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May 2017 Day One

After traveling almost 30 hours, we arrived in Swaziland this afternoon. We loaded our car full of emergency meal packs for our orphan-headed homes, and hurried to eLangeni community. We brought a 500 piece puzzle, an UNO deck of cards, some snacks and an eager anticipation to meet the amazing children I am endlessly boasting about. After what felt like the longest journey, we were soon surrounded by some of my favorite smiles in the world, and suddenly felt like we had been here all along. Mazwi (13) told us stories of how he now wants to be a corrections officer (his dreams have changed from a bus driver, to a banker, and now this...), Philo (sophomore in HS) talked about how she has changed her future dreams to become maybe a doctor, nurse, or dentist (it used to always be a police officer) and Bongani (sophomore in HS) reminded us that his dreams are still firmly planted in the world of IT, computer science. The kids taught us SiSwati, played games, and shared their stories. Sooner than I'd hoped, it was time to go. On the way home Philo mentioned that she sold my used clothes I'd left with her in March for R350 ($30). She'd kept $10 for emergencies for her and Mazwi (the 13 year old brother she cares for) and spent the other $20 on an Easter Church Camp she attended with Mazwi last month. Tiffany left them with two huge bags of candy to sell so they can continue their business. :)

We then dropped Bongani off where he stays in his church. This amazingly sweet hardworking friend has been tossed from homestead to homestead and finally had no where to turn. I had received a WhatsApp message a few months SOS...saying that he was homeless. The woman who had been "caring" for him was taking his food, his clothes, and his belongings. He was homeless. Then the Pastor at his church took him in and he is thriving there. Tonight Bongani asked us to meet his "parents" of 3 months (the Pastor and his wife), and it was such a humbling experience. The pastor explained to us that he has two boys who are friends with Bongani and the sons kept asking if their friend (Bongani) could stay the night. After many nights, he assumed this friend had no where to go and talked to him about his situation. Soon after meeting Bongani, he agreed to take him in as one of his own. As I was speaking to this amazing man who described his own childhood as one of 8 children whom his single mom struggled to care for and how he is thrilled to help Bongani reach his full potential all while continuously thanking us for "taking Bongani in"... I smiled and thanked HIM for actually taking Bongani in, under his roof, sharing his food and resources, and helping him reach his full potential. Bongani will finish high school in 2 years. I spoke to him tonight about WHERE he will be going to college and not IF he will be going to college. Nothing but the best future for our awe-inspiring children. Please pray that Bongani can continue to stay in this positive environment throughout his high school education... No more SOS messages from this sweet boy.

Shout out to Beth's 3 kiddos... she misses you so much! Goodnight for now, more tomorrow!

1 comment:

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