As we come out of Autumn and into Winter it is now very cold! 0-4 degrees at night and there have been frosts. We have also had some very large hailstones which have dented cars. Some the size of fists!!
King Mswati 3rd recently celebrated his 50th Birthday and 50 years of independence. In recognition of this he renamed the country eSwatini. It literally translates as the land of the Swazi’s so not too much difference there. We wondered if all the companies with Swaziland in their names would need to change too but it seems not! There were many celebrations in the country.
We were able to watch the Royal Wedding at our friends’ Liz and Brad Walkers house. We dressed up in red, white and blue and waved flags and masks. It was great to share the day through the tv.
Dean and his carpentry friend Harry have been working on a very large jungle gym at Miriam’s school for 2 months. This was a combination of ministry in giving of time and ability to the school expansion programme and of training. Here are some photos!
4 older youth from the Remar orphan project assisted in the project and learned many skills. The money given, is going to be used to equip them with tools in their own carpenters shop. They will be making beehives to sell.
For many children who have not been able to complete schooling for one reason or another, learning a trade is a lifeline.
In Swazi culture, showing public enthusiasm for anything is not common but these guys could not hide their smiles at what had been achieved. We look forward to the open day on June 16th when they have been invited to attend and be thanked.
It has been a month of entry and exit, it is that time of the year. There were 4 families to say goodbye too and one to welcome. Helping people prepare to go both practically and emotionally is a real part of life here:
The Bible talks about leaving well, as in not leaving anything undone you should have done or leaving relationships broken. It is always a challenge to say goodbye. We have helped pack, built packing crates, watched children, helped sell things and generally provided coffee, cake and tissues.
Here’s a photo of one of the packing crates we built:
This next week there is a container to assist with packing.
Thankfully we have done that before so have some idea!! The new family arrived with little idea of what to expect, so it has been fun to assist them in finding their way around, help them to settle and feel at home. There are 4 children so Miriam is happy!
The Health Team is undergoing a huge change as Head Nurse Clair has returned to the Uk after 5 years here. A great loss to the team. We had a farewell at Mkhaya game park and saw the rhinos.
(Lynn and Clair)
The rural health clinics continue and see anywhere between 80 -150 people a day. The clinics are 2-3 hours away and so when the weather is unpredictable we can get stuck as recently happened. The van slid into the mud and it took us a very long time to get out! Mud is good for the skin eh!
Food collection and distribution continues, to ABC ministry, to Remar project and to others who need it. Some weeks there are 50-100 crates to sort and deliver. We are thankful for the flexibility of our car, mostly it all fits in but occasionally Dean has to walk home!
On a personal note we have celebrated Miriam’s 6th Birthday with a Rapunzel party (see the photo below) and our 10th wedding anniversary with a hot chocolate out, too cold for anything else!!!
And here we are on our 10th wedding anniversary!
As we look toward September we feel it’s time to be home for a while, we have been here three years now. We have applied and been accepted for a short course at All Nations Christian College in Ware, Herts. It is a 3 month course for those already working overseas or those wanting to go.
After discussion with our church in the UK they agree it is the right decision giving time to reflect on what we are doing, consider what the future holds and help us to learn how to do things better.
If this is something you could support us in, please contact us. There is a considerable cost for tuition, accommodation and flights home. We also have to maintain our current home rent and find a dog sitter. Many logistics to consider, not least of all a UK school for Miri for a season. Please join with us in praying about this.
As ever we are thankful to God for sustaining us and to you all for your support, encouragement and interest.
See you soon!
With our love