-Lee and Lisa Smith
So, what do the movie Avatar and the tiny country of Swaziland have in common? I greeted you with the Swazi word for “hello” or “Sawubona” (sawuˈɓona/). However, its roots have the much more significant meaning of “I see you.” This is the same greeting that the Na’vi characters use in the film Avatar. “I see you,” as explained by our missionary friends, doesn’t imply just ordinary seeing; instead it really means, “I see myself in your eyes.” The spiritual interpretation is that “the God in me sees the God in you.” That is pretty interesting, right?
Swaziland is a kingdom that has been extremely affected by the HIV/AIDS crisis, leaving over 70,000 children orphaned by this epidemic. Care Pointes have been established throughout Swaziland to help care for these and other children by functioning as safe places where kids come every day to be fed and invested in by leaders who care about them. Our Care Pointe also functions as a church bringing hope to the entire community of Njojane.
In this past year the Care Pointe, Church and the Community have seen a tremendous amount of change and opportunity.
THE COMMUNITY has seen the completion and opening of a new airport that is only about 10 miles from Njojane. Dirt roads have been upgraded to pavement, providing improved access to the community. We are hopeful the airport will bring jobs and people, along with the opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to those moving out to this remote region.
THE CHURCH has had a new pastor since May of 2014, Sam Malambe. Pastor Sam has been an answer to much prayer. He knows the community well as he was raised in Njojane. In May he married and moved back to his hometown with his new bride, Hlengiwe. He is college educated as an electrical engineer, but also felt called to pastor his community.
THE CARE POINTE has seen the most change in the last year. Last summer we saw the addition of a freestanding classroom. It is being used for preschool classes during the week and Sunday school on the weekend. We were very pleased to see this new structure filled with kids both during the week and on Sundays. It was so full that a second classroom has already been built!
Recently Pastor Sam’s wife, Hlengiwe, was hired as the Care Pointe Facilitator. We could not be happier about this addition to the team! She has a huge heart for the kids and brings a needed burst of energy to the Care Pointe. Her addition will also help make the connection between the Church and the Care Pointe a very natural pairing. We are also thankful for Nomsa, the Care Pointe Preschool Teacher. She served as the Interim Facilitator for over a year (performing two jobs) until Hlengiwe was hired.
It is miraculous that the Care Pointe, with so many kids, has done so well with only one facilitator/teacher for so long. With over 180 children coming daily to be fed physically and spiritually, the Njojane Care Pointe is one of the largest in Swaziland!
BECAUSE OF YOU…
All of this would not be possible without your support of the children through child sponsorship and your generous gifts to the Unstoppable Campaign.
Is God calling you to go to Swaziland this year? The next trip will take place June 7 – 17. Activities may consist of hosting a community day, VBS, doing crafts/playing sports with the kids, making home visits, assisting on-the-ground medical staff with the annual Care Pointe Wellness Day or working with the local church.
Need a bit more information? We will have an informational meeting on Sunday, February 15 during the 11:15 am service. You don’t need to register, just stop by! If you are ready to sign up, the trip application can be found here. (Note: The application deadline is February 28.) We hope to “See You” in Swaziland in 2015!
Can’t make it to Swaziland but you still want to invest in the children and community of Njojane? Consider sponsoring a child at the Care Pointe. In the next few weeks we will have opportunities on our CP website for you to become a sponsor. You will be able to see pictures and read about children who are waiting.
Once you have a sponsored child, there are many opportunities to connect. The children absolutely love hearing from their sponsor and give the love right back! In addition to letters and cards, the annual mission team always makes it a priority to make room for small gifts from sponsors to their children. Team members usually consider it an honor to be a part of that delivery day!
Most importantly, child sponsorship allows for the daily food, water, teachers, medical checkups and other essentials to be provided.