drought-cow-home

Giving Thanks

By | Friends and Family, Life and Faith, News and Updates, Personal Reflections, Swaziland | 5 Comments

We have a swimming pool. Well, our future home here (maybe next week) will have a swimming pool- yes, it is small and currently filled with debris, but it is still a luxury in a country that has spent over a decade in an increasingly dire drought. Needless to say, we will not be filling it with water any time soon. Cows are still dying here and the capital city not too far away only has a 20 day water supply remaining. Swazis have been asked to use chemical toilets when possible and here we are being asked if we’d like to use our pool. The weight of our relative wealth and privilege feels HEAVY. We want to give thanks for all the blessings God has given us, but that’s difficult when we feel guilty of having them in the first place. As we’ve been running around trying to navigate getting a house, electricity, aircon (A/C), a fridge, furniture, we have been mindful of being good stewards of the resources given by our supporters who have made it financially possible for us to be here. We know that we need certain conveniences to allow us time to do our jobs well, but it’s still a challenge shopping for a washing machine and refrigerator when we know so many Swazis here don’t even have electricity. In the states, it’s so much easier because, well, everyone has those things. Here, I feel embarrassed to let a Swazi see where we live, our “new” car, or…

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Sunrise in Manzini

Is It Safe?

By | Life and Faith, Personal Reflections, Swaziland | One Comment

Is it safe? We’ve occasionally been asked this question about our move overseas and yes, thoughts of our baby boy’s safety have entered into our minds. But for us, Brandon and me, we had not given much thought to our personal security. During our two weeks of training before flying to Swaziland, we covered persecution and martyrdom, but it wasn’t until a dear family member hugged us at the airport and tearfully whispered her request for us to be safe that I began to feel a bit of fear. I felt almost a sense of guilt that I was a contributor to possibly putting our family’s safety in jeopardy, had now carelessly flung it away, and it was too late to turn back. But then, God’s peace. I didn’t realize He had given me peace about this until I briefly felt that fear. Seth Barnes, our fearless leader at AIM, wrote this blog the other day, “Is Safety an Idol?” How timely for us. Seth writes, ”No, it’s not safe. Jesus is not safe. Neither does he want those of us who follow him to be safe. He said, ‘the kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force.’” (Matthew 11:12) There have always been enemies of Peace and Love forcing their own agendas and if we are committed to advancing God’s kingdom, it is inevitable that we are going to meet this opposition at some point, if not at many points. Seth also notes that Jesus…

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Our Crazy Summer – Mission Fundraising Update

By | Friends and Family, Life and Faith, News and Updates | No Comments

This summer has been a primer in “How to live a Crazy Life.” Zach went on his first plane flight with us for a family reunion on the west coast, and a few weeks later, his second plane flight, but to the opposite coast for another family reunion. He has started to master sitting and solid foods. We gave our first fundraising presentation at a church and this last weekend, we moved in with my fabulous in-laws so that whenever we are fully funded for Swaziland, we can just go. We sanded and painted the deck the last two days of the move. During all of this, Brandon has been working full-time and I’ve been taking care of our little one (who still wakes up 3-4 times a night- it’s a good thing he’s such a joy and blessing) For many folks, these might be normal events and milestones, but the space of time we’ve experienced all of this in made it simply exhausting. The most notable craziness has been the move. We are renting out our home, so many of our belongings could be moved into our unfinished basement. I know, it sounds simple, but we wanted to take the opportunity to purge and organize. We sorted our entire home into categories: Trash, Goodwill, Take to Swaziland, Long-Term Storage, Airbnb Usables (in case our renter moves out before we move back), Give to Friends, Mom, and Leave for Renter (Brandon’s sister). By the end, my brain was burnt out…

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