Beyond these walls, to the ends of the earth…
The story of New Life Homes in Swaziland is captivating. It’s a narrative of orphaned children being placed in loving, stable homes on a beautiful farm in the Swazi countryside where they can go to school, be part of a family, live in a Christian environment, and continue being kids. From the beginning, Chapel Hill has been a part of telling the story of the kids at New Life Homes. Some of you might remember the excitement as we heard reports of cottages being built and families being united back in the 1990s. It has been a joy to journey with New Life Homes along the way.
The story of these kids is so captivating that it has been made into a film called Liyana. Liyana takes the life stories of five kids from the farm and weaves them into one narrative about a brave young girl and her two little brothers. It’s a story of the lengths a person will go to reclaim their family. It is not unlike the story of the lengths our Father went through to rescue us.
The film debuted at the LA Film Festival to rave reviews. A few members from Chapel Hill made the journey to see this initial screening, and they all report back this film is phenomenal. But the stars of the red carpet were the three storytellers from the farm. I can’t even begin to imagine the excitement of these kids from rural Swaziland traveling to LA. But the excitement doesn’t stop there! The film is continuing to make its rounds and gain positive review. We hope we’ll be able to show it here in Gig Harbor in the next year.
We wanted to share the fruits of years of prayer and relationship. I find myself reading the updates from the Kopps in Swaziland and reflecting on the sweet gifts God gives his children. Please join us in prayer that the film would continue to be well received and that the story of the little corner of the world called New Life Homes would continue to captivate us all.
Enjoy this update from Peter and Mary Jean Kopp.
Director of Missions
Thanks for praying!! Our group of seven traveled very smoothly –by road through South Africa, by air through Dubai to Los Angeles, then back again to Swaziland. Ten days gone, with almost six of those consumed in travel! Yikes!!
Our New Life Homes youth projected a great deal of class, even though encountering countless “first-time” experiences. The ocean got the second most votes for “the best part.” They got in it as often as possible over the four days we were on the ground in LA.
But really best of all was the premiere of Liyana, and the responses spilling out from all over since. All our gang were warmly received, and greatly honored. Phumlani said, “It makes me feel like I’m a hero!” Apparently others thought the project was heroic too. The juried award for “Best Documentary” was granted to Liyana!! Aaron and Amanda, all who worked on the film, and especially our youth are totally excited. Praise be to God!
“Los Angeles Film Festival 2017:
Liyana wins the Documentary Award”
Please go to Facebook, “Liyana the Movie” to see links to the many reviews of Liyana, as well as comments from those who were present, some who supported the project, as well as Aaron and Amanda’s remarks.
Next, we’re off to the Durban International Film Festival where Liyana is scheduled for her African premiere, 13-23 July, via three screenings, plus a lot of love out-poured. We’re planning to take a group of 18 of us, –two house-mothers, 14 teenagers, plus Mary Jean and me. We’ll drive down on Friday, 14 July, some six hours by road. The first screening will be Saturday, 15 July, but we’ll return on Sunday, the 16th. All our youth are in school with some preparing for national exams in a couple of months.
We’re pleased with many other developments as well. One is that we’ve finally settled on the vehicle we need to transport some of our teenagers to a better performing school, — an extra half-hour’s drive. We even get to use it this next weekend to get a large group to the Durban International Film Festival, Africa’s largest, longest in existence, and most respected.
A special thanks to our financial supporters. These recent (and very happy) developments have brought unexpected costs. The van is also costing a little more than we expected.
Thanks for your interest, prayers, and support,
Peter & Mary Jean Kopp