Tuesday, August 21, 2007

August 11

As I mentioned in my previous note, on Sunday afternoon, 8/5 we went out to visit the site of one of the carepoints which I came to know from the pictures sent by Dennis Little. You have also seen them on the DVDs that were shown. This is the site is called Lomngeletjane (longkellejon) of a carepoint that is being held in what is the current church. On this site a bore hole has been drilled for water, the beginnings of a new church which will be a carepoint during the week is being started, and work will begin soon on a primary school. As you can see from the pictures, this is a very rural site and it was a very cold and windy afternoon on Sunday. A teacher was just hired and started on 8/6. I believe there will be 30+ kids starting school in the old building. None of them have ever attended school before. The ages range from age 6 to about 12. The teacher doesn't have any supplies and has to drive about 60 km to get to the school (via dirt roads and cows) each day. This is one site that has a lot of potential to help the community. It is a very beautiful setting and it was so exciting to see in person what I have only read about and seen pictures of.

Inside Lomngeletjane

Site of new Lomngeletjane School
On Monday, 8/6 Rev. Ngema drove us out to Ebholi Primary School in Big Bend. It is on the farthest east side of Swaziland; due east of Manzini. It is about an hour to an hour and a half away from St. Paul's in Manzini. There is only one road leading to Big Bend, part of which was paved. Big Bend is the site of one of the three sugar cane factories in Swaziland. Sugar cane is the prime export of Swaziland. Ebholi is a school mainly for the children who are not from families employed by the Sugar Cane factory and for the children of the workers in the sugar cane fields. This is the school where a boarding facility is being built because many children have to walk so far to come to school. The new showers, toilets and sleeping rooms are about 85-90% completed. Children are already staying here. They stay during the weekend as well, IF there is food for them to eat. If not, they send them home, even though there may not be food to eat at home. The consistency of food supplies is a real issue. There is also a government clinic on this site, however the government is moving it about 5 km away which is of a big concern to the families in the area as well as the school. A new kitchen will be built when possible--hopefully soon. The European Union has donated money to build a Home economics classroom which is also about 80 - 90% completed. Harriet, the head school master, was very glad to see us and to talk to someone about all of the needs. This school is of vital importance to the city and this part of Swaziland. It has a huge potential to serve a lot of needs, however, as with most things in Swaziland, on-going resources will be needed. Great things are being accomplished here thanks to the hard work and dedication of the people involved.

Obviously, these pictures and my note just scratch the surface of all we saw and experienced on the way and at these two sites. Work is being done in Swaziland. We also passed projects being funded by the World Food Bank and even World Vision. The cooperation between those two organizations and the Methodist church was a promising thing to see. In many cases, the Methodist church has been granted the land from the local chiefs (representatives of the King) and therefore the church is donating the land that WFB and WV can build a carepoint on and/or feed the children at. The people and children were all so very gracious and beautiful.

Please continue to pray for the people of Swaziland, especially the children and caregivers, and for those who are dedicated to improving the conditions in this country.
In Christ,
P.S I'm sorry, but I can't update the pictures to the blog at this point.

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