Saturday, August 7, 2010

Where To Begin?

I'm back from Swaziland, but for some reason I'm having a hard time knowing where to start to tell this story...  The beginning seems like a logical place, and yet I think I need to return to last year's trip...   Since I need a little time to think this one through, I'll start with 7 of my favorite photos and hopefully in a day or so, God will show me how to begin to tell the next chapter in my Africa story...

The first photo is a little boy at a location where we were handing out blankets and beanies...  He is such a beautiful child!  I didn't even remember taking the photo and it's probably my favorite!
SwaziFav (6 of 1)

The next two pictures are of a child in the community where we spent 3 days...  Something about this child tugged at my heart, he wouldn't play with us or even smile when we showed him his picture on the camera (that always gets the kids to smile).  He just seemed to want to hide...

SwaziFav (1 of 1)

SwaziFav (4 of 1)

I'll post more about this little boy in a few days...  His joy was so contagious!

SwaziFav (5 of 1)

There was something about this gogo (grandmother) that grabbed me...  She looked so stern until she smiled...  When she smiled, you couldn't help but laugh and smile with her!

SwaziFav (7 of 1)

She wouldn't smile for a picture, but she sure did laugh when you showed her a picture of herself, so I waited until another group member took her picture and did my best to grab those twinkling eyes and squinched up cheeks!

SwaziFav (1 of 1)-2

This last picture tells such a story on it's own...  The gogos were all sitting on their mats, outside the worn church building.  Some were wrapped in blankets and others in shawls...  I glanced down and saw these worn feet that have probably walked a million miles, with no shoes, and was captured by the contrast of her feet with the beautiful fabric. 

These women, who give their lives to raise their grandchildren, because the children's parents have all died of AIDS, should all be clothed in the finest shoes and linen...  Some day they will be, with beautiful crowns on their heads and the whisper of their Heavenly Father ringing in their ears...  "Well done, good and faithful servant!"

SwaziFav (3 of 1)


Lara said...

Beautiful...and heartbreaking

Kirstin C said...

I'm trying to figure out how to start telling my story too. I'm so glad I found your blog! :)

sierrasmom said...

Wow..all I can say is Wow...Welcome home friend!!!!

Naomi said...

Welcome home!! I have been so excited to hear about your trip and these pictures just melt my heart. You seem to have such a gift for capturing their lives and then giving us just a little glimpse. How I wish I could have gone with you this year...... maybe someday!!!

Beth said...

It's so hard to wrap your head around things once your home...I can't seem to place things in a 'bucket'. Maybe I just need to stop trying :). Can't wait to read more.... Loved being with you!!!!

Denise said...

So moving Sharla. I love the way God is using your photography to tell others of places many of us will never go. I pray that I will be able to do the same someday! Hugs~

trina said...

Oh Sharla! Your pictures are amazing. I have not been on blogger much and missed all your posts. Need to catch up and read all your amazing stories. :) Would love to spend some time with you all soon. Some how. Maybe we can compare our soccer schedules and see if our paths cross. :) trina