Hello family and friends of team Swazi!  I know you guys prey on the computer waiting for the next update about your kids so here you go.  Today is a beautiful day here and the team is out at an orphanage loving on kids.  It makes my heart smile to see them fully engaging with these kids and loving them out of the overflow of their hearts.  Later this week you’ll hear more stories on here from your kids, and tomorrow afternoon we’ll bring the entire team into town to email home.  I know you look forward to hearing from them.

One of the team’s favorite ministry locations is the homestead area located just behind our house.  Several times a week we spend the afternoon hours in this rural area. We can be found trekking up the dirt paths of the mountain leading to people’s homes, talking to people on the roadside, playing with children who always seem to find the visitors, yielding to the cows that roam freely, getting to know our new friends, and fully embracing the Swazi culture. God has simply dropped this ministry in our lap…it was such an unexpected surprise.  The team is engaging and investing in people – focusing on building relationships.  During this ministry we split into 3 groups and each group returns to their specific side of the mountain to visit with the same families several times a week.  It’s fun to watch these relationships develop and to talk about what we saw as we process at the end of the day. The students have started taking ownership in this ministry and we’ve heard on occasion references to their “Swazi family.” Praise God for him crossing our paths with these incredible people. 

One of the other ministries that has impacted our team greatly is the hospital. On Saturday we visited the government hospital in Mbabane and have gone back a few times since then to volunteer in the children’s ward.  The team has been completely wrecked by this!  The Lord has opened up a door for us to simply love on His children at the hospital, both the kids who have family and the abandoned children. I was specifically struck at one moment on Saturday afternoon. As we were all sitting in this back room holding the abandoned babies, all got quiet as if a wave of silence swept through the room. I looked around to see all of our students holding babies tight against their chests with tears in their eyes. It was at that point that the reality of this hit everyone in there.  Soon it was time to leave and we all reluctantly put the babies back in their cribs. As we walked out of the hospital in silence, everyone was inwardly processing in their own ways.  It was a tough thing. That night we had a great time of debriefing all of this and sharing our hearts.  We’re all wrecked for sure!  But the team is choosing to be vulnerable and real and to walk through hard things together. In this God is glorified!!