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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Rain, Rain, Come this Way!

By | Friends and Family, News and Updates, Personal Reflections, Swaziland | 6 Comments

Pouring rain, thunder, lightning, then… no power. No biggie, we feel super proud of ourselves for bringing headlights and solar-lamps! Then… a bit of disappointment when the lights go back on five short minutes later. We were excited to rough it! We were glad for even that half hour of rain, as the drought has been terrible here. Fields that should be green are crunchy with dead grass. It’s spring here, but instead of new life, over 12,000 cattle have died from starvation. We are glad to hear it may rain more in the next few days. Please keep Swazi weather in your prayers. We’ve now been here just over a week and have gotten so much more done than we expected. We were told that everything takes a lot of time here, so we feel blessed that we have been able to get a post box, buy a car, and sign a lease on a house. Of course, there are no set dates for when we will actually receive the car or move into the house 😉 We’ve also gotten to visit a few carepoints while they’ve had their Christmas parties. We are thankful for that distraction because before the festivities begin, they are pretty fascinated with Zach. They don’t get to see non-Swazi babies often (if ever), so they tend to swarm him and all want to hold and touch him. I’m glad they will make good playmates for him, but for now, I’ve been keeping him close as to not…

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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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