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Swaziland Blog #5: Full day in Fontoje


Written by: Rachel Wolfshorndl

Today was a unique workday for us all. The past two days we have worked non-stop at our homesteads, working with the Swazis to build up the concrete walls of our homes. However a funeral in Tincatsavaneni halted the building of one of the homes, bringing both teams to work together at the Fontoje homestead. The eleven of us all started off the morning working diligently at mixing cement and singing songs. The Swazis as usual laughed at our work methods and joined in singing “Bombela, Bombela Westimela”. This exercise pretty much ended the manual labor for our teams since the Swazis were very particular about the roofing and final cementing. Although there wasn’t much physical labor to do, every member of our team took any and all opportunities the Lord provided to share the reason why we came all the way to Swaziland…not merely to build homes, but to build relationships and spread the gospel of God’s love and mercy.

During our lunch at Fontoje, the guys (now referred to as “the men” because they have made a pact to grow out their facial hair) gathered all the Swazi men to explain why our team was here using their testimonies to share what God’s done in their lives. It was so powerful to watch them hold the attention of so many men. Then the girls decided to put on a skit of David and Goliath to the women and children. The children laughed at our mighty Goliath (Emily) and puny David (Rachel), but cheered at the end when David was victorious over the giant.

While a group of us played games with the children, another group went with Roper to visit different homesteads in the area. There was one homestead in particular that stood out for the day. There is a little girl that Matt Roper has continually checked in on and supported for the last couple of years because of a relationship built on a past trip in which he had found her abandoned, naked, and without food. This little girl who has tested positively for TB (about 85% of Swaziland had TB) was left to live with her grandparents because her mother with AIDS left her. It is heartbreaking, but a reality, that the grandparents treat her as a burden. Today when we visited the little girl’s homestead, we found her filthy, with scabbed and opened sores all over her body…with no adults or grandparents around. We left to buy soaps and ointments and returned with Victor (a nurse from the Luke Commission) to give the little girl a bath and clean all of her infected sores. Emily and Susie, our nurse practitioner and physician’s assistant helped Victor with this process while Katie, Jaime, Ryan, and Rachel played with the other kids in the homestead. Throughout the whole process, the grandparents sat as far away as they could, giving no aknowledgement or thanks to our presence. This was a very emotional experience for us in witnessing the effects of the neglect given to this one little child. We are hoping to see her at least one more time during our last week and a half here.

The last event of the day was a soccer game where both construction sites played against each other. About 50 spectators came to watch and cheer on their team with vuvezelas and drums. Highlights of the game…Matt Roper checked the goalie after he had already clearly caught the ball – there was no stopping his momentum. They counted this as a goal!! Then sadly, Adam got a slight concussion after heading another guy’s head instead of the ball. He is doing well now but has a nasty bump to show commitment and determination for the game. We were thankful knowing tomorrow (Sunday) we can sleep in before heading to church.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Mary permalink

    It is so inspiring to read how much you all are caring for this little who has clearly been neglected. You are bringing her hope, and I’m sure she will no doubt know that the Lord will take care of her when you are all gone. Keep up the great work. I hope that you are all healthy. Rachel, your cousin can’t wait for his real vuvuzela!

  2. July.20.2010

    Thank you Susie and Emily for being there for this little girl. Thank you Lord for impressing on them to be in Swaziland. My prayer for you today will be for the Holy Spirit to protect your hearts and sweet spirits. God bless this little one and the many more like her.

  3. Shannon Byrne permalink

    Thank you for all of the wonderful updates – especially this one! The care and attention the team gave to God’s precious child today is well worth all of the time, preparation, and financial costs of the team getting there. I am so thankful that the Lord was able to use the team in this little girl’s life … the reality of child neglect is heartbreaking no matter what country you find it in. Even more so, I am so thankful that this little girl matters to Jesus, even if she doesn’t matter to her earthly family. Praise God that even after the team is back in Fresno, her Savior will always remain and continue to bring aid and love to her on His behalf. What a blessing it is that the team could be a vessel used by God to love his daughter!

  4. Ryan W. permalink

    Thank you for sharing Rachel. Keep loving with Jesus’ love.

    Matthew 25:
    37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
    40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

    Jesus, give us eyes to see you.

  5. Mark & Ellen W. permalink

    Love your updates! We were so moved to read about the little girl that you visited. Our hearts break for her, but we are thankful that your team was able care for her both physically and spiritually. We are trusting that God would touch her body with his mighty hand and amazing power so that this little girl could heal quickly and completely. We pray that she would not feel abandoned, but feel the arms of Jesus carefully holding her tight.
    We are so proud of everything you are doing in Jesus’ name.
    Keep those updates coming…oh, and make sure you are all taking lots of pictures!

  6. Christie W. permalink

    Rachel, thank you for this. It is amazing to hear about God’s work and His hand over your team and everyone you come in contact with. God Bless You All!

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