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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Change of plans

Thuli, Portia, Joanna, Naomi, Phoebi, Faith moving to E5
Since we receive approximately 40 new babies each year, and each of our children’s homes have 40 beds, we need to build a new home every year.  Our tiny babies move from Kuthula  Place to the baby home, the babies move to the toddler home, the toddlers move to Emseni #1 and then the older kids shifts up the mountain. It’s a big deal and we had one of those moves today with 17 children moving.  The older kids are always telling me that boys will move in to Emseni #6 and then girls in Emseni #7. It’s fun to watch their excitement as they see a “right of passage” with each move.  In the photo below you will see where we were to build our next home, Emseni #6, and it indeed was to be for boys. But this week we had a change of plans.

Ian and I took Margie Brewer and Cheri Peters (a Canadian Board member) up to the Upper Campus, which has no buildings on it yet.  We wanted to show them were O2 is going to be built as we are starting construction next week. The new O2 building (short form for Oasis #2, but also a play on Oxygen) will eventually be a dining hall for the teenagers, but we are building it now so that it can be a recreation hall for playing games, doing homework, choir practice and other activities, providing oxygen for their minds and souls.  We are really excited about this building because it will have a second story which will be an open-air patio, doubling the usable space.  Both floors will have a huge fire place for those cold winter nights and the upper floor will have offices, a meeting room, all purpose room and lots of toilets.  

Architectural drawing courtesy of Tim Hens.
While we were showing Margie and Cheri the location of 02 we shared our concern about building Emseni #7 after O2 was built because there wasn’t really a lot of room to drive in front of O2 to get building materials (and it would be a big mess for many months) to the Emseni #7 site. Just then, Ian had an idea, and shared it with us. He asked, “Why don’t we build Emseni #7 first before Emseni #6, and build it at the same time as we build O2?”

Pause. Think.

The next home needs to be for boys, and it was to planned to be located in the Middle Campus, but then we would have a home for girls up at the Upper Campus in 2021 and they would be alone up there for a year. Not ideal.  BUT, if we built Emseni #7 before we build Emseni #6, and moved the older boys up there, then in 2021 when we build Emseni #6 it will be for girls and they will still be tucked in to the Middle Campus. Then in 2022 the next building on the Upper Campus is also for boys.  It wouldn’t’ be until 2023 that girls move up top, which means they would be 12-years-old.  This could work!  And, it’s always better and more cost effective to have our construction teams in one location, which means they could build these two buildings in tandem.

Upper Campus where E7, O2 and our Special Needs home will be built.
This would not have even been a possibility if we had not received $95,000 from our friends at Keller Williams to start building this next home for our children.  We still need to raise an additional $130,000 to finish the building, but we have enough to get started and I believe that the Lord will provide the rest of the funds needed. 

I LOVE how God works and I LOVE how He only gives us one page at a time and then throws in surprises like a change of plans on what we will build and when we will build it.   I LOVE that I get to do life with my best friend and that we get to see His goodness and mercy and provision every single day.

If you would like to help us build a home for 40 boys you can buy a block for only $25, or 100 for $2,500 today by clicking on one of these links:

Live from Eswatini … it’s a good thing we like change.


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