We have some Ludlati Carepoint Spring update news to share with you from Children’s HopeChest.
Here is a picture of our Ludlati friend, Ncamsile (nam-see-lay), wearing the bright skirt while competing in a race at the Mavuso Sports Complex in Manzini! Go Ncamsi!
The CHC update at the link below gives a report that tells us the soccer goals are used daily at Ludlati Carepoint! Thanks again to all of you who contributed to last year’s 2012 trip to make this possible!
You can also read about the new Discipleship Trainer, Phendulile Soko, who is the newest D-team leader at Ludlati. She is a graduate of the Swaziland Leadership Academy (SLA), and she is working at Ludlati carepoint 4 days a week! Read more about her wonderful relationships and work with our neighbor kids at the link below.
Click this link to read the Ludlati Carepoint Spring Update from Childrens HopeChest
Posted by Don at 11:26 AM.
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Thanks again to Savoy Rotary for their generous donation to fund installation of latrines at Ludlati Carepoint. For all you who supported their fund raising events with donations, we thank you as well.
We have started planning for a team trip to visit Ludlati again from July 20 - July31, 2013. I and the team look forward to seeing another small step of progress with the build up of infrastructure. The latrines provide another marked improvement in sanitary conditions and safety of the children. It also brings the carepoint into compliance with regulations that exist but were not enforced for the public gathering place.
We are happy to share some pictures of the latrines!
Posted by Don at 01:06 PM.
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Here is the email I received about the progress with training up and maintaining new leaders and mentors for our neighbor kids at Ludlati Carepoint!
I’m writing to tell you of exciting news for 2013 at Ludlati! The first group of young people who were accepted into the Swaziland Leadership Academy has completed their first year! One of the young women is Phendulile Soko from Ludlati!! They will return to their CarePoint of origin to begin working on a more daily basis. They are assigned there as the discipleship staff for that CP. But they are also still in the Leadership Academy which means they will be involved in regular/modular training throughout the year. So the “normal” rhythm will be at the CP with intermittent training off site.
When your team sees her this year, please ask her about her experience so far in the program! I’m sure she will be excited to talk about it and get to know your team as well!!
Thank y’all so much for loving all at Ludlati so well!!
Childrens HopeChest Partner Relationship Coordinator- Swaziland
Posted by Don at 03:51 PM.
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Ok, not really a Christmas song in the traditional sense. But this is from their Christmas tour, and listen deep and think about this song. It’s about Christmas and all that Christmas is about. More traditional soon…
Posted by Jim at 10:12 AM.
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I’m going to recylcle many of last year’s Christmas posts because I love the songs I picked to share. But I’ll share some new ones too. And I promise… I’ll get to things that are traditional and sweet in before Christmas. Because… believe it or not, I’m not always dark, morose, and strange. I actually like the sweet, sentimental Christmas movies and songs. My eyeballs get sweaty at the end of Its a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th. I love, love, love the memories, the lights, and the coziness of the family memories. Many of the traditional carols are among my favorite songs ever. But this is not one of those. But it’s good… it’s a well, let’s call it a creative twist on the little drummer boy. And yes, it is on a Christmas album…
Spend some time thinking about the bold lines below. Let’s stop waiting and start knowing we are accepted and loved… and start living and doing. Really living.
Don’t touch the drums boy that’s the theme of the evening
and if I catch you near them you’ll get a real good beating
the man said to his face, said it wasn’t his place
but he didn’t listen, grabbed the sticks and began ripping
he started with the right and then with the left
and back again and again till it hurt his chest
and he drums out, it’s all he has to bring
he has no gifts for a king, no gold or rings
and he plays for justice, freedom and for life
in his hands he continues all throughout the night
and he’s just a boy, he’s a boy with no tomorrow
head filled with truths and lies and he borrows
he borrows the rhythm the 1 and the 2, and it speaks to you, it speaks to you
come and play they told him then, we need what you have to give
I have nothing for a king he said, nothing but this riff
and he played his drum for him, he played his best for him
he gave his gifts to him, he gave his best to him. oh no
and we wait for gold, for perfect hearts and homes
we wait until we can afford to come to clean to the throne
but that boy had it right, he knew what he had to give
it wasn’t big or expensive it was his best that he lived
and somehow he knew it, I don’t know how but he did
he figured it all out in his heart in his head
and I’ll tell the stories, it’s all I know how to do
while dust plays out the drums out for me and you
please give your best don’t think your gifts are small
that’s what he wants from us more than all
but we have to be brave and push right up to the front
even if people tell us that’s what no one wants
and in your heart you know what you have to give
this Christmas put others first in how you live
and give Christ the glory in this very special way
after all it’s his birthday have a happy holy day
Posted by Jim at 06:58 AM.
