Well I blogged twice today, but that is just because I only get internet maybe once a week. So be sure to read both, this one and the “God is good” blog. Well this is Africa. The snails are bigger than your feet and the moths are bigger than your hand. I now have scabies, have no idea what it is, but it is going away. But since that, I have also contracted Ringworm. That is not it, our water pump at the compound is broken, so no water for showers or clothers. No worries though, I have plenty of clothes, all 2 boxers and three shirts. That is alright we will surely survive. I hope to blog again before I leave. Till then here it is:

January 27, 2006

Well I must first apologize for not being consistent with my blogging. I really wish I could get to a computer more and have internet time, but then again, this is Africa and we are seriously out in the bush. I am going to try and put up two blogs today, so if you have the time make sure you read both of them. This blog I will mainly just try and update everyone with what is happening here and what we have been up to.

Since being here we have had many great conversations with Elizabeth which have been so good for continually formalizing many of the ideas I had before leaving. All of us have just fallen in love with Swaziland. For the most part, we all want to come back as soon as we can which will probably be sometime in August. Actually, Corey, my mom and I are going to go rent a car and spend the next few days driving around the country taking film and getting clips of peoples stories to try and capture just a bit of what is going on here. Then while we are in Prague we are going to edit it and get us a good working awareness movie. It will be great. It will just be so much fun driving around and filming everything. I can fully say that I have just fallen in love with this country. Upon getting home and even while I am here, we are working on setting up an organization and then register it as a charity. This will allow us to really further the projects that we are working on and hopefully raise high amounts of capital for what they are doing here. It is just amazing what they are doing, they are just so limited by lack of capital. This will take a lot of time, but is just the next logical step to get involved and be a part of what is happening here.

So the orphanage. I have never seen anything like these kids. They are priceless. Some of their stories are the most horrific things you could have ever imagined. Some of the them have been tied to beds and beaten till they passed out. Others have had over 8 family members die on their way to coming to the home. Yet still, some were left abandoned and for over a year they made it on their own eating weeds and frogs to survive. But they are all here now and are all part of a larger family. They are the cutest kids with the purest hearts. I love more than anything being with them when they praise and worship about twice a day and then one of the kids does a 20 minute teaching out of the scriptures, all on their own. Remember, most of them are around 10 years old. Just to see their faces while they praise the Lord is incredible. They are so joyful and so happy. They have so much life in them. Being with them while they worship really got me thinking about my relationship with God back home and how I serve and worship Him. It is just so neat to see how they don’t need any nice powerpoint’s or professional music and sound. I just think that so many times I really on how good the worship is or how good the music is in arousing my emotions and allow that to dictate or guide what I experience. It reminds me of the worship song that I believe it was Matt Redman who wrote – “I am coming back to the heart of Worhsip.” He wrote that song after he felt that the church he was with was getting too focused on all of the external things to lead them to God. So he got rid of everyone on the worship team and just had him and a piano. Ironically, from what I recall in the story, many left that church. But that went on for years, just him and a piano. But my whole point is that these children love and worship God with their whole hearts and they don’t have to have the perfect melodies and all the words scripted out for them. They don’t have to have the service all planned and nitted together. All they need a collection of voices of like minded individuals. That will satisfy them to praise the Lord. They have been doing this twice a day for years. You would have to see it to believe it and really experience it; my words are not enough. It has given me a new perspective on worship that is for sure. Their voices are just so beautiful.

The other thing that Corey and I will be working on is getting working on some agricultural projects for them. They have so much land here it is incredible. Corey and I took a walk through their property today and everywhere there were fruit trees going. They have Mango, Avocado, Lemon, Grapes, cabbage and many more. The soil is so lush and dark, just incredible. So we are going to be doing some soil testing tomorrow with a kit that Corey brought. Yea, just imagine me out there in the sun testing pH levels of soil and finding out what acidic levels are good for planting, yup, that is what is happening. We are going to map out the property and walk off distances and measurements for future reference. While we were out walking around the 57 acre property we, or Corey, climbed a mango tree and we picked so many of them. Actually I ate 4 and felt a little sick. You know what we will be eating the next time we are out in the back woods.

For me, here is how I feel. I am ready to commit the next few years of my life and free time to this organization and to what they are doing here. This country is dying. We were in the largest hospital in the country the other day and let me tell you what, it was beyond moving. I didn’t take any photos, because the little dignity they had, I wanted to preserve. They were all dying and you could just see it on their faces. These were only the people that could afford to be in the hospital. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like for those who are in the bush (80% of the country) and just die from AIDS out there. It was revolting, but yet so real. The statistics do no justice when you are confronted with the dark reality of this country’s future. So all that to say that I have become not only a believer, but an active participant in the model and vision that is happening with this group of people. These orphans are not orphans anymore, they are tomorrow’s leaders. I believe that and have seen that. I want to be a part of something that can say, we did it, we helped in getting Swaziland back to its dignity. I say all this so that those of you that have been considering coming back with me next summer or whenever, it is worth it and worthwhile. There are definitely ways to get involved, even with us back at home in Canada.

Even so, it has been hard and not easy. Africa is must different and moves at a much different pace than what I am used to. There are many frustrations that you feel while trying to get something done, just for the sake that there are more obstacles and problems that you encounter that you would never expect. It is frustrating, but that is just part of the reality on the ground here.

I love Africa and it is great to be here. Pray for us next week as we are trying around the countryside from village to village. Pray that we meet the right people and can fully experience not necessarily what we have for as an agenda, but rather what God has in store for us.