the hungry.

Sam loving one of the kids!

Kayla holding one of the babies!!


We fasted yesterday and by 8:30am many of our stomachs were already making themselves known with rumbles of hunger. We had eaten a great dinner of salad, roasted veggies, pasta and even ice-cream the night before, but our bodies were ready for breakfast. It was a sobering moment as we thought about the kids we work with at the carepoints each day.

We feed them a bowl of pop (corn mush) and beans every afternoon and this is often the only food that will touch their lips. One small meal a day. And yet, they show up with the brightest of smiles and an abundance of gratitude for our help.

This past week we were working at carepoint throughout the city of Manzini and in the surrounding villages. We spend our mornings helping with preschool and our afternoons laughing with the cooks (the grandmas), playing with the kids and helping cook the day's meal. It takes hours and hours for the beans to soften and the corn mush to turn into a play-do type substance, but by 1:30pm we are typically ready to serve the hundreds who will come to each carepoint that day.

Grace helping serve the food.

Here are a few memories from ONE of our days:

Within minutes of completing the meal our first toddlers started making their way up the countryside. A small boy, no older than four and an even smaller girl came waddling up the grass with their small plastic bowls safe in their grocery bags. After hugging their small bodies and getting them to laugh with us, we filled their bowls and sent them back on their way. As we watched them walk out of sight, we saw a drunk uncle try to interrupt their journey home. With practiced ease, they turned away and took the long way.

Our second group of brothers stat next to the fire as they slowly enjoyed their meal. They laughed with us, whispered in each other's ears and took half of their food back with them—most likely to feed other family members. It astonishes us that these hungry, little boys are able to stop eating before they're full in-order to save their food for another.

The brothers.

And that is how our day progressed. When school let out our numbers increased by the second and by the end of the day we had literally fed hundreds of children. And then, even with our pots empty, they continued to trickle in. Our hearts froze with anguish when we had to start turning them away. We had nothing left! We needed God to start multiplying the food or these children would spend yet another day hungry. And that's when we noticed it. The ones who still had food on their plates began sharing what remained with our newcomers. We're not talking about sharing toys here—they were sharing the only food they had with anyone who showed up.

We will never forget the sights of our days. The hunger in the kids eyes. The bows of thanksgiving when each plate is passed out. The toddlers walking alone. The sharing of what little food they have. We're not always sure what to do with the various emotions we experience each day, but we're sure grateful to be apart of this work.

Emily carrying around one of the bigger boys!

Courtney caring for one of the girls.

Millie loving through undivived attention and fingernail polish!

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