Project E.A.R.T.H. International  -  JABEZ RETURN  -  Online Journal                                   WEEK 4
Friday - Jan 8th - It won't be long 
  In a couple days I will be leaving for South Africa on my way to KENYA.  I woke up very early this morning wanting to make sure that I tie up many loose ends before I leave Swaziland.  There are many people that I need to see.  I didn't make it to Masundvwini yesterday because of my journey to Nkaba 
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and helping Sizwe to connect with his grandma. I decided to spend more time with the guys downtown, connecting with pastors and also saying some goodbyes. (It's easy to offend people if you leave without saying something to them).  I spent more time around the orphanage connecting with kids since I will be gone for a while.  They really appreciated the time I
spent with them.  Ze and I spent time tonight hanging out with the guys, singing and teaching them more songs on the guitar. This is the African zebrawood guitar that I gave Ze in the summer of 2009.  It is a blessing to his church and the boys who are learning to play. Tomorrow will be all about packing and preparing to leave.
Saturday, Jan 9th - Preparing to Leave Swaziland
  Today I was up at 4 a.m to do some studying and praying before I select what will go with me to KENYA and what will remain in Swaziland.  The baggage limitations are different within AFRICA so I can only take half of what I brought to Swaziland. I got it all packed and then wanted to make sure the bags were not overweight so I had a plan to go to the airport later in the morning to weigh them.  Ricardo and Tulane came about 7 a.m. to do a final wash job on the care as I would be returning it early in the afternoon. They did a great job.  I met Mfana briefly downtown and had an awesome discussion with him about my plans when I return in 4 weeks.  He was happy and supportive.  He re-confirmed that things are fine between us and GOD has done a great thing with our relationship.  I got to say goodbye to Bo and Fika and hope to see them in South Africa on my way back to Swaziland in mid-Feb. Please pray for those plans to work out.  I want to celebrate their birthdays there.
Celebrating his 21st Birthday 
   I was happy when Quniso's mom called me to tell me of the last minute plans for Quniso's 21st birthday party.  Fika and Bo were invited but on short notice couldn't attend.  Bo was at another 21st birthday party and Fika was at a relative's engagement celebration. 
  Though a few others couldn't come the apartment was packed with friends and family to celebrate the ocassion.  The birthday cake was amazing and we enjoyed some chick- en from KFC, rolls, a variety of snacks and ice cold sodas.  No alcohol at this 21st birthday!
   With my foot the way it is, I can't dance like I once did but I did attempt to have some fun with the "kids".  I'm hoping they don't post the video on facebook.

Quniso Dlamini is Fika's cousin and one of my Swazi "sons"

Sunday, Jan 10th - A day in SOUTH AFRICA
  At 5 a.m. I was wide awake and making calls to the USA. It was good to get to talk to Pastor Brett and hear about some of what's happening at Shiloh.  We talked for about 5 minutes.  Then I called my mom to let her know that I am ok and leaving for South Africa.
   Usually things don't run on a tight time schedule but, the service I use to get to South Africa (Airport Connector), is good at showing up a little bit early. It great to have such a reliable service.  The owner of the company actually came with the driver to greet me.  It was such a blessing to see her. (Veronica Dlamini).  By 7 a.m. we were headed for the border.  I enjoyed the driver.  Mduduzi went out of his way to make a stop on the SA side of the border for me to get a SIM card for my phone so I could use it while in Johannesburg. 
  The kombi dropped me off at International Arrivals at the airport in Johannesburg where the folks from Africa Centre Hotel would pick me up.  I spent about an hour in the airport so I could have lunch, get some airtime for my phone and use the internet. (I have an AllAfrica account with some time left).  I had a double cheeseburger and fries for lunch at WIMPY Hamburg-ers.  It was awesome as you can see. 
  Once I got to the hotel, I took the free shuttle to a big mall and checked out some of the things there.  It was a nice time to relax. Then I went back to the hotel for a restful evening.
WELCOME to the KENYA Journey
I'm excited about what GOD will do during my time with Greg, MaryRose, and the children at the
DOW FAMILY CHILDREN'S "HOME" near Boito.  My prayer is that you will learn a lot about
the work here and consider how you might be able to be a blessing to them.  My prayer also is that
GOD might send them some help in the way of staff.  Write to me if you want to know more
about what that would mean if you have interest in being a missonary!
Monday, Jan 11th - Travel to Nairobi
  On of the most stressful parts of my journey is checking in at the airport.  Weight of baggage etc. is always an issue for me.  Flying handicapped (because of the problem with my foot) has really made this so much easier and it really has made a difference with my foot.  The wheelchair attendants with "SwissPort" are the nicest people.  The person helping me in South Africa was really thoughtful and friendly.  I enjoyed talking with him about JESUS and the fact that GOD loves him and has a plan for his life.  He asked me to pray for him and I was happy to do that.  The person working the lift to get me up to the plane is his best friend and was going to get married soon.  Sadly his wife to be passed away and I had an opportunity to speak a word of encouragement to that man. During my flight I had a meaningful converstation with a guy who was just coming for the celebration of his engagement.  We talked a lot during the flight and I had the opportunity to talk with him about JESUS.  GOD gives me so many opportunities.  The question is - when the opportunity comes, will I make the most of it.
  Greg met me at the airport and with no problems in customs we were quickly on our way.  Rush hour traffic in Nairobi reminded me of NYC.  It took us nearly two hours to travel from the airport across the city to where we wanted to have dinner. We had awesome hamburg-ers, fries and milk shakes at a place called Java House located in a nice shopping center.  We picked up some water and bread and headed for the Mennonite Guest House for a good night's sleep.  It's a beautiful place and very comfortable.  Breakfast included! 
Mennonite Guest House - Nairobi KENYA
Tuesday, Jan 12th - We didn't monkey around
  After breakfast we headed to Boito.  Usually a horrible experience - with a new road it was a nice ride.  Along the way we met up with a family of baboons.  I love these animals.  They can be quite dangerous so I was a bit nervous about getting out of the car to take these pictures. The one to the left is about the size of an 8 year old child.  We saw many beautiful sights on the way home. 
  Recently heavy rain caused flooding and almost  wash-
ed out the new road.  They had made these nice rock
channels for the water to travel when it rains but they
didn't work and the water ruined them.  Now they will do
them again.
I have so many amazing pictures I wish I could share all of them with you.  I am going to create a slide show and put it on YouTube so you can see them.  I'll put a link for you when I complete it.   "THE HOMECOMING" will be posted by Wednesday.  You'll like that section.  Pray for Peter (one of the Dow's sons.  He is visiting in the USA and he is arriving here on Thursday!
Mandazi's Return
Dow Family Children's Home                                                                     The children are so happy!
Surprise, surprise, surprise!
  I wanted this to be a surprise for the children and it was really a surprise.  I wish you could have been here to see the look on their faces and hear them!  It was a great time.  It took a little while for it to sink in with some of them. The girls to the right, look like they are happy
about all this. Not long after I
arrived, a dear pastor came
and brought huge sacks of
corn, beans and potatoes for
the home.  It was a gift that
everyone appreciated.  Judith
prayed over the food while
all the children layed hands
on it.  (See photo left). It's so
good to be here again.  The
place looks great.  On Friday
Peter will arrive from the USA
and we'll have another time
of excitement!

