June 2016 Update

By | Personal Reflections | 2 Comments

Sisi. Make wa Zach. Mbali. These are a few of my new names. I’m relatively used to sisi, as every woman here is your “sister.” But Make wa Zach, well, I’ve only been “Zach’s mom” since last year. My newest name, Mbali, is a gift in more ways than one. A few months ago I was in a shop and greeted the ladies “Sanibonani.” I always get a kick out of the many Swazis who are surprised to hear their tongue in the mouth of a malungu (white person). The only danger is once in awhile, someone assumes you understand a whole lot more than the niceities. This time, though, they wanted to know if I had a Swazi name. I asked how you get one and they looked thoughtful. You can be Mbali. What does that mean? It’s a beautiful flower. How did you know? (I feign suspicion) My middle name is ROSE! We were all delighted. It felt like God was saying to me, “See, I know you and Yes, you are supposed to be here.” It was a timely message for my heart- the first couple months in Swaziland felt directionless; ministry had closed down for Christmas and we didn’t yet know what to do with ourselves in this new place. Not too long after, Brandon was given a new name. His is also fitting, as he embodies so much of the Grace his name Musa expresses. I love that the person who gave it to him…

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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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