As expected, there was no shortage of hugs and smiles at Timbutini and Ntabas(Ruby’s) today! If anyone was anxious, the nerves quickly melted as arms and legs were full of children. When canvasing the grounds of Timbutini, there were countless children sitting in the dust with books in hand to laugh and giggle as our team members shared stories with the little ones or listened as a preschooler practiced his English lessons by counting the letters of a title on a book. There were team members that were throwing or kicking balls across the field, and layers upon layers of toddlers and babies on the laps of nearly every team member at some point in the day.
One of our favorite bits of news is quite a miracle. Just before lunch, we had a special visit from a WALKING…yes, WALKING miracle. If you remember, Thabiso, a regular attender of Timbutini, was struck by a vehicle as he was walking home in early-March. He should not of survived the accident, and when he did, we knew that God had spared his life. He should not of had much function of his body, but today, he walked up to each of us and threw his arms around the team! He will continue to work through some rehab to strengthen his body, but we all new that we were looking at the face of a modern day miracle! We are praising Him for his goodness in the life of this child and his mother!
Part of our team left Timbutini just after lunch to greet the children at Ntabas. How exciting it was to see the former of playground of Timbutini being erected at Ntabas! The children of Timbutini will be receiving another playground to support the large number of children that attend their care point, so the Ntabas children finally have a playground of their own to climb and explore each day. The men worked throughout the afternoon ,and the playground, although not finished, had enough structure completed that a sea of little brown faces flooded every inch of the playground.
Homestead visits were certainly another highlight of the afternoon. Gifts of maize, beans and other essentials were delivered with each group as they walked over the same thorn filled trails that the children travel each day to visit some of the homes of their special friends. A visit from a team member is certainly special for the children. We’re treated as royal guests and the caregivers are some the finest hostesses you will ever meet. The care point serves as a place of refuge and joy, so a glimpse into the regular lives of the children can be very eye opening. Emotions were running high as the reality of the lives of the faces we had kissed and loved today set in.
Our evening ended with dinner with Steve & Amy McAdams, Mark & Allison Clyburn, and Kriek & Jumbo. Each Tuesday, the team of missionaries will meet for fellowship, worship and prayer. We prayed for the nation of Swaziland, the fathers of Swaziland, the mothers and women of Swaziland and the children who live way beyond their years. So much has to be done here, but the reminder that everything that should be done comes after we have sat at the feet of the Father and prayed as intercessors for this nation believing in faith that He can transform a nation. One word comes to mind as we recall those moments with the Father….POWER!
Tomorrow, we return to Timbutini and Ntabas. We will taking the gifts of tshirts, underwear, Crocs and socks for the children. Please pray that we have plenty of time to size all of the children, that we have the sizes we need for each child, and that all of the kids can make it to the care point after school.
We’re hoping to post pictures in the morning!