This is who God is…

By | Life and Faith, News and Updates, Personal Reflections, Swaziland, Uncategorized | No Comments

The night before Thanksgiving, Brandon mentioned how he was craving a cinnamon roll. I don’t know how familiar you are with Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), but we do not have an abundance of cinnamon rolls here, and I’m not the best baker. Brandon quickly realized the mistake of voicing a craving out loud that can’t be satisfied, so we tried our best not to think about the doughy, sweet goodness we missed so much. A few hours later, a fellow missionary texted an invite for a ladies’ Thanksgiving morning coffee with homemade cinnamon rolls. It goes without saying that I went and of course, I brought back a roll for Brandon. Isn’t this who God is? While he doesn’t always give us exactly what we want, sometimes He surprises us by answering un-prayed prayers. Even small ones, just to show He’s with us. The last few months have been difficult- in October, we uncovered a hidden betrayal by some local staff members. It was a shock and we’ve been dealing with the fallout ever since. This is our first update in a while because we’ve been struggling with how much work has fallen to us now that those staff are gone. Immediately after this news, we had a staff member unexpectedly pass away and a handful of others decided they will not return to their roles next year- adding additional pressure. However, God, in all His goodness, has made this into an opportunity for positive change and renewal. AIM…

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Fresh Vision on Our Mission and Life

By | Friends and Family, Life and Faith, News and Updates, Personal Reflections, Swaziland | 2 Comments

This year has been flying by. When we got back from furlough after Christmas, we spent the next few months adjusting to new positions. Brandon is in charge of the new media and marketing department (pictured above) and, of course, IT. Brandon has the challenge of keeping old —sometimes ancient— laptops running and slow internet on. His new media and marketing department makes sure that our ministry stories are heard by our overseas partners so donors can see how their support is making a difference and that we are using our time, talents, and resources wisely. I now head the newly created HR department. I know HR, marketing, and IT are not the first things you think of when you picture a missionary, but good stewardship of employees and resources are essential in any workplace —let alone one that runs on the good faith of donors. The first part of my year was mostly spent creating an employee handbook and writing the annual contracts for our 90 local Swazi staff. About a third of our local staff are shepherds at our CarePoints; they directly engage our 7,500 kids four days a week. Other staff take care of things like sustainability projects, administration, maintenance and food deliveries.

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We have a new normal

By | Life and Faith, News and Updates, Swaziland | 2 Comments

These last 6 months in Swaziland have flown by as we’ve increasingly settled into routine. Every week is pretty similar- staff meetings, multimedia, IT, payroll, and going to carepoints for footage and profile photos. It’s hard to write an update we think others would want to read when every day seems so normal. Short term mission teams, interns, and friends of the ministry come and go regularly. We go to the grocery store and buy our room-temperature eggs (which we love, even when they still have feathers sticking to them). We keep a side-eye on that cow in case she decides to cross the highway. Electricity goes out and we don’t bat an eye- we know to keep our fridge pretty empty and where the closest headlight can be found. Normal. Yesterday we ran out of toilet paper and I remembered that our beloved Capital Church team left us some extra rolls they had brought in June. I pulled out a roll triumphantly, only to find it didn’t fit in the holder! I stuffed it in and grabbed a few squares. WHAT IS THIS STUFF MADE OF- FLANNEL?! We both honestly forgot how thin we thought Swazi toilet paper was when we first moved here. It’s amazing just how much you can get used to without realizing it. Author Margaret Feinberg reminds her readers to be “wonderstruck,” even in the every day of life. Have we lost our wonder? You might ask how can living in Africa be routine or even boring?…

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