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It seems to me that a core benefit of The Church - true, real, intimate community - is the support network that provides. Why, then, do we feel the need to act as if we’re all living in a fairy tale of sweet, peaceful, perfection? ...And rob ourselves of the support that we are all so willing to give, yet so reluctant to ask for. I wish I knew the answer. I don’t. Maybe it’s just human nature. Maybe it’s our misunderstanding of “faith” that is defined as what we say (so we sure better not say or act like we’re ever really struggling). When I met my (then future) wife, I was a wreck in many ways. But I knew I was. And I desperately wanted something different than the comfortably numb existence of my first 18 years in life. So after knowing her only a relatively short while, I chose to open up. To be raw, honest, and emotional in ways I had never been with anyone. And, let me tell you, it was not always pretty. Some anger, some self-indulgent idiocy, but mostly lots of tears and exposing of my deepest fears, pain, and regrets.
The result: a relationship that I can’t even describe. Good and full of joy in every way, but beyond that - forged with a strength and power of deep emotion and connection that is stronger than… I can’t even come up with an adjective. Just, yeah… um, strong. Unbreakable.
And then I see The Church with most of us paying make believe about our perfect lives. And we wonder why we don’t have real realationships, real bonds. Those are forged through tears, openness, intimacy, the baring of our weaknesses, flaws, fears, joys, hopes, and yes… our victories. I don’t know… I think it’s the “faith” thing. Can’t say anything to give the devil the opportunity to know we’re not invincible, I guess… Whatever it is, we need to get over it. Jesus sure didn’t hesitate to show his deep fear and grief in the garden. Talk about pouring out your soul. And David… a man after God’s own heart? He always knew where his faith was. He had that kind of iron-hard relationship with God. That came from openness, not a false facade.
Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in the miry depths,
where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.
I am worn out calling for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,
looking for my God.
Those who hate me without reason
outnumber the hairs of my head;
many are my enemies without cause,
those who seek to destroy me.
I am forced to restore
what I did not steal.
You, God, know my folly;
my guilt is not hidden from you.
Lord, the Lord Almighty,
may those who hope in you
not be disgraced because of me;
God of Israel,
may those who seek you
not be put to shame because of me.
For I endure scorn for your sake,
and shame covers my face.
I am a foreigner to my own family,
a stranger to my own mother’s children;
for zeal for your house consumes me,
and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.
When I weep and fast,
I must endure scorn;
when I put on sackcloth,
people make sport of me.
Those who sit at the gate mock me,
and I am the song of the drunkards.
But I pray to you, Lord,
in the time of your favor;
in your great love, O God,
answer me with your sure salvation.
Rescue me from the mire,
do not let me sink;
deliver me from those who hate me,
from the deep waters.
Do not let the floodwaters engulf me
or the depths swallow me up
or the pit close its mouth over me.
Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love;
in your great mercy turn to me.
Do not hide your face from your servant;
answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
Come near and rescue me;
deliver me because of my foes.
You know how I am scorned, disgraced and shamed;
all my enemies are before you.
Scorn has broken my heart
and has left me helpless;
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
for comforters, but I found none.
They put gall in my food
and gave me vinegar for my thirst.
May the table set before them become a snare;
may it become retribution and a trap.
May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever.
Pour out your wrath on them;
let your fierce anger overtake them.
May their place be deserted;
let there be no one to dwell in their tents.
For they persecute those you wound
and talk about the pain of those you hurt.
Charge them with crime upon crime;
do not let them share in your salvation.
May they be blotted out of the book of life
and not be listed with the righteous.
But as for me, afflicted and in pain—
may your salvation, God, protect me.
I will praise God’s name in song
and glorify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an ox,
more than a bull with its horns and hooves.
The poor will see and be glad—
you who seek God, may your hearts live!
The Lord hears the needy
and does not despise his captive people.
Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and all that move in them,
for God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah.
Then people will settle there and possess it;
the children of his servants will inherit it,
and those who love his name will dwell there.