9.24.2011

Party Day at Bheveni

Today is my father's birthday and I'm in Swaziland to celebrate again! My sons are with my Dad to join in the party with their cousins and friends. I am sure they will have quite a good time!

This was my third day at Bheveni during this year's trip. It was the final full day of ministry for the team...but we get to return to Bheveni for a half day on Monday too!

Our team was able to throw a party with the children complete with ice cream, a bounce house, face painting, games, letters to America, and a full chicken dinner called "Chicken Dust" for everyone. It was great to spend much of the day just hanging out with the kids!

During the party I played futbol with three boys from the carepoint. I noticed that one of the boys had pretty severe burn scars on his left arm and the area around his neck and back of his head. I asked him about his scars.

This boy told me that he received the burns from his step-mother. She had been fighting with his mother about something. When his mother went to gather water, his step mother used hot embers to burn his arm and back of his head. This happened to him a couple of years ago.

While I was shocked to hear this report, I was thankful to see this young boy filled with joy, enjoying the party while playing with his friends, and benefiting from the ministry at Bheveni.

Later in the afternoon I noticed many of the girls playing a high-energy, ball-passing game. They were having great fun running and passing a ball all over the gravel field. I couldn't figure out the point of their game, but enjoyed hearing their laughter and cheers as they played.

I asked one of the older girls to tell me about their game. She said they were playing "Net Ball". Normally they would have some posts with a hoop and net for passing the ball through.

I realized they were playing a version of basketball, but without access to real goals and with the poor conditions of the "court", they made their own fun in this modified version.

This week I have been quite impressed with the behavior of the children at Bheveni. During my visit last year, I thought they were good kids, but this year they are spectacular!

Over the past year, Xolani and Cynthia, the primary Discipleship Team (D-Team) leaders at Bheveni, have done amazingly well in positively influencing the children. The children have truly blossomed in twelve brief months!

So often I've heard how there's "something different" about Bheveni. This week I saw the truth of those words. These children are amazing. The support that they have been able to receive through the D-Team & Bomake have made a real difference in their lives today and into the future.

Even though I was away from my sons and my Dad on his birthday, I was able to celebrate with a wonderful bunch of kids that I consider part of the family. We had a great time together that I will hold onto for a long time...at least until next year!