these children. I feel so blessed to be able to get a glimpse of what God sees in them. They are truly precious. I pray innocents, protection and blessings over these children.
I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth! He will not let you stumble and fall; the one who watches over you will not sleep. Indeed the one who watches over Israel never tires and never sleeps. The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not hurt you by day nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all evil and preserves your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. Psalm 121
To read more about the work of Adventures in Missions in Swaziland, visit their website: http://www.adventures.org/a/centers/swaziland/