**Video at the bottom of the blog!
7:30 am. Get up, get dressed, lather on a handful of sunscreen and meet the PYB family for breakfast. We are always greeted with big smiles from our wonderful cooks, Mama and Yaku. But the day doesn't start there. No! It all begins past ASM, down the road full of many holes, through the villages, onto a red clay road and into our ministry base.
This whole week we had the opportunity to help out in a different area each day. Monday we were in Clau-Clau as April described in the last blog and Tuesday we went to another community. There we helped finish up a new home for Miss Charity and her five children. This house was made of grey cement blocks with a tin roof. From the first look at it, most of the work looked done, but we had plenty to do once we set foot out of the van! Most of the time the women scraped off grout, washed and painted all doors and windows while the men dug holes through the hard African ground for a new porch and veranda. A swim at the pool or a cool bath was well welcomed at the end of day two.
On Wednesday we went to a place whose name I can't remember, but will never forget. We arrived welcomed by beautiful African smiles from both women and their little babies. Right a way we went to work cutting all kinds of vegetables for the upcoming meal outside in the hot summer sun. Onions, peppers, potatoes, beans: you name it we were cooking it! Afterwards there was yet another mess to clean up. I must have looked bored for a second because our dear friend, Eben, gave me a fun task. He handed me a bundled up bush with a rubber tie at the end. It was a broom. I awkwardly tried to sweep with it, with my left arm behind my back so it wouldn't get tired. I swept under the tables and asked Eben if it looked alright. He smiled at me and said, " Sweep the whole thing! The whole yard." I was only more confused by this so I replied, " What yard? This is all dirt!" I gave him the broom in my sassy frustration and he showed me once again how to sweep with it. I swept as he asked me too, a little embarrassed that I had such a struggle with the common task. Miss Pamela (an African volunteer) must have noticed this because moments later she called out to me (partially in Siswati and English), "Emily, you would make a good daughter-in-law. You're worth 50 cows!" I looked up slightly shocked by her comment, but said thank you to her encouragement. By the end of the day, Pamela and Eben decided I was worth 50 cows, goats and some chickens too. I felt myself blush knowing that I was worth twice the amount of a usual bride's dowry..
I wonder if the Lord would say that same thing to His church today. " Church, you would make a good daughter in law! You are worth 50 cows, goats and chickens!" In a way, he did give us the ultimate dowry for our hearts. He is so in love with us. " I have loved you with an everlasting love." (Jeremiah 31:3). So friends and family, do you know your worth? Do you know how much He loves you? I bring you encouragement, as my friend Pamela did, you are worth it. When you are confused, frustrated or even throwing a sassy fit, you are worth 50 cows! Sweep boldly knowing you are Christ's future bride!
Blessings from the PYB team and our South African friends
Prayer Focus: Safe travels this next week as we drive 250 kilometers north to Tzaneen, Limpopo.
**Today we went white water rafting in the Sabie River! Video below!**