It was our first day at the Care Pointe. I didn’t know a lot about my sponsored child, Temaqusi. I knew she had just turned four in February and today would be the day I would meet her. When we arrived at the Care Pointe there were a few kids hanging around the kitchen area. I picked up little Wendy and held her for a while. A hour or so later we were all sitting asking the head make (the head cook, pronounced magay, with a long a) what the children’s names were. This little girl in an orange jacket was standing near her and she said her name. I honestly wasn’t paying much attention because I was distracted by all the cute kids surrounding us, until Stephen asked the make to spell the name of the little girl wearing the orange jacket. She said T-E-M-A-Q-U-S-I. Stephen quickly replied, we’ll just call her Tema for short. After spelling the name about fourteen times in my head I leaned over to Stephen and said, “what is her name?”. He repeated, “Tema”. I said back, “I think she is mine.” The Make quickly checked the records and sure enough Nate and Brooke were listed next to Temaqusi’s name as sponsors. One of the girls plopped her in my lap and there she was. It was surreal at first. I wasn’t sure how to explain that I was her sponsor or what to do next. We spent the next few hours playing off and on together. She took to the rest of the team as quickly as she did to me. We quickly realized Tema has a lot of energy and she earned the name “monkey”. We spent at least 20 minutes of her hanging upside down in my arms the first day. Later the afternoon we got to spend a few minutes away from the rest of the group to give our kids gifts. I got Tema a backpack filled within sweets, a stuffed elephant, stickers, socks, and some other goodies. I think Tema finally made the connection that I was her sponsor when this happened. Her eyes lit up as she got to see the things in the back pack just for her. It was so fun to get some time away with her. She has the best smile in the world! Because Tema is to young to go to school I got the chance to spend the next two days with her. It was so fun to have her find me in a crowd and run up to sit on my lap or want to be picked up. She would disappear into the crowd and then reappear again. One of my favorite things is when she started responding and paying attention when I called her little nick name out. Such an awesome experience.
If I could tell the sponsors back home one thing that I got the most out of from this is that you play a role in restoring your child’s heart from the hurt they have experienced. Swazi can be a hard place to grow up. We met many children who live with grandma because no one else is around. We met children who’s only meal for the day was at the Care Pointe. You really can make a difference here (and already are!) Your sponsorship dollars are making a huge dent in Njojane, but your letters and prayers will make an even bigger impact. The Make here know your kids by name and love your kids. Keep praying for Njojane (n-joe-johnny if you were wondering how to pronounce it)! Make it a point to pray that the love and hope of Jesus shine into the community from our Care Pointe and church. Make it a point to pray for your sponsored child by name as we restore hope and life into Njojane!
Here area few pictures of Tema I got to take during our time here. You can tell in a few that she truly is a monkey. It was great to spend time with her but even better to know that she will be in great hands when we return home!