Posted on 27th January 2018 at 13:51 by LCBC News in LCBC News Blog
Hello! My name is Izzy Howard, and I am a ministry trainee working part time at LCBC. I am 18 and currently on a GAP year before I go off to Oxford Brookes University to study Early Childhood Studies in September. As we start the New Year, I have been thinking over the blessings of 2017. I did well in my A-level results allowing me to go to University, passed my driving test and spent the first two months of my GAP year in Swaziland. Swaziland is a small country situated to the east of South Africa.
I went with my friend from school, Olivia, and we joined a two week Mission Impact trip to kick off the two months. I thoroughly enjoyed this time spent as a group, and there are too many highlights for me to number!
I particularly enjoyed going to a traditional cultural village and watching the dancing and singing. After a heartfelt goodbye to the team, Olivia and I made our home in Bulembu. Bulembu was an old mining town bought with the vision of restoring a town, transforming a nation. It is home to over 300 orphans, and is thriving with businesses such as a honey factory, water bottling plant and bakery. We worked in the Preschool (much to our delight, they are adorable) for the time we spent there.
Amongst other random trips, we visited an ‘In Community, By Community’ project called Noah’s Ark Academy. This is a small orphanage that cares for girls, but also has a vision for feeding any children who need it. The work done there is remarkably touching and Olivia and I agreed it was the most peaceful and beautiful place we visited. I particularly enjoyed building friendships with the people there. It is incredible how we can be so far away from home, yet feel like part of the family. As Christians we are brothers and sisters in Christ, and the connection we have with them felt like family.
I seem to have left a piece of my heart in Swaziland, so no doubt I will go back at some point!
For the rest of my GAP year I am working with the church and also have a part time job to earn some money to put towards university. I look forward to what God has in store for me, and continue to put my trust in him with everything I do. I hope 2018 is filled with as much laughter as 2017, and some of the joy of Swaziland will stay with me for the foreseeable future.
May God bless you and keep you