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Hands and Feet-Carnival and Learning to Love

Carnival – and learning to love.

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Black and yellow, red and white
They're all precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world
All around the world tonight
His children rest assured
That He will watch and He will keep us
Safe and secure

It is now Saturday, August 4. Meaning it's..

Day 3.
We awoke to the beautiful African sunlight streaming in our window, after the best night sleep I've ever gotten.
We got out of our cozy sleeping bags, eager to see exactly where we were. When we arrived the previous night it was dark outside, so it was hard to take in our surroundings.
In Swaziland, right now, it is winter time. It gets pitch black dark by 6pm and the temperature drops from about 70-80 degrees to the 40's. It was a welcome change from the blazing North Carolina heat and it was the perfect weather for a week of outdoor activity.
Our morning consisted of a simple and satisfying breakfast of muffins and cereal, and our first morning debrief. One of our awesome leaders, Bill Britton, spoke about our upcoming week, things we might incounter, and gave us a few objectives.

That afternoon we were throwing a "carnival" for the kids at the Bhalekane Care Point. A Care Point is a place for impoverished children to come for a safe place to play, discipleship, and one meal a day. We wanted to give these children a reason to smile!

We were all assigned to certain "stations" (ie. face painting, nail polish, parachute, jumpy house, and bracelet making) and got down to work organizing our supplies.

On the drive to Bhalekane the nerves started to set it. What was I going to say to these children? I've never even spent that much time with children and now I was going to be mobbed by kids that spoke a different language and were covered in who-knows-what.

Bhalekane Care Point

When we drove through the gate we were met by the most precious 350 kids I've ever seen. It took all of about 2 minutes for the children to warm up to us and for the next 3 hours we were connected to at least 5 kids at all times. It was wonderful!

I was working in the friendship bracelet station. We could not make the bracelets fast enough! Not to mention, we were having the kiddos help us make them, which was humorous because they had no idea what we were instructing them to do. But, at the end of the day, they were beyond thrilled to be wearing matching bracelets!


friends forever!
Joseph was working the jumpy castle. He would time how long the kids were on and let them know when there time was up.

Joseph made a very sweet friend. I believe his name is Mazule. He absolutely adored Joseph and was glued to his hip from the time we arrived until the time we left. At one point he decided to use green nail polish to paint a goatee on his face to match Josephs.  ADORABLE!

I made some very precious friends that day.  This sweet girl, her name is Thandalueto, clung to my side the entire afternoon.  She tried to teach me how to play a few of her favorite games, which I failed at miserably, and later asked me tell her about God.  I have never been point-blank asked to tell someone about God.  Oddly enough, it took me a bit off guard.  I asked her if she had any questions and when she couldn't think of any, we shared our favorite scriptures with eachother.  We were able to discuss them and I was able to express my love for Jesus with her.  I quickly learned to be prepared for anything, and when you aren't, to pray.
I realized that day, that in the past I haven't wanted to invest in deep conversations or relationships.  I never wanted to sacrafice too much of myself.   I found at the beginning of the afternoon I just wanted to skim over each child.  I wanted to snuggle each one of them and talk a little, but I didn't want to be tied down to just one.  I didn't want to allow myself to truly love them.  I didn't know how to love them adequately and I knew I would only be there a short time.
However, Thandalueto stole my heart and we became fast friends.  She had my attention and though we only got to spend that one day together, I will never forget her and I will always love her.
Jesus calls us to love and to love as He did (and does).  Throughout the week He taught me just what that means.  He ripped my heart away from me and gave it away to many little children, and I'm pretty sure I'm never getting it back.
The Lord showed up on day one of ministry and He was only getting started with me.
Later in the afternoon the children blessed us with their incredible voices.  It was surreal to stand in the presence of these adorable African children and listen them sing.  I really think they were born with the natural ability to harmonize!   God has surely given them a gift!  Listen to them below:

All in all, the day was the perfect way to start our week of ministry in Swaziland!  Tomorrow – SAFARI!
pure joy!

It blesses me to see my husband with this little guy!