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See You Soon!

By | Life and Faith, News and Updates, Swaziland | One Comment

Sanibonani! (Hello!) We greet you now as a family of four! Isabella was born almost 8 weeks ago in Nelspruit, SA. We are all doing well, just a little sleep-deprived. We are grateful that the c-section went smoothly for Melinda and we were able to easily come back across the border to Swaziland with a newborn. We are excited to bring Isabella on her first trip to the States in just one week! Zach is also looking forward to the trip- he even drew a “map” of how to get to Salt Lake City. He has been such a trooper through all the change, between all the moving around to gaining a new little sister after being an only child for 4 years. Zach has been going to preschool since January, and we’re sure that that has helped him feel like there is a constant in his life. We are so proud to see how Zach has been learning and growing. He’s reading, writing, and now goes around telling random strangers that he loves them and draws crosses to show them Jesus- he’s a better missionary than we are! It’s been really nice to have Hom, Melinda’s mom, in town. She has been so helpful with everything from cooking to getting Zach ready for school. She’s even been helping some of our staff with some projects! We’re also grateful that God has provided our ministry with some fresh, top-notch leaders who have been able to fill some of the work…

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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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