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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Back to Where it Began...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone reading this blog! May your life be richly blessed in 2010.

Few, What a year its been! I've been so blessed. My mother recently sent me an e-mail (by the way, it was her birthday recently...and yes, I did send her flowers from South Africa!) that made me realize how fortunate I've been. Over the past year, I've travelled overseas a hand-full of times, returned to Swaziland on a few occasions, applied for permanent residency in another country, found the girl of my dreams, live in a house that I never even thought possible, and have a new "mans best friend" named Balou (he's a 6 month old Viszla puppy)! What a remarkable time in my life.

(Woof! That's "Mr. Balou to you!")

Anyway, as I count my blessings, I also realize the grim realities of this world. On how, upon my 4th return to Swaziland, the situation seems to become more and more desperate. People are so terribly hungry and people are so terribly sick that it makes my head spin. It's just in my nature to want to help. I can't help it. It's like I see my fellow man hurting, and it forces a reaction deep within my soul. It aches my heart more than anything.

Alas, there seems to be a real movement of people. Something I must and will continue to be a part of.
(Making a difference!)

Individuals are banding together to make a difference. It's all about turning off the television and being a catalyst for change! Take that extended weekend and use it for good, positive moments in someone else's life.

I don't do this for recognition. I don't do this to get a pat on the back from friends or family. This is not for some twisted "self-worth." I do this work because I truly enjoy it. My friend, Rev. Bob Deland, claims that he's seen me at my happiest when I am with these children. I think pictures tell a thousand words.
(My happiest moments in life.)

There is really no way to describe the emotions that come over you when you hold an orphaned child. The innocence in the whites of their eyes is mesmerizing. Sometimes, they hold onto you so tight, as if they've never felt the affection of another person before. It effects you to the real core of your being. It makes the hairs on your back stand as you ponder the question "Why her and not me?" What did I do to deserve a life of privilege?

(God's Country; El Shaddai Orphanage is set high atop these mountains.)

So many of you have supported me financially over the years. Thanks again from the bottom of my heart. Here's an idea of where some of your money has gone:

(New Jungle-Gym for the children of El Shaddai.)

(New Health Clinic that will never turn away an individual.)

(A seemingly unlimited amount of medical supplies to fill the cabinets of the new Health Clinic.)

(The second phase orphanage directed at older children. )

As you can see, there's been a lot of progress. God is good. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers and support.

Until next post and with much love,



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  2. Anonymous1:43 PM

    Greetings from Michigan Derek,
    Father Bob is right when he said that the happiest he has seen you is when you are with those kids. You light up and they light up as well. You need them to keep you the way God wanted and that is to have a big caring heart. They need you as well to show them that there are people out there that does love them. I see it everytime I see your pictures. I am so happy for you and so Very PROUD of you. I have since day one. Take care of yourself and talk with you soon.


  3. Anonymous3:05 PM

    Hi Derek!

    This is your old Fuller apt neighbor. Just thought I'd say hi. I check in on your blog every now and then and you amaze me. Your life is so exciting and I'm so happy for you. Take care!

    Beth :)

  4. Anonymous11:06 AM

    Wow, you have a real inspirational Blog. Growing up in South Africa people around me always said "we have it the worst..there's no future here...go over seas..." I do believe that is not true. Thanks for what you are doing to make others see that! You're right there is no truth so powerful as that which you find in the eyes of a child - I just wish more adults would realize that and stop killing it with their sorrowful lies. We need more people like you in our country, thanks for making a difference:-)



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