Tuesday, May 19, 2009

An Awesome Day

Today has been an awesome day. It started with a buzz on my cell at 5:50 AM. A buzz is when someone calls and only lets it ring once as a signal of something which has hopefully been pre-defined. It’s the equivalent of the old American call collect and when the person answers and hears the operator they know you are home safe or to call you or whatever you managed to quickly say with the operator still on the line. Ah yes, those “good old days!” My dear, sweet Thini had messaged me last night to say that we needed to wrap a chain of prayer around my dear friend Laura in California who had just had surgery to remove infection from the wound from a surgery a few weeks ago. Thini said we had to pray at 6:00 AM for 5 days and that she would buzz me so we could all pray together. (I know that at least Thoko is also part of this chain.) It was such a sweet time with the Lord knowing I was praying with friends even though we were all in our separate houses. The fact that they are my Swazi sisters-in Christ made it even sweeter. It was awesome and left me lifting my voice in songs of praise and worship.

Then I went up to Lomngeletjane to work with the preschool children. They are the most precious little children. I love them all to death. The teacher helped me learn how to pronounce all of their names and gave me their birthdates. I am going to make little name tags for them to wear when I am there to help me learn their names and help them begin to recognize their own name in writing. I read them a very simple book on counting from one crawly caterpillar to ten tired tigers and another one on the ABC’s. They didn’t know much of what I was saying, but they do count in English and the ABC’s are the same although the combination of letters in Siswati words form completely different sounds from English. They picked up the concept of counting the objects in the picture on each page with me but the ABC’s was completely over their heads because they didn’t know what most of the items pictured were. I’m sure this was the first time the children had ever had a book read to them. We then sang some songs and then they worked on their daily assignment: to write their numbers from 1 to 10 whether or not they know how to write a zero and a 1. (They do this every day which drives me crazy.) The kids wrote on the individual chalk boards we got for them last year as part of a grant for teaching aids from USAID. I talked to the teacher about maybe arranging the kids at the tables so that those who are further ahead could sit together and those who need more help can sit together so we could give them different things to work on. She seemed to think that is a good idea.

When I was preparing to come to Swaziland, I thought I would be working with individual children. As it turned out, that was not God’s plan. However, I now feel that the Lord has given me permission to take some time away from the other projects to work a little with this group of children and that it is okay to work with these kids over kids at other schools. I don’t have a clue what I’ll do. I’ll make it up as I go along. Anything will be better than nothing. I hope to spend time with these children once or maybe twice a week when I don’t have teams here. I don’t have any grandiose plans or ideas about what fruit our time together will bear. I just pray that I can bring a little joy and excitement into their lives and let them know that they are all loved and cherished as precious children of God.

In the afternoon, I took Jeri and Gary Carson-Hull to Manzini with me as I ran a few errands including getting some of the tools that the team needs and construction materials that John needs to get ready to start digging the foundation for the teacher’s house at Lomngeletjane. I also took them to the grocery store. That’s always an interesting outing. They did well. Jeri and Gary are a couple from California who came to Swaziland last Friday to help me with teams and projects for the next couple of months. They leave the first week or so of September. As always things haven’t gone quite as planned in regards to their housing. However, we have a place for them now with a real good lead for them to housesit for an American missionary couple who will be in the States for the months of July and August. As always, through prayer, petition and with a bit of patience, all will be well.

No comments: