Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Energizer Betty: She Keeps Going and Going and Going....

Betty Miller has done it again. We can’t keep her down and she won’t slow down. Betty has outdone herself by hand-making more quilts for children in Africa. Children from the area of Mayenjane in Swaziland were the most recently blessed with the beautiful quilts. Mayenjane is like many of the villages and communities in Swaziland; poverty is the norm, HIV/AIDS is common, and many children are left to fend for themselves. The good news? Love prevails. And in October love arrived in 2 large boxes.

The children most in need in this area visit the Mayenjane Care Point for a meal each day and 20 children attend grade 1 at the care point. (Grade 2 will be added in 2010.) On the day the quilts were delivered it was cold and raining. The grade 1 students were inside, staying warm and dry as long as they could while they anxiously awaited their special surprise. The children could not stand still as 2 large boxes were carried through the door. They wiggled and squirmed, giggled and squealed as they moved closer, wanting a better look at the boxes that held unknown treasures inside.

As the boxes were opened and the quilts removed, the children’s eyes lit up. And when they were told they would each receive their own blanket to keep they began to scream with excitement and joy.

The children prayed and sang songs to thank “Grandma Betty” for their priceless gifts.

Betty has made hundreds of quilts for children in need around the world. Her hands have touched every piece of material, every inch of thread. When the children are wrapped in their quilts it’s as if Betty’s loving hands are wrapped around them, holding them close, comforting them, keeping them warm. Betty’s quilt may be a child’s first time to know love.

Thank you, Betty, for ensuring love prevails. Thank you, Betty, for choosing to Live in Love.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Kwazi roasting marshmallows for the first time

At 14 years of age Kwazi is an example of the all too familiar life of kids in Swaziland. As of July he is orphan. His mother died 8 years ago and his father died last month. Kwazi has 2 younger brothers, Mbulelo age 11 and Majawonkhe age 8. Fortunately, unlike many children in Swaziland, all three brothers have people to stay with, however, they are not living together. Kwazi is currently living with Lori and Pastor La’Salette. Mndeni, one of the young men and a leader at church, takes him to school each day on his way to work and picks him up each evening. In the next few weeks Kwazi will move to a house 3km away and live with Jabulani, one of the assistant pastors. Mbulelo is staying with Angie, another elder at the church. Angie also cares for Zwelakhe, her 12 year old nephew, who lost both of his parents several years ago. Angie and Zwelakhe have been together a long time and call each other mother and son. Majawonkhe remains close to the only home he has known. He is good friends with a neighbor boy and now lives with his family. The boys see each other on weekends. This becomes a treasured time to play together, laugh, and simply hang out as brothers should. Even Zwelakhe is now part of the “band of brothers”.
Kwazi hangin' with the boys

Many people are coming together to raise these boys, many people who choose to live in love, to be their family and ensure their future. Praise God for the love.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Can you build a house in 1 day?

You can in Swaziland. All you need are the right materials, the right people, and the love of God. An older woman’s home in the squatter community of 19 was literally falling down on top of her. With the help of dedicated people from the community, the leaders and youth from Christian Family Church and the K-Team from the US (Kay, John, and Tom on a mission trip serving in Swaziland), a house was constructed on a sunny Saturday in June.

The materials for a stick and mud house are self-explanatory. Adding cement to the mud, rocks to the walls, and some nails and wire to secure the long branches ensure a stable structure.

Loading trees that had been cut the day before. These will be used for the frame of the house.

The frame of the house

Jabulani assess the structure

Filling the frame with rocks – watch your fingers!

Mixing the mud

Playing, uhh, I mean using the mud to finish the walls

Night fall did not stop us. All you need is a candle and the Live in Love Rav.

Checking out the new house

Welcome home!

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty is her name, the Beast is the burns. It is common in Swaziland to cook over fires. Almost a year ago Beauty’s family was preparing to do just this when she fell backwards into the fire. The burns span from her shoulder blades to the bottom of her legs, including her genital area. The pain is unimaginable. For the first many months she used the wall to lean against when she walked, to help keep her balance and hold her up. For the past few months she walks freely without the assistance of the walls but still moves slowly and stiffly. She has not been able to sit since the accident so she is always standing or lying. Despite all of this Beauty remains true to her name, inside and out. No matter how long it takes her to walk and how difficult it is, this doesn’t stop her from getting where she wants to go - usually to play and hang out with the other kids in the children’s ward at Good Shepherd Hospital. The Beast doesn’t stop her from playing, coloring, laughing, and being silly. The Beast doesn’t affect her heart, her smile, or her appetite.
Beauty is not just her name, it is who she is and the Beast will never keep her down.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hot of the press!

Syndy just returned from a trip to Swaziland to visit Lori and here are some action shots to brighten your day! Lori is doing great and loving her work. Check it out:

Hangin' out with the kids at '19' (a community feeding location)Talking with Abraham about delivering food to the care points.
More fun with the kids.
Delivering food in one of the villages.
Helping Lomasantfo with her medicine.
Teaching the kids some of their alphabet letters.
Lori and her friend 'Loma'
Teaching 'health' class at CFC School.
Reading the bible with the students.
Striking a pose for all of us here in the States that miss her so much!