27 July 2013


Day 4 -- Wednesday, 3 July 2013 -- PART ONE:

See that view?  That's what I woke up to my first morning in Mbabane, Swaziland!  It was late when we arrived at Redberry Inn last night, so we couldn't see the setting, and we were so tired, we wouldn't have cared anyway.  Waking up to this, however, was simply breathtaking!  There are mountains for miles and miles... These pictures don't begin to show the extraordinary beauty of Swaziland.  In many ways, it reminded me of Hawaii...


Redberry Inn was SO nice and very clean and cozy, but on our first morning there, we were reminded -- once again -- that it is winter here.  Brrrr!  Nothing like a cold blast of air to wake you up each morning!


We enjoyed a wonderful breakfast before heading out to start our day.  First stop was a Staff Development Training at Pastors Adam's and Kim's house where we got to meet key members of the HPC Swazi team.  Then, we were off to Healing Place Church Swazi campus!

It was interesting to see the capital of Swaziland, busy and bustling under the dawn of a weekday.  The outdoor markets were already bustling and there were people walking everywhere.  The Church is located in the heart of the city, right in the center of everything, which is great for outreach to the community...

                 

We weren't at the church long before we loaded up again to go to Mangwaneni.  This is a Care Point, started by Children's Cup, which works with the local community to provide free education and food to the children of that area.  I had heard about the Care Points for years, but was completely unprepared for the amazing experience which awaited me...
My first impression was amazement at the majestic view which lay before me.  I could hardly take my eyes off the sweeping mountains and valleys, curving gracefully into infinity.  And then I saw the children.




They were SO precious!  These sweet babies... only between 4-7 years old, greeted our team of strange faces with beautiful songs and bashful smiles.  My heart melted as I looked into the eyes of these innocent faces and listened to their beautiful voices praising God...


video

Our team spent the rest of the morning with the children of Mangwaneni -- learning a lesson about the power of the tongue, playing games, and doing a puppet craft for them to take home.  As a special treat, the kids were given boxed lunches from Hungry Lion.  Each box contained 2 pieces of chicken, french fries (chips), and came with a cold drink.  Knowing that many of these children come from impoverished homes, we were surprised to see they were not eating!  Most of the children took one or two bites of food, then closed their box and held it on their laps.  We inquired about why they were not eating and were told that they were saving the food to take home and share with their families.  It was all I could do to not break down, sobbing, right then and there.  These precious children -- so very young -- were already deeply aware of the ravaging effects of hunger and true lack.  The decision to set their own hunger aside and choose selflessly for their families' welfare was a sobering reality check for these spoiled Americans.  It would be only the first of many lessons I learned while in Africa...



 

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