The Two Day Travel
In any other situation, a nine hour layover in Chicago would have been absolutely agonizing; however, thanks to Lindsay’s dad, we were blessed with time to hang out in the Admirals Club until we boarded our plane for London at 9:00 p.m. that night. An eight hour plane ride put us safely on European grounds in London, England. Some of the girls were able to sleep quite well; Rachael, we soon found out, can literally sleep anywhere, from the floor at the airport to the less than comfortable plane ride. I was blessed with Rosa’s company as my seat partner; unfortunately, neither of us could catch harldy a wink of sleep. So we decided to watch a movie “together” (as much as you can on a plane). Arriving in London was exciting! We had a 13 hour layover, so we were able to take the train into Central London for some sightseeing. We were so thankful to get some fresh air. We watched the change of guard at the Buckingham palace and had a little picnic and worship in the park. Poor Linsday was very motion sick from the long day and threw up, but she was such a trooper! I got sick out the other end. No details needed. After we finally got on the plane to Johannesburg I was almost too exhausted to sleep. For the past two days I had only gotten a total of four hours sleep! AFter watching another mvoie, hoping that it would put me to sleep, I frustratingly looked at the travel clock and saw that we still had six hours of our 12 hour flight still left, and I STILL couldn’t sleep! The last thing I remember after that is praying my way to sleep and Christina waking me up for breakfast. Finally, I got another five hours of sleep!
After arriving into Joburg, we took a shuttle bus to Swaziland and finally arrived at sunset (we got to watch it set over the mountains on our way in!) around 5:00 p.m. As it always goes in Swazi, plans are never really watch you think. We arrived to find out that our house was not prepared as we were told it would be, but a German volunteer kindly took care of us. After a LONG two day travel, we finally rested in a lovely little house as we share three bedrooms.
The first full day in Swazi was quite incredible! The girls are settling in and SO excited for this month. Rachel and Kirsten shared their testimonies and we had some great prayer and worship together. I am AMAZED at the hearts of my teammates. Truly, truly amazed. After a solid morning devotion together, we set out to Mangwaneni. Upon arriving, one child immediately asked me if I wanted to see Tenele. I said of course! And he told me to go down to see her. But I asked him if he’d just let her know I was here instead. He insisted that she wouldn’t come up to the kitchen but he did as I had asked anyway.
While I watched my teammates melt as they held these dirty, starving, bright-eyed, and LOVING children, my heart was so full! I lost thoughts of Tenele until I heard the boy call my name and divert my attention from the beautiful kids at my feet to a young woman down the path. TENELE!
I LITERALLY took off running! Filled with the much anticipated excitement and joy, I charged down the path to a laughing and smiling Tenele who started running towards me as well! As we embraced, I was beyond happy tears.
She looks amazing. She looks so joyful! She looks so…CHANGED! She held her baby and I could just TELL she loves her! I can also tell her baby loves her mommy, too!
The best part is yet to come… as I am running out of time here at the internet cafe, I’ll have to update you later…but I can just tell you this: God has been working miracles in Tenele’s life, and I cannot WAIT to learn more while I’m here.
Thanks for all of your prayers, support, and love.
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory!”