Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh, the places you'll go...

Good Morning/Afternoon from Swaziland, Africa via Diane... :D Technology seems to be a bit of an issue for the team so the blogs are going to be a little slow in coming - but the guys thank you for your prayers and for continuing to check on them!

Okay, what have they been doing? well mostly creating relationships with some wonderful people. They spent their day within the Central Circuit this day heading to the far eastern part of Swaziland to the beautiful town of Siteki - this is near the Mozambique border. They visited with Reverend France. He has a church without water. They are a large congregation and it was very impressive because they are very industrious people with vision for their country. The women are making hand cream by hand. They produce their handcream from the flesh of an indigineous plant called sisal. They are a small business that sells this handcream. They also teach how to plant crops and maintain gardens and are outreaching to the orphans in their area.

After they left Siteki they made their way to Khalkhali located up on a high ridge line - Gregg invisioned wind power as he was told that they have a constant wind blowing over the ridge. This location does have a well 15 meters deep with handpump but it is not drawing enough and there are many issues within the community. Gregg and Dan were starting to get a sense from the communities that the leaders are not really sure what to do as there is not a sustainable funding solution longterm. The water is provided to the community and is rationed for consumption only and schools need water not only for consumption but also for their gardens that they are trying to sustain and grow so they are using more. A catch 22 for sure. From there they headed out to Lomngeletjane. This is the new school that Chris has been working with and it is beautiful. It is still in the infant stages of development but it sure was nice to see the growth here and the hope for the future for the students and teachers in the community.

They then made their way to Mpofu. There is an Agriculture teacher, head teacher, there that has incredible vision for his students and the community. Currently there is a well. It is shared within the community. The issue is that from October-January the school's food runs out. The students are supposed to bring in food to subsidize for this but of course that is a tremendous hardship for many of them. The teacher has 10 open acres of plowed land that he wishes to grow maize and other vegetables that will feed the students and the people. He is a visionary with hope for a sustainable solution for this community. Unfortunately, water is an issue and the use of the electricity to pump the water has been costly. Again, a catch 22.

There is much to consider and to pray on. The guys are heading out with Dennis to meet with general contractors, local NGO's, and community leaders. And then, with Chris at the helm, they will be heading to the Mahamba Circuit and out to some homesteads. They are encouraged. They are seeing connections. And they have learned that it is not only important but essential to heed the wisdom of the people. The people who know better than anyone what their needs are and the best ways to meet those needs. Through education and innovative economic opportunities, we can partner with these local communities and strive to work together to improve the quality of life and transform people who are eager to realize their full potential and who have hope for a future beyond.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2
Please continue to pray for Dan and Gregg that they stay healthy and listen to what God wants for them to do for Him in Swaziland. The story continues...
Peace and blessings, Diane

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