Two days. Two amazing days. Two communities on two different continents who share a bond with each other that is nothing short of God’s love in the flesh. The Connection Pointe and Njojane communities may be worlds apart, but each year and each visit bring us closer together.
Upon arriving Thursday morning, we wanted to bless the Care Pointe staff with gifts to thank them for their unending love and hard work they put in every week to make sure the children are fed and loved. We’ve never seen such joy experienced by such things we take for granted in America. The reactions that a bottle of lotion or a new apron were worth more than gold!
Thursday was also a day filled with the anticipated sponsor visits. Some of us were meeting our child for the first time while some of us were reunited with loved ones for the first time since last year. How exciting it is to interact with your sponsored child in person…to see their faces light up when you tell them “Jesu kutsandza” (Jesus loves you) or “Ngiya kutsandza” (I love you). I wish everyone could have this experience, but know it’s so evident these children love their sponsors and cherish the letters and pictures we send through our One Child Matters partners. I pray I see my sponsored children again on Sunday for church at the Care Pointe, but I’m absolutely grateful for the time we’ve been able to share this week.
In what has become an annual team tradition and one of the few times the children receive something special to eat, we kicked off Friday as a Chicken Day. This means the team gets to help the Bomake prepare a special meal (no further details needed). 🙂 It’s an experience enjoyed by some (maybe too much), and for others just knowing that we are providing chicken for the meal is enough.
Next, we ventured out into the community to visit two homesteads in which a go-go (grandmother) was caring for several children because the parents were no longer in the picture. This usually means the parents had died or had just abandoned their children. One grandmother reported to make only 30 Rand a month, which is only $3.00! We laid gifts of cooking oil, rice, salt, sugar and soap at their feet and reminded them that Jesus loves them so much that he brought us all this way to share that love. Our team was so blessed by this experience because we were all reminded how much people in other countries can do with so little, and how little we do with so much. It changes your perspective forever!
Friday was also Wellness Day at the Care Pointe. The Children’s Cup medical team arrived around 10:30 a.m. with plans to see every sponsored child for an annual wellness check-up. This was a huge undertaking given the amount of children at the Njojane Care Point. That’s a great problem to have though! Our team pitched in with organizing and creating medical files, serving as pharmacists, helping measure heights and weights, and the all important dishing out a “sweetie” at the end of their check-up. It was amazing to be a part of the annual Wellness Day to see what our sponsor funds help to provide.
So, if you couldn’t tell, Thursday and Friday have been very long days. Actually, we’re not sure how we fit everything in. I haven’t even mentioned the Bible lessons with the preschoolers, numerous soccer and netball games, hand treatments for the Bomake, a devo provided to the high school students, and just hanging out making balloon animals. Only by God’s will did everything get done!
With so many praying for our team and the Care Pointe children and staff, there isn’t a shadow of doubt that God’s blessing was all over our visit. Sala kahle.