Smarts in Swaziland
Newsletter June/July 2018
Hello friends and family!
Hope all of you are well. As it is still our first year we are still getting used to opposite seasons! Actually they aren't really opposite, just completely different! We are slowly using the fireplace less and less heading into August as it's warming up a tiny bit. We were all slowed down a little in June by a lot of viruses but we have bounced back and are very grateful for those who prayed. It's been quite an intense time at Bulembu with some challenges but this has only caused us to fall in love with the community more. We have seen a lot of change, (Swaziland is now Eswatini!) we've said goodbye to some beloved English missionaries who will be sorely missed. And we now have a new Elim International Missions Director having bid farewell to the wonderful Paul Hudson, who was a huge blessing to us and instrumental in getting us here, but we are assured that he will still be involved in the future. We are feeling more and more 'at home' where we are (a lot of that may be from 'bonding' with the worship team - a LOT of playing and singing!) which is something we are used to, and have a lot to be thankful for, including all of you and especially your continued prayers.
Thank you for continuing to pray for our graduates, who have been busy with internships and finding out whether they have been accepted to courses, and making big choices. Some have had great results but still need prayer as they head out into the world! Others need prayer as they deal with disappointment and have to make alternate plans.
We recently celebrated the baptism of one of Dan's I.T. students and a member of staff which was an absolute joy! You may notice that the 'pool' looks a little unconventional, we were told that's because it was formerly used for beer!
Thank you for praying for the graduates of Elusitweni women's centre Teen Challenge Centre. It was wonderful to see them share testimony and they definitely did it in style! It was an absolutely wonderful service where we saw many of the Teen Challenge Men graduate also. Please continue to pray for direction for them and good integration back into their communities.
We appreciate your prayers for our language learning. Having had a bumper month on the worship team Rach can now sing about ten songs in SiSwati confidently, but we now have more motivation to learn the language as it's finally happened - the girls have outdone us! Anaya is dropping casual SiSwati phrases around the house now and we are in danger of falling behind Tallie and Seren's level from the look of their homework. We are still enjoying it and always live in hope that the local kids are teaching us polite words!
And thanks also for praying for our decisions to take on new roles and projects. We are very happy have joined the Royal Rangers this month which is very similar to scouts but with an emphasis on Biblical discipleship and leader training, so the girls are having a blast there and we will soon begin helping out with teaching merit skills and other activities. There are yet more opportunities coming to pray about.
News from Dan on Computer Training
Dan has been working to develop computer-based training programmes in the village. He writes:
“In the UK, most households have at least one computer at home and multiple devices accessing internet. Here in Eswatini, and for Bulembu, lots of people don’t have a computer - many don’t even have electric. Young adults who have been through the child care programme graduate from the high school and start to look for jobs, internships and university places. We have identified numerous free online training courses that will be beneficial for our young adults, from Nursing tor Social Work to Carpentry and Web Development. I have worked to get this available to some young adults, setting up a donated laptop and putting in place internet access for them to study training videos. Equipment is limited here (we are dependent on donations), and I’m often found trying to fix up old computers or unlocking donated phones.
I have also continued to work with my Form 5 ICT class (aged 17-19). They have just been through mock exams, and make use of the school computer lab to get experience in office software. Yesterday’s practical exam was interrupted by two powercuts due to rain bringing down power lines, which meant the exam ended over two hours late! The 8 students took it all in good humour. We are hoping that we can get hold of a generator before their finals in October.”
Joining Royal Rangers
Game time for the Ranger Kids! Anaya has joined the 7+ group early
In July we went to our first ever Royal Rangers outpost session where our girls will be busy earning badges and making more friends and we will begin teaching skill merits and helping in different ways. The leaders have been doing this for many years now and have raised up brilliant leaders from among the children at Bulembu and it's wonderful to see them in action! Here is an idea of what they do:
Along with outdoor skills like knots and making fires, Bible classes are given every week
Please pray for Dan and the teachers at Bulembu to help the students pass exams in October so they can pursue their dreams.
Please pray for the enterprises at Bulembu to be blessed especially as they sustain the childcare programme. Recently a species of invasive bees came to our hives and stole tonnes of the honey which is produced to sell around the country!
Please continue pray for our graduates to choose a good career/futher education path and for protection and blessing over all those moving on.
- Pray for the remaining girls at Elusitweni undergoing Teen Challenge which can be intense but God is doing great things in their lives!
- Pray for Dan as he develops ideas for training staff and others in Challenge Ministries projects around Eswatini.
Thank you for reading and supporting us!
Dan, Rachel, Tallie, Seren and Anaya.