Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Wednesday morning dawned cold and rainy for Team 2. We began with a devotion introduced by Mike Ikeler and given by Robin Cox. Mike introduced the following thought into our day: “Are you willing to be open to God’s will for your life?” Perhaps that is a question to ponder on both sides of the ocean. Among several points, Robin connected her own birthday (today!) with the marvel of God knowing His plans for us from before our birth.
Our drive to Swaziland was a good trip, despite the rain, fog, and left-sided driving that left us a bit unsure of the passing landscape. We stopped about half-way to eat. Up until this point, the team had remarked several times upon the similarity of the area with the USA. However, we were indeed no longer in America . This fact was clearly evident, as outside of this rather typical looking gas station/restaurant, a posted guard stood, complete with a masked face and an AK47 – not Kansas anymore, and definitely not Georgia.
Our border crossing into Swaziland went smoothly. Our van was opened at one point and a guard peered in only to see Harmless Baptists Folk, so he was satisfied and we passed through.
Upon arriving at Emafini, we received a taste of Heaven, as our small bus was greeted by both delighted, familiar faces and beaming, new ones. Hugs and hand shakes were all around.
Our hotel is just as it appeared on the internet, only perhaps even more delightful. Sweet and clean rooms, beautiful views, and a pleasant staff – need we say more?
This afternoon, we met with Robin, Kriek (Jumbo’s wife), Allison, and Mark (the missionary couple from AL) to get a needed run-down of do’s, don’ts, schedules, etc.
During the meeting, we had the opportunity to listen to a few brief observations made by Scott Hall (who also has a birthday today!). The thoughts that came from Scott’s words are worth repeating. There are changes taking place at these carepoints – changes that are God-ordained and God-blessed; changes that many of you, reading this blog, have helped with. For example, over the years that WBC has been active with this carepoint, there is a visible difference in the appearances of these children . The pictures of today’s children are drastically different from pictures of children from a few years ago. Their bellies are no longer swollen from hunger, their cheeks are no longer sunken. Rather, there are smiles and chubby cheeks all around.
But that change is not just in their physical appearance. God has moved in their character. Scott told of a day when upon opening a bag of candy, the bag “exploded” and candy flew everywhere. As one can only imagine, the mob of undisciplined children went wild and a mad scramble ensued as children gathered as much candy as they possibly could. Gold Rush 2011. While Scott was deciding how best to handle the situation, his 12 year old daughter, Madison Hall, simply held out her hands and said (loudly, one presumes), “NO. Give them back.” And with that: Every. Single. Child. walked up and gave back the candy. (It was later given out in a more orderly fashion)
That’s character. That’s ch-ch-ch changes. That’s what it’s all about –God’s changing some things in them…..and in us, too.

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