Wednesday, Jan 13th - I love our trips to KERICHO - even though we have some rough roads!
  Didn't sleep as well last night. Getting used to a new bed and surroundings is not easy for me.  My room here with the Dows is so amazing though. They have really spoiled me.  I am so thankful for where I was blessed to stay in Swaziland, South Africa and now in Kenya.  GOD IS SO GOOD!  This morning after breakfast we needed to go to the
"city" (Kericho) to run some errands.  We scattered in different directions to find the
things we went there for.  MaryRose was headed to the Dr.'s with some x-rays to be
read and to buy medicine.  Greg was headed to Telkom to look into a better price and
connection for the internet.  I went to Tuskey's (a new store) to find some provisions
(bottled water, snacks etc.)  While there I found a really good deal on a gas range for
the Dows and they liked the one I found so PEI made that a gift to the Dow Family
Children's Home.  They were happy about the purchase.  This is a 4 burner Hot Point
range made in Egypt.  Hopefully they will have been luck with this one.  The two other
ranges were electric and didn't work out well for them.  Constant problems.  Hard to
get them repaired here. 
  On the way to Kericho there are huge tea fields filled with people picking tea.  The
fields are owned by Unilever (makers of Lipton tea) and hundreds of other items.  We
are thankful for Unilever as they have made some visits to the Dow's.
  As in Swaziland, the kids here love the songs from the CD that Fika, Bo and I recorded as MCF (Making Christ First).  I put on a mini-concert for them before dinner and we had a great time.  We'll do that quite often during my time here.  The songs really make them happy.
Thursday, Jan 14th - WE"RE GOIN' BANANAS
  Davis has been busy keeping things on the "grow" here at DFCH near Boito.  It is exciting to see all the things he has done.  I'm telling you the place has fruit trees, lots of chickens (those for laying eggs and broilers for eating), rabbits, pigs and all kinds of vegetables.  Some of the crops look like they were growing in soil from Three Mile Island.  (They are huge.)
  The school room is fully enclosed now.  A
few days from now we should have doors
and they will finish grinding the floors.  You
won't believe how beautiful the floors are!
  PEI is investing heavily in this project that
is 80% complete.  To the right it a photo of
the way the building looks now.  Then I've
done some photoshop magic to show you
what it could look like finished.  Donations
to help complete the building and add a
school belfry are needed.  School begins
in a few weeks.  It's exciting!  Today I met a
teacher who has been hired to work with
the children.  I sang for the children again
before lunch and played games with them.
I was blessed to get to tuck all the younger
ones in and sing them a song before they
went to sleep.  What a day!
  Some other highlights:  I talked to David Mulindi today and he has invited me to come for a visit in Eldoret.  If I would have had a way to get up there, I could have been there for one of the FREE medical clinics taking place tomorrow.  The power was out for a few hours today. Greg went to Nairobi to pick up Peter and Peter's flight was delayed 45min. which means it will be after midnight before he gets him.  He called to tell us in was a hot, windy and dusty drive to Nairobi.  Pray for them and a safe journey tomorrow.  I called Fika and Bo tonight.  It was nice to hear from them.  (If you are reading this and it isn't night yet - we are 8 hours ahead of you.
Click on school photos for the .pdf document with more details and what is still needed to complete the project.
NICARAGUA           SOUTH AFRICA           SWAZILAND             KENYA            MOZAMBIQUE            USA
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Week 14
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