Saturday, October 8, 2011
Yesterday, at 2:55, Jocelyn took me to the realty office to pick up the key to our Swaziland Library Drive warehouse! Our warehouse is located on the busiest road in Cambridge, and the plaza has a Timmies, my dentist office, a greek restaurant, pizza store and a nail salon - and now - A Library Warehouse for Swaziland!
Jocelyn and I had to pick up my grandkids and then she dropped me back off at home. Soon, Stacey, Campbell and I packed up my car with cleaning supplies and boxes of books, the old desk top computer and headed off to the new warehouse.
It was pretty cool to finally be able to start to see this next phase of opportunity for those Swazi kids. Campbell moved some items into a closet that were left behind by the previous tenants. Stacey vacuumed and I cleaned the bathroom and front windows. We emptied my car and headed home.
A half hour supper break and I went to exchange cars with Jennifer; her van holds much more then my car. At the church we moved the 2200 books that a young girl in Cambridge had collected at her school in June. She collected all of those books in just 10 school days! Thanks so much!!!!
Jocelyn met us with two fellows from our youth group to help. I am so thankful that we have a warehouse space on street level! Coming up that flight of stairs at the church with those boxes reminded me of the aches and pains we felt having to carry up boxes and boxes up two flights of stairs at the last warehouse. We stopped back in at my house to pick up another 10 boxes that we didn't have room for on our first trip and now for our second load to be unloaded.
Now, back to Jocelyn's to attempt to move the 3/4 full garage of books. That took us actually another four trips of a truck and a van packed to absolute capacity! Thankfully one of our other young adults from the church showed up with another youth and he was able to transport people in his car as Jocelyn and I drove the vehicles.
Around the second trip from Jocelyn's, I noticed a police officer had driven passed and then parked in the lot behind the warehouse. As we drove off, I mentioned it to them when we got back to Jocelyn's. The guys thought maybe the officer was checking out the underlights of the car that the young adult was driving. However, when we got back with the third load, the officer drove around the building once more and stopped us to see what we were doing. The conversation went something like this: Officer: "Excuse me, who are you?" Me: "Oh, we are the Church of the Nazarene & the I.Can Foundation. We are setting up a warehouse for books for Africa." Officer: *puzzled look*, sighs, "What are you doing?" Me: "We are unloading shelving at the moment because we are setting up a warehouse for Swaziland, Africa." Officer: "What about the truck at the back?" Me: "Oh, we have the shelving, they have the books." Officer: "They have been unloading for a while, eh?" Me: "Sure have! We still have 1/2 a garage to bring yet." Officer: "Oh, yeah? Ok. Thanks so much, we'll see you around." Me: "Yes, we will!" As I thought to myself, maybe you will be back to see what exactly we are doing.
Finally, we gave the door a final lock at 11:07pm, drove over to Jenn's to exchange vehicles once again and then put this aching body back to bed. 11 trips full!
As I was laying down on my soft bed, I reflected on the day. This is the Thanksgiving weekend. I am so thankful for so much and yet, how often do I really express that to those that have impacted my life in order for me to be thankful. I need to do that more. Then I thought of the people in Swaziland. I heard over and over in my head their gratitude whenever we would show up somewhere with a box of books or even just a physical presence to help with the HIV/AIDS task force, Gigi's Kitchen or the Ntondozi Child Development Centre. God has guided me and my family along this Swaziland journey. He has crossed cultural paths in order for me to recognize what I do have to be thankful for and then to see how others who have a whole lot less than I do express their thankfulness so much more openly and graciously. The smiles of the Swazi people are felt from deep within their being - while our smiles are often fleeting. This truly is a Thanksgiving weekend. Thank you, Lord, for... can't write at the moment... tears are streaming down my face. I can't even begin to say all that I am thankful for. But I am.