This is the first summer we’ve been in Swaziland and haven’t had mission teams visit from the U.S. We look forward to these groups, who always find unique ways to serve the children at New Life Homes. We really enjoy their companionship as well.
However, at the beginning of the year we decided that we would not host any teams in 2016. Peter and Mary Jean Kopp, our colleagues and New Life Homes directors, have been on a much-deserved furlough since April, and the increased workload and decreased human resources can be straining. In fact, here's what we've resorted to in the childcare department:
Just because we haven’t had teams doesn’t mean we haven’t had visitors. We’ve had lots of day visitors, a few weekend visitors, and a couple that even joined us for their honeymoon!
A group joined us for the day from Germany. They came from all over the country and were touring different community projects to learn about HIV impacts and how communities are meeting associated needs. They enjoyed our pork, chicken, and broccoli, and shared gummy bears for dessert.
A church from Durban, South Africa visited for the weekend, and kept the kids busy with sports, crafts, and lots and lots of food. They pulled out some of the biggest pots we’ve ever seen, and cooked seriously fiery food. They brought toiletries for the homes, supplies for the school, and lots of love for the kids.
Tiersa Chaffin, whom we worked alongside for two years, brought her new husband, Tim Rogers, to the farm. Tim is a talented soccer player, and he put on some soccer workshops for the kids. Tiersa helped the kids connect with their sponsors, and enjoyed spending quality time with them. It was a lovely visit!
We’ve also hosted local pastors, agricultural leaders, and government officials. Often these folks show up unannounced.
We’re proud to be part of something that draws people from all over the world. In many ways, New Life Homes is a model for organizations striving to meet the needs of those affected by HIV/AIDS. Visitors often comment positively on our family-based care model and efforts to be self-sustaining. We think it’s pretty great, too!