I’m in AFRICA!
I’m sitting here in my room with walls the color of Eggplant.(The color in the picture does not translate the TRUE purpleness.) I can only guess that the colors chosen for the dorms here were donated as they are not usual colors or maybe the hipster trends in America have closed my mind to such possibilities as someone actually walking up to a store counter and choosing such a thing. It’s not altogether unpleasant, maybe just not my choice. I do love the verse painted on the wall which is Philippians 4.
I AM rejoicing!
When we arrived in Manzini, Swaziland my heart had already begun to soar. I hadn’t felt the surge of realization prior when we arrived in South Africa. The airport there is quite elaborate and the city quite large. However, when we flew into Manzini, Swaziland, the feelings came. It is a tiny airport and the plane only three seats across. We gathered our luggage, which we had gone without the night before because we hadn’t realized it was checked all the way through even though we had a overnight stop in Johannesburg at a place called Bob’s Bunkhouse. Our room was nice enough. Apparently the actual “bunk” room wasn’t as great but we were rejoicing that all 7 of our bags were there waiting for us!
As we came out of the building we were only standing a brief moment when we saw the children. About 10 kids all sizes coming towards us with open arms. They all began to say “shalom” and hug us individually, and I cried. We headed the bus and loaded up, stood in a circle and prayed.
As we drove, there were sights of modern society; grocery stores and gas stations. There were signs of old traditions; women carrying things on their heads and women working in the garden with babies strapped to their backs.
When we arrived at the New Hope Centre we met even more children and the staff, with hugs all around.
I’m crying because it’s all so amazing. It’s so unreal. I’ve waited to be here for over 25 years. My heart is breaking and being rebuilt. The children are alone and some so damaged, yet have a loving family of people who have either been through the same things or have a heart so big and open to take them in and make a home. The healing can begin with a simple act of care and love.
I’ve only been here a mere 6 hours but can already sense some much is going to happen in the next 10 days. A dream is not only becoming real, but becoming bigger and growing into something more.
What, exactly, only God knows.
I promise I wasn’t a blubbering fool the entire time.
Part 2, coming soon…