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-come-this-way

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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